Two incidents reported in the printed media indicate the change that is now sweeping over T&T gangland. Groups are standing their ground and engaging in firefights with the Police one case with an AK47 and the other with an AR15. The Mexican cartels instil military discipline in their affiliates, train them in military arts of war then arm them with the firepower to literally swamp the Police with lead. The Mexican cartels intend to wield superior firepower against the Police. The affiliates of the Mexican cartels are given the illicit economic enterprises not only to make the members rich but also to create the basis for defending their illicit enterprises with their lives. This strategy is devised to collapse an already moribund state and the Mexican cartels want the politicians to militarise the response of the state because when you send your military to police civilians it becomes much more easier to corrupt the military compared to when they are cloistered in their barracks. The military responds to the drug war as the military only can and this explodes the level of violence which hastens the collapse of the state. This assault will not be confined to the so-called “hot-spots” as areas previously “quiet” will now be woken up. The knee-jerk political reaction will be a legislative agenda which will further erode personal liberties but the failure to deal with the illicit drug trade results in vibrant resistance and overflowing jails which now become under the control of prison gangs who are affiliated to the Mexican cartels which in effect means the Mexican cartels control the prison system. At this stage the Mexican cartels will move to eliminate the decent, respectable upstanding T&T citizens who are drug traffickers which will literally rip to shreds the legitimacy of the social order creating a vacuum of legitimacy because of the far reaching power they wield in the T&T social order. Say hello to Guatemala and Honduras as we have arrived at this stage.