The United States and Mexico are beginning to amend their disastrous and counter-productive drug war efforts along the border. It's about time. The continual, unstoppable flow of illegal drugs into the U.S. from Mexico and elsewhere, and the exploding levels of drug-related violence inside Mexico and especially along the border, have forced both countries to make serious changes in strategy. See this story in today's NYTs.
In the long run, however, much more substantial changes will be needed to undercut the power and influence of the drug cartels. It will be decades before it happens, but the legalization of most or all drugs will do more to undermine the mafias and end the violence than any other change that could be brought about. In the post-WWII era, the U.S.-Mexico border was largely open, with migrant workers and tourists easily crossing the border. That situation will never return, but there are major steps that could be taken to ease the tension and reduce the violence. The Obama Administration is taking the first steps in that direction now.
For more on the Merida Initiative, see this government site. And for Secretary of State Clinton's remarks on the issue, go here.