La Jornada Editorial
US in Michoacán: words of interference
Lea en español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/01/16/opinion/002a1edi
According to information published yesterday by the Dpa news agency, a high official in the US State Department affirmed that the violence and loss of governability that Michoacán is living through is “extremely concerning.” She characterized the circumstances that cross that state as a scenario “of communities that are already un der pressure because of the drug traffickers and criminal organizations, and now they find themselves in the middle of a battle between those who assert that they protect those communities and those that use them in their own interest.” She also said that the affected citizens “do not receive the support that they need from the central or local government.” Additionally, the official assured that the United States is “ready to provide assistance” to the Mexican government in the security work undertaken a few days ago by federal forces in the state.
Without ignoring the gravity of the acts that occur in Michoacán territory and the worrisome character that they present for the governability of the region and the country, the official’s signals are inopportune and inappropriate in that the situation she describes is an internal Mexican issue, whose solution is the exclusive concern of Mexicans. There is no reason for a foreign authority to bring up the theme or to issue opinions in any sense around the issue.
Furthermore, the proposal of eventual “assistance” from the United States government in the Michoacán conflict is worrisome, in light of the immediate precedent of “collaboration” between the governments of the United States and Mexico that resulted in a subordination of the second to the first and in the adoption, by authorities of the neighbor country, of security functions that correspond exclusively to the national authorities.
That’s what happened, in effect, during the term of Felipe Calderón, within the context of the Merida Initiative: the unacceptable ceding of sovereignty championed by the last administration with the pretext of the “war against drug trafficking” derived into an almost total dependency with respect to Washington in security matters, intelligence and foreign policy, without it having translated into the reduction of the level of criminal violence in our country, as the confrontations between alleged drug traffickers and self-defense groups in Michoacán demonstrate. To the contrary, the US involvement in the ambits mentioned left as a result the multiplication of the violence and the increasing loss of social peace and governability, and on the way showed Washington as a not very trustworthy and unscrupulous ally, capable of providing war resources to the criminal organizations it was allegedly helping to fight, as happened with Operations Fast & Furious and Open Receptor.
The emergency of insecurity and ungovernability that exists in Michoacán is a problem that requires the recovery territorial control by the State and the re-establishment of legality at the points where it has been rendered powerless. A first step is that the federal authorities avoid repeating the errors that their predecessors committed, beginning with tolerating and encouraging the interventionism of Washington, normally disguised as military and police assistance, which regularly begins in the form of statements like that emitted yesterday by an anonymous source from the State Department.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Monday, January 20, 2014
Translation: Chiapas Support Committee