The killing of 10 Mexican kids in Durango over the weekend worries me immensely. I was pretty sure that more terror attacks after Morelia in 2008 would be unlikely; it never serves the cartels to attack innocents, even if their rather blase methods of killing (line up everyone and shoot them even if they only want one person dead, for instance) often do result in that.
But these were kids. They were between the ages of 8 and 21. Was there at least one narco among them? Perhaps. But did the rest have to be killed?
I don't believe this was a standard "line 'em up and shoot everyone" kind of incident. The killings occurred out in the middle of nowhere, so there would have been plenty of time to separate the target from the rest. Instead, the assailants peppered the truck with bullets and tossed grenades at it. They wanted to kill everyone.
I can only see one motive for that: to instill terror. Just like decapitations were once the rage, now it takes killing a bunch of kids or stitching people's faces to soccer balls to get the blood curdling.
The New York Times called the massacre "baffling." Unfortunately, at this point in the drug war, I'm not sure it is.