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Things fall apart, the center cannot hold

2 February 2010

Must have been gremlins. I had completely rewritten my draft (which got sidetracked into another issue) and somehow THAT was posted this morning, instead of the revised version below).

Having set a new — and unwanted — record for “drug war deaths” here in Sinaloa last month (the cartoon is from El Debate) and reeling from a sudden uptick in mass murder (16 in Juarez, ten or so in a shootout in Torreon today), Congress has finally started to ask what it’s all about.

Porfiro Muñoz Ledo, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today called the Merida Plan a “foreign war by the United States against narcotics traffickers.” He adds that the highest narcotics consumption in the world is on U.S. soil, and has resulted in no deaths, while Mexico has seen 15,000 casualties.

Of course, there are the occasional shootouts between U.S. narcotics dealers and police, and sometimes people get killed, but the thrust of Muñoz Ledo’s argument is correct.  The only “winners” so far in the “war on drugs” have been the U.S. arms industry, which supplies both the Mexican police and military (the presumed good guys) and the narcos (the black hats).

Muñoz Ledo, being a PRD Senator might be dismissed as just an anti-Calderonista, but the highly respected “mainstream” El Universal notes that  “Merida Plan” funding went, not to Mexico (as I’ve noted time and time again) but to U.S. military contractors:  Bell Helicopter,  Dyncorp, Harris, Northrup-Grumman receiving the bulk of the funds.  And, to a Washington “training institutute”, “Culture of Lawfulness” which seems to have spent it’s Merida Funding on middle-school classroom material.  There isn’t enough public information available to say what it was for, and — like Northrup-Gumman — don’t appear to be particularly forthcoming.

Meanwhile, although the Calderón Administration continues to defend its “war on drugs” (most recently in the Japan Times, of all places), the sense is growing  that this “war” serves one of four purposes:

  1. To benefit the United States (as Senator Muñoz Ledo says).
  2. By accident or design, to strengthen the Sinaloa Cartel (as many — especially in Sinaloa — tend to believe without firm proof, though some intriguing suggestions of influence).
  3. To provide political legitimacy to the Calderón Administration.
  4. Some or all of the above.

None of these have anything to do with stamping out narcotics, and — assuming that is the pend purpose, Congress’ question (even among those who susprect one of the four goals listed above) is what “strategy” the government is employing, or if it even has a strategy.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 4 February 2010 10:52 pm

    Hello i’m newbie here and would like to introduce myself

    I’m from Luxembourg and come to this forum from search engine.

    Nice to meet you all 🙂

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