[As the US government prepares its new budget, the first thing that should be cut are funds for continuing the bloody drug war in Mexico! An editorial from Mexico’s progressive daily newspaper, La Jornada, is translated below. CSC]
Mexico-US: Interventionism and Double Standard
Upon giving details about United States President Barack Obama’s coming visit to our country –to be realized in May–, the Assistant Secretary of State for Narcotics Issues, William Brownfield, said that the US head of State will reaffirm his willingness to continue cooperating in security matters with the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, but that he will be “the one that decides the policy, strategy, the areas where we are able to collaborate and where we are going to collaborate in the future.”
If one were to give credit to what the US official said, Obama’s next visit to Mexico would have to derive into a profound reconfiguration of the bilateral relationship in security matters, a that until now has been marked by subordination and by the growing interference of U.S. authorities in ambits that only Mexicans compete. It turns out particularly necessary to advance towards the reformulation of the Merida Initiative, a bilateral instrument on security matters and the combat of criminality that, judging by the results obtained, has not only been useless for reducing the activities of the criminal gangs that operate in Mexico, but has rather been one of the factors in the sustained deterioration of public security and the state of law, has led to an abdication of sovereign powers and responsibilities in matters of intelligence, security, procuring of justice and control of territory, and has stirred up the divisions and rivalries at Mexican [government] agencies and at the state and federal levels of government, as was discovered in diverse diplomatic State Department cables obtained by Wikileaks and published in a group form with this daily newspaper.
For the rest, if Washington’s sought-after collaborationist spirit is anything more than mere demagogy, an obligatory first step would be the abandonment of the double standard characteristic of that government in the matter of fighting drug trafficking: while in our country the anti-narcotics guidelines promoted by the superpower have translated into tens of thousands of deaths, an unprecedented decomposition of the institutions and a more desolate citizen despair every time, US authorities maintain an unconcealed passivity in the face of the operating of networks of distribution, transportation and commercialization of drugs that operate, without great obstacle, in US territory. The data divulged last Tuesday in a report from the University of California, that four out of every five individuals detained for the shipment of drugs at the common border are US citizens is significant, because it contradicts the version of Washington authorities that the drug trade in that country is controlled by Mexican drug-trafficking groups.
With all that, the greater inconsistency of the White House policy on matters of narcotics is that, despite official allegations against drug trafficking, the same authorities of that country have established themselves as providers of weaponry for the cartels that operate in our country –through operations like Fast and Furious and Open Receptor–, have been tolerant of the presence of Mexican drug lords with the status of United States residents and have even facilitated operations with illicit money inside their financial system, like the DEA has been doing since at least 1984 under the pretext of “investigating how criminal organizations move money.” The foregoing is complemented with the impunity that US financial institutions enjoy –Wachovia, American Express, Western Union, Bank of America and Citigroup, among others– that have incurred in money laundering without any of their officials having been incarcerated and without having been punished with anything more than minimum fines.
Before coming to discuss “policy, strategy and the areas where we can collaborate,” it would be preferable that the government in Washington be centered on combatting drug trafficking inside its own borders. The current government of Mexico, for its part, must demand from its US counterparts what its predecessor was never capable of asking for: congruence and respect for our country’s sovereignty.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Translation: Chiapas Support Committee
Friday, March 29, 2013
En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/03/29/edito