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War on drugs, or war on Mexico?

8 February 2011

This being Constitution Day (or it was, when I started to write this),I had planned to write on how the “war on (some) drug (exporters)” was — either by intent or design — undermining the 1917 Mexican Constitution.

Instead, I ordered a copy of James Cockcroft’s recently published Mexico’s Revolution: Then and Now. A long excerpt from Cockcroft’s book appeared in AlterNet (“What Are the U.S.’s Real Motives for Launching a Drug War in Mexico?” ) and — agree or disagree — worth considering.

Cockcroft’s website refers to him as “author, lecturer, revolutionary”. Certainly, he has a long bibliography, and an extensive CV in academic affairs, as well as references to various committees. “Author and lecturer”… definitely. I’d probably hesitate to label him a “revolutionary”.

Nothing in the AlterNet article (which tends to only be interested in Latin America in relation to U.S. concerns… in their case, arguing for an end to the U.S. involvement in the “War on Drugs”) is “revolutionary” — in that it is new — here in Mexico, not among the academics and lecturers… although, perhaps “revolutionary” to readers of English, simply in being the uncomfortable kind of information that contradicts our notions of this country’s leadership, the “war on drugs” and the U.S. role in all this.

Three paragraphs from the AlterNet article — all things I’ve mentioned in passing before — though normally with some skepticism.  Cockcroft perhaps says things better than I do, and with more passion than I can muster, making it well-worth the the hassle of ordering books from the United States:

… in 2009 Obama appointed his new ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, an expert in “nationbuilding” and in “failed states.” Carlos is a Cuban American. He has 27 years of experience in Africa, Eastern Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East, and conflict situations in Latin American and Caribbean nations such as Haiti. In the State Department, Carlos Pascual was head of the Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization. Its critics—among them Naomi Klein—call it the “U.S. Colonial Office.” Klein describes Pascual as an expert in shock therapy for “failed states.” Pascual arrived in Mexico City to begin coordination of the Binational Office of Intelligence. Crawling around in this pit are officers of the Pentagon, the DEA, the FBI, the CIA, and other critters of the U.S. intelligence community. The Mexican government is not a “failed” state, because it carries out the tasks assigned to it by the empire’s design. All of Washington’s propaganda backs up the militarization of Mexico in order to protect the interests of transnational corporations and foreign bank.

The militarization is a revival of the “dirty war” of the 1970s, especially in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Michoacán. Now the dirty war is furthered by the presence of narco thugs and unemployed youth who, in some parts of the nation, work with top police and military officers. But there is another difference between now and the 1970s. Internationally renowned Mexican Senator Rosario Ibarra, famed for her outspoken defense of human rights, has pointed out that the murdered and disappeared are not only opposition figures and social movement activists but also “the civilian population unrelated to any political or social conflict or the narcotraffic. . . . [The majority] are executions of the civilian population, of youth, both men and women, and of the poor.”

In 14 documents recently declassified by the Presidency of the Republic about “Plan Mexico 2030, Project of Great Vision” are the details of thematic workshops convoked by Calderón in October 2006. Plan Mexico 2030, says political scientist Gilberto López y Rivas, violates the Mexican Constitution of 1917 and guarantees the future “integral occupation of the country” by the United States. The plan programs the privatization of the energy sector, biosphere reserves, education, social security for state employees, and other public services. It calls for the repression and co-optation of social movements. López y Rivas maintains that the plan is inspired by imperialism and that Mexicans confront a “social war” disguised as a fight against narcotraffic. According to him, the aim of the plan “is to finish off the Mexican state.”  Journalist Carlos Fazio adds that what is happening in Mexico is a “low intensity war that combines intelligence work, civic action, psychological war and control of the population. . . . The center of gravity is no longer the battlefield as such, but rather the social-political arena.”

(Mexico’s Revolution: Then and Now, available from Powells Books here)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 8 February 2011 8:27 am


    We just wanted to stop by and let you know that we love what you’re doing with – really taken aback by your remarkably engaging tone and insight into the happenings in Mexico and other parts of the Americas. We also wanted to offer up a way for us to possibly work together.

    Who are we? We’re two London based editors with deceptively French sounding names. We travel a lot and we know how difficult it can be to find the best blogs in the cities we visit. That’s crucial information if you want to really understand a place beneath the surface and make some real connections. It’s not just about knowing the good places to eat, drink and hang out, but the feeling, sentiment and pulse within a city through the insider’s perspective — from music to politics, arts to science.

    So we’re doing something about it by starting C+E is way to give our readers informed access to ideas and cities across the world, connecting creative communities and at the same time giving our family of contributors a far larger audience and an opportunity for them to make a little bit (but hopefully a lot!) more money from their content.

    We have spent months pouring over thousands upon thousands of blogs and sites and have decided to launch in 20 cities with a handful of blogs in each. We would love to work with you there in Mexico and internationally. We would use the content you post up on your blog, so there’s no extra work for you at all. At the same time you would be credited for any content, which means extra traffic for

    We would have liked to have attached the one-pager for you to have a look at, but couldn’t find an appropriate email address. If you have any thoughts about being involved or any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with either of us at the email address above and we’ll get right back to you.

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    Luc Le Corre and Jean-Robert.

    • 8 February 2011 2:24 pm

      My email address is just below the Creative Commons Licensing information, which requires written permission for repositing my commercial sites. I sent these two gentlemen my rates for permissions.

  2. JC Brown permalink
    8 February 2011 7:15 pm

    Let’s see now. The U.S. has all these people in Mexico with the purpose of softening the state of Mexico so that the U.S. can exert total, complete influence over the Mexican people in order to subjugate the country. Is that it? Do I have it right?
    What were the three steps in forming a revolution? I believe it was subterfuge (which I guess is happening now), making the public aware of the intention of revolution, then the actual military action. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
    Now comes an interesting part. The U.S. receives (not officially, of course) thousands of illegal aliens from Mexico each year. One legal price of U.S. citizenship is satisfactory service in the Armed Forces. If a number of the illegals were to enlist in one of the services and found that it was time for the military occupation of our southern neighbors, who could tell Yankee from Yanqui??

    • 9 February 2011 4:34 am

      … who could tell Yankee from Yanqui??

      I donno… I remember the old WWII movies, where they would catch the Nazi infiltrators by asking something like “who is the third-baseman for the New York Yankees” Maybe we could ask who plays Third Base for the Obregón Yaquís to root out the gringo invasores 🙂

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