US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Mexico to take the three year Merida anti-drugs plan to the next stage.
Over the last three years the USA has pumped over a billion euros into fighting the powerful drugs cartels, but nearly 60 percent of Mexicans believe they are losing the drugs war.
The trade into North America is worth over 40 billion, so the drugs barons have cash to spare, and the body is count is rising in Mexican border cities as civilians are caught in the crossfire.
“We know that the demand for drugs drives much of this illicit trade, that guns purchased in the USA as we saw some of the examples outside, are used to facilitate violence here in Mexico, and the United States must and is doing its part to help you and us to meet these challenges,” said Clinton.
But it is it enough? Both the drugs and guns markets are huge in America, and Washington seems powerless to control either. The victims can be found on the streets in both nations, and in the hotspot of Ciudad Juarez the war is increasingly warping society. Parents are too scared to let their children play outside, and school runs are just that.
“I miss going out and enjoying myself, here we can’t go anywhere because of crime. Our lives are very enclosed, we just go from home to school, then home again,” says one schoolgirl.
So the young of both countries find themselves on the front line of a war whose end no-one can predict.