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Apr 10,2009
U.S. support of Mexico against cartels is starting to pay dividends
by The San Diego Union-Tribune

By now, a lot of Americans have figured out that, like it or not, they have a substantial investment in the Mexican drug war. But do they realize that there's an increasingly good chance it could pay off?

The fact that drugs are flowing north into the United States and guns are flowing south into Mexico, the reality of spillover violence on this side of the border, the possibility that National Guard troops might yet be brought into the fray and placed along the border, and the $1.4 billion appropriated by Congress to fund the Merida Initiative to assist Mexico should make it clear that the United States is heavily invested in Mexican President Felipe Calder—n's unprecedented war on the drug cartels.

However, the dominant narrative seems to be that this war is a lost cause, and that Calderon is the modern-day Don Quixote tilting at windmills, with no chance to destroying the cartels.

Is that so? Someone should tell the cartels. They're running scared and growing more crafty and desperate by the day. When they're not firing off rounds of ammunition and throwing grenades, they're staging mock protests against the military and plotting to manipulate the political process. They're doing all this not because they worry about extinction. They're doing it because their business, like any other, depends on maintaining the kind of profit margins to which they have become accustomed. The Calderon government is seizing so much drugs, and arresting or killing so many cartel members that their business is going down the drain. The drug merchants have to buy more guns, and they have to channel more of their drug shipments to Mexican customers who won't pay the extravagant prices that Americans would if the drugs were getting through to the United States. None of this is good for the cartels' bottom line.

If that wasn't enough, there have been a series of high-profile arrests of high-level drug suspects — three in the last two weeks. The latest to fall was Vicente Carrillo Leyva, one of Mexico's most-wanted criminals and allegedly the second in command of the powerful Juarez cartel. The Attorney General's Office of Mexico had named Carrillo Leyva to a list of the country's most-wanted narcotics suspects and offered a reward of 30 million pesos ($2.1 million) for his capture.

Don't look now. But, as far as the drug war is concerned, Felipe Calderon and the rest of the Mexican government are obviously in it to win it. That's good news. The Mexican president has already done more than any of his predecessors to crack down on drug-traffickers. The man has guts and integrity, and he ought to be able to count on the complete support of the United States for as long as this war drones on.

Americans need to understand that their investment is secure — and already showing returns.

Reprinted From The San Diego Union-Tribune. Distributed By Creators Syndicate Inc.
1458 times read

Related news
Very real threat by The San Diego Union-Tribune posted on Mar 16,2009

Mexican drug cartels threaten U.S. Homeland Security by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch posted on Mar 04,2009

U.S. focus putting Mexican cartels on notice by The San Diego Union-Tribune. posted on Mar 27,2009

Drug war allies by Robert_J_Caldwell posted on Nov 23,2007

Mexico steps up army aid to fight cartels by UPI posted on Apr 02,2009

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 3.40Rating: 3.40Rating: 3.40Rating: 3.40 (total 10 votes)

  • Isn't the drug trade the largest source of revenue for Mexico? Why would they want to do anything but get a better control on it? Militarization is clearly not the answer, especially since there's so much corruption and the worst violence is being perpetrated by Los Zetas, whose founders defected to the drug trade after having been trained by the US to fight the drug trade! In addition, the likely victims of the militarization are people who fight for positive change in Mexico, such as the indigenous people fighting for autonomy and access to the lands they lost to neoliberal projects. The desperation caused by poverty is what really needs to be dealt with, and this will only be made worse by militarization, and more involvement by the US.
  • (Posted on April 12, 2009, 4:57 pm sally)

  • This article is a propagandistic joke. Of the 1.4 billion dollars pledged, only one or two have actually been released ; it went into computer hardware & software such as eTrace. Is that a satisfactory "shared responsibility"?
  • (Posted on April 11, 2009, 8:08 am Bill)

  • Is this a joke? I was extremely surprised and disappointed to read the same alarmist, myopic, incorrect analysis and regurgitation of the government party lines about the so-called "drug war." There has been a drumbeat of propaganda from US government and military officials and pundits claiming that Mexico is at risk of being a failed state, on the verge of civil war, losing control of its territory and posing a threat to US national security. It is sad to see you parroting this false narrative. What has been dubbed "drug-war doublespeak" aims not to win the war on drugs but to assure funding and public support for the military model of combating illegal drug trafficking, despite the losses and overwhelming evidence that current strategies are not working. Case in point, the Merida Initiative, launched just before Bush was out the door and based on the disastrous Plan Colombia. Also, most of the money hasn't even been allocated, due to opposition in DC, so even if you supported it, it could not be paying dividends, because it hasnt been spent. This is pure PR spin to try to keep getting more and more of our tax money. Alarmist cries help clinch the passage this Plan Mexico to further militarize the southern border and obtain lucrative contracts for mercenaries like Blackwater/Xe. The Bend would be better off drawing more attention to the US demand and harm reduction and for the need to cut off pork barrel contracts to military contractors. Also, open up the debate to all options include legalization. Three former presidents propose to do just that: Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brasil, César Gaviria of Colombia and Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico. In a recently released report, they pronounced the war on drugs a failure and call for a "paradigm shift." The jingoistic repetition of State Department propaganda has no place in the Ben.
  • (Posted on April 10, 2009, 5:31 pm Jennifer)

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