Gun battles, ambushes and jail riots have claimed the lives of hundreds of people in the past five days of massive drug violence in Mexico. Mexican army troops raided a house in Taxco, a tourist town south of Mexico City, and a firefight ensued, killing 14. Nineteen drug addicts at a rehab clinic, including teenagers, were murdered execution style. Mafia assassins ambushed police using burning buses to block a highway, killing 12. Rival gangs exploded into violence in jail; 29 died. Last week, the number of people killed in a 24-hour period—96—set a record for the country. (Though the last five days have been horrifying, since December 2006, at least 23,000 people have been killed in drug violence.) President Felipe Calderón defended his war against organized crime in a newspaper editorial printed nationwide, saying Mexico’s national security depends on it. Calderón blamed the U.S. for driving demand, calling its neighbor the biggest drug addict in the world.