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¿Narco-presidentes?

21 February 2009

Sort of typically for conservative governments that start wars to prop up their legitimacy… the Calderon Administration is now working on a two-pronged campaign to justify their war… and, incidently, to try to scare the voters into accepting the Administration.

First — and I apologize in advance for not having a good link, but traveling, I’ve been reading newspaers the old fashioned way (on paper) and watching TV once in a while — but the other day,  when there were protests against Army abuses of civilians brought on my he Calderon Adminstration’s use of military forces in border communities as law enforcement officers — the “de facto” President was quick to suggest that women and children were “easily swayed” and that the narcos were the ones behind the protest.  So what?

Even if narcos paid for transportation and placards (the same charges brought against protests after the Badaguino massacre protests) that doesn’t mean women and children don’t object to being raped by soldiers.  At best, Calderon’s remarks were sexist and retrograde… at worst, he’s blaming rape victims for crimes against them.  By the way… in case anyone’s forgotten… the Army is supposed to protect the people…. not rape them!!

Secondly, by way of scare tactics,  Secretario de Economía, Gerardo Ruiz Mateos has been making the rounds, suggesting that if Mexico does not continue the failing Calderonista “war” then… horror of horrors… a narco might become President. Sort of the way the former (and present?) United States Presidential Administration — having botched their war on “terror” — claimed if it wasn’t escalated and the bone-headedly wrong policies continued indefinitely, then the bad guys would “win.”

In the United States,  the criminal justice issues surrounding the narcotics trade is usually compared to the liquor trade during the Prohibition Era.  By that standard, we already have had a President who profited — quite openly — from U.S. “drug policy”,  or more specifically, from violating that policy.

Abelardo L(ujan) Rodriguez, who served as interim president from 1932 to 1934 (the elected President, Pascual Ortiz Rubio resigned office because of poor health made his fortune as a wholesale liquor dealer during Prohibition.  Although Alvaro Obregon was elected to a six year term to begin December 1, 1928, he was assassinated soon after his election, but before he took the oath of office.  Outgoing President Plutarcho Elias Calles insisted that the Constitution be followed, but continued informally to control the presidency through elected surrogates.  The first interim president,  Emilio Portes Gil, did — as the constitution specifies — hold office only until the next scheduled Congressional election, when a president would be elected to fill the rest of the normal six year term.  However, Pascual Ortiz Rubio sort of objected to Calles’ continual “suggestions” and crossing Calles could be hazardous to one’s health.  So… Ortiz Rubio resigned — for reasons of health — and Abelardo Rodriguez filled in.

Though something of a crook … or having been in business with crooks north of the border … he wasn’t the best of Mexican presidents, but he wasn’t an abject failure either.  Mexico continued to recover from the Great Depression and Rodriguez didn’t make any major political or economic or cultural mistakes.  Burro Hall — your home for Mexican snark — suggests a new narco-presidente might not be so bad:

…we don’t think a cartel boss would necessarily make a bad president. These guys have executive experience managing businesses larger than GM or Microsoft, and the past year has shown that they’ve got an excellent sense of military strategy and tactics. You can bet that Presidente Narcotraficante would make upgrading the nation’s transportation infrastructure a priority, and would have a soft spot in his heart for the farming and agricultural sector. The arts would be generously patronized, and while there would likely be an immediate and spectacular spike in violence (assuming he doesn’t stock his cabinet with officials from rival cartels, there’s bound to be some “taking care of unfinished business”up front), street crime would drop to zero after about a year, because, you wanna fuckin’ piece of me? Plus, how fast would the US and Canada race to re-open NAFTA? There would probably be less emphasis on human rights and the rule of law, of course, but that implies you’re impressed with the way things are today under our non–drug-lord regime.

One Comment leave one →
  1. el_longhorn permalink
    21 February 2009 10:56 pm

    Word on the street is that this was just a show of force by the narcos, not a real protest. I have not heard complaints of abuses by the army, at least not along the border. If anything, the complaints are that they are not doing enough and are being too passive against the narcos.

    Also, given that there are no human rights or political parties or groups stepping forward to take credit for organizing a coordinated, multi state protest – who else could possibly be behind the protests except the narcos? No high profile army abuse to rally people into the streets, no politician at the head of the rally – yet somehow protesters all just took to the streets simultaneously in a half dozen cities across Mexico? Wow.

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