Seven Mexican state police officers and four gunmen died in a clash on Monday in the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa. The officers were traveling on a road near the town of El Fuerte when a group of gunmen ambushed them. The police returned fire during the attack, killing four of the assailants. Local media said one of the slain gunmen was a lieutenant for the Beltran Leyva drug gang. The area has suffered under a recent surge in violence between members of the Beltran Leyva gang and their former allies in the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel. As cartels battle each other, the police and the military, parts of Mexico are becoming war zones. In the past six years, drug-related violence in Mexico has claimed the lives of more than 47000 people. In 2006, there were just over 2000 cartel-related murders. In 2010, there were more than 15000. Approximately 17000 died in 2011. Americans continue to consume massive amounts of narcotics, sending an estimated $40 billion a year to the Mexican drug cartels. The war continues to rage on, and the violence is spilling across the border into the United States. To understand what is causing the drug war and how it will be stopped, read our article "Beheading Mexico" on www.theTrumpet.com.