Clashes in Mexico between government forces and powerful drug cartels -- as well as between the cartels themselves -- have resulted in the deaths of an estimated 10,000 people in the country since December 2006. Recently, the violence has showed signs of spilling over into American border cities, prompting the Obama administration to take action to beef up border security.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to Mexico to underscore the Obama administration's commitment to helping Mexican authorities deal with the deteriorating situation. President Barack Obama is set to travel to Mexico in April.
So what are the roots of the Mexican drug war? Why does the Mexican government need assistance and what are the politics at play? And what role should the United States take in containing the violence?
Two experts answered your questions.
Andrew Selee is the director of the Mexico program at the Woodrow Wilson Center, which promotes dialogue and research on U.S.-Mexico relations.
Jose Diaz Briseno is the Washington correspondent for Reforma, the leading newspaper in Mexico City.