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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mexican Drug Cartels

Over at the BBC we have an article about Mexico's President Filepe Calderon saying drug gangs are threatening democracy.
Mr Calderon said attempts by drug gangs to manipulate elections was a "new and worrying fact".

Speaking as his sixth and final year in office began, Mr Calderon also defended his decision to use troops to tackle the cartels.

Mr Calderon's speech comes as political campaigns are intensifying ahead of next July's presidential poll.
The problem is, Mexico is next door  If the drug cartels will mess with governments on their transit roots, why wouldn't they mess with governments in their market areas?

One of the reasons I voted for Geo Bush in 2000 was my belief that a President Bush would finally focus the nation's attention on our problems on our southern border.  Then the late Osama bin Laden decided he wanted the attention focused on him.  The rest is history.  But, now we have a chance for a new beginning, as we wind down our major commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan.  Not that we should forget those two nations, but they should no longer dominate our foreign policy.

Here is another view of this issue, from Small Wars Journal.  The footnoted article concludes:
Still, the Mexican cartels have not been elevated to a terrorist designation, so Napolitano has since backed away from any “T” word mention. Further, Obama administration policies also appear to be at work. While such bureaucratic, and possibly executive, logic plays well in Washington, it makes little sense to the rest of the nation. We, the people, need to inject some common sense into Washington threat perceptions—if not, Napolitano, or her successor, will be fixating solely on Al Qaeda for years to come and in the process continue to be preoccupied with what has become the second tier national security threat to our nation.
Seems right to me.  We, the People, need to drive this discussion in the proper direction.

Regards  —  Cliff


Craig H said...

I find it worthwhile to note that, the violence of their business practices aside, Mexican drug cartels behave no differently than do US pharmaceutical companies in this regard, not to mention all other big businesses. Buying or coercing political influence is a serious problem no matter from whom the manipulation occurs. It's easy to excoriate the influence of illegal enterprise, but far more important to pay just as much attention to the influence of any other kind.

C R Krieger said...

I think the murder rate and danger of random violence is the difference.  The term narco-terrorism has meaning.

With the pharmaceutical companies the patents eventually run out.  Not so much with illegal drugs—since there is not the semblance of a free market.

Regards  —  Cliff