What’s really wrong with “Plan Mexico”
Mexican support is falling for the military approach even before the funding (which is NOT going to Mexico, but to U.S. companies like Bell Helicopter and DynCorp and possibly Blackwater — something I’m putting together information on now, and hope to put up next week) becomes available. I think the U.S. is more interested in creating a market for the military contractors than “fighting drugs” and — this is the scary part — to use anti-narcotics efforts as a rationale for clamping down on all opposition to the present administration.
Highlights from the discussion:
… this is a movie we’ve seen before, and Plan Colombia is in the background of this whole conversation, because under the sort of, you know—under the story of a war on drugs, if you look at the details of Plan Mexico, $400 million in the first year, more than half of it is going to hardware that both—eight Bell helicopters with night vision equipment that track people back and forth across the border as easy as drugs and a huge IT system for the Mexican Migration Institute, which has as its explicit goal to track the movement of Mexican citizens and Central Americans coming through Mexico. So you have this kind of biometric immigration agenda, which is being swept in under cover of a war on drugs rhetoric.
And when there’s this much bloodshed in the streets in Mexico, it’s very easy for the blood to hide the political agendas underneath. already with the Mexican army in the streets, which is something that began as soon as Felipe Calderon became president and will be reinforced through Plan Mexico, what we’re seeing is attacks, basically, on social movements. Within Chiapas, this has been particularly seen in the Zapatista autonomous communities, where the army has gone in, often with the pretense of looking for drug production, which they’ve not found, but they’ve used it to harass those communities, in which major battles over natural resources and the right to autonomy have been taking place. So, indigenous peoples are one group that is at risk.
Another—and this is cases that we’ve seen in the northern state of Chihuahua—has to do with opposition leaders, in general. When Operation Chihuahua started, which is one of the major operations of the drug war, the army came in, and they immediately rounded up several social leaders that had been—had warrants out for their arrest since 2003 for blocking an international bridge in a protest over NAFTA. They were just routinely rounded up as part of these drug war operations.