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Perhaps not quite a "failed state" - but maybe a "state capture"? A war has been raging in Mexico as drug cartels battle for territorial control - but instead of stemming the bloodshed, violence has surged since Felipe Calderon, the Mexican president, launched a military crackdown on organised crime when he took office in 2006.

Mexicans have lost faith in a government who have lost the upper hand, and cartels are filling the vacuum created by public mistrust of the institutions which have failed to protect them. In some areas, the drugs barons are even seen as Robin Hood figures, as they provide social services to people who the government long forgot.


Send us your views and get your voice on the air

On Thursday's Riz Khan show we look at how much drug cartels have benefitted from the widespread crisis of confidence in political institutions - and whether a parellel order is being established.

We will be asking: Are drug traffickers looking more like an organised insurgency rather than organised crime?

Joining the programme are: William Finnegan, a writer and journalist recently back from Mexico where he investigated 'La Familia' drug cartel on the ground; and Miguel Tinker Salas, a professor of History and Latin American studies at Pomona College in Claremont, California. 

You can join the conversation. Call in with your questions and comments on Thursday, July 8, at our live time of 1630GMT. Repeats will be aired at 2130GMT, and the next day at 0230GMT and 1130GMT.

Source: Al Jazeera