The second most important city in the country, the central nervous system of our national industry, is at the breaking point, on the border between civility and barbarism. If Monterrey falls, has Ciudad Juárez and Reynosa have, the country will be one step away from doing so as well.[Break]In less than two years, Monterrey went from occasional violence in poor neighborhoods to narco-blockades across the city, grenades thrown at local media outlets, and kidnapping of public officials at the doors of their houses.
One unwritten subtext is that if it can happen in Monterrey, it could happen in Mexico City as well, which is a worry that periodically crops up among the national media. I know Monterrey has had a lot of violent episodes this year, but I'd be interested to see some hard data about how much more violent it really is this year. (Diego Valle?) It could be that just a few spectacular episodes are making the city seem much more out of control than it really is. I also think the degree to which this is recent is a bit exaggerated; I remember having a long talk with someone in Monterrey in 2007 about the explosion of violence.
Update: Diego Valle says in comments that indeed the spike has been both sudden and extreme.