PETER ORSI and MARIA VERZA
COLONIA LEBARON, Mexico (AP) — When drug cartel gunmen opened fire on American women and children in northern Mexico, the Mexican Army, the National Guard and Sonora state police were not there to protect them. It took them about eight hours just to arrive.
To villagers and others, the bloodshed seemed to demonstrate once more that the government has lost control over vast areas of the country to the drug traffickers.
"The country is suffering very much from violence," said William Stubbs, a pecan and alfalfa farmer who serves on a community security committee in the American-dominated hamlet of Colonia LeBaron. "You see it all over. And it ain't getting better. It's getting worse."
The lack of law enforcement in rural areas like the nort