Jul 6, 2010

Collateral Damage: Mexico's Elections

Mexico's Elections: A Bleak Panorama Statement by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, July 2, 2010.
This Sunday, July 4, Mexico will hold elections for a number of important governorships and mayoralties, .... ... this round already has been marred by gruesome violence against candidates and supporters of all parties. Many of these events...are unquestionably directly tied to drug gangs. The violence has raised well-founded fears that neither the elections nor the victories which they will yield will be insulated from the persuasive power of huge levels of narco-funds and narco-violence. Four years after President Felipe Calderón initiated his tragically ill-advised and poorly conceived attempt to defeat the drug gangs, the bitter harvest of the struggle is sure to come to light. As politics and narcotics become increasingly intertwined in Mexico, the cycle of violence will only be broken by a more sensible U.S. policy toward Mexico. Washington must reconsider its approach to domestic drug consumption, revive a long-lost commitment to social and economic development among Mexico’s lower classes, and avoid further militarizing an already sanguinary situation south of the border. Unless the U.S. takes such positive steps, the situation will invariably slide toward levels of instability, duplicating the Pakistan-Afghanistan crucible.

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