Jul 2, 2010

The War on Drugs

Editor's comment: The following is excerpted from the U.S. State Department briefing of June 29, 2010, regarding the assassination of Dr. Rodolfo Torre Cantu, PRI candidate for governor in the State of Tamaulipas. It makes clear that the U.S. government is sticking by its guns, literally.

State Department Press Briefing, June 29, 2010.
Statement and questions regarding the assassination of Tamaulipas gubernatorial candidate  
MR. DUGUID: Thank you all for attending today. Welcome to the State Department. I have several announcements just before we begin. In the first, I would like to say that the United States is shocked and saddened by the brutal murders of Tamaulipas candidate Dr. Rodolfo Torre Cantu and his colleagues which occurred on June 28th. We offer our condolences to the families and we offer our condolences to their supporters.

(after questions on other matters were addressed)
QUESTION: On Mexico, I would like to know, do you believe this is a serious setback to the efforts of Mexico and the U.S. to control the violence originated by the drug cartels? [editor's emphasis] Do you also believe this is maybe the steps that Colombia was following when they had a similar problem?

MR. DUGUID: What has happened is a tragedy and it is evidence that our fight against drug cartels and against criminal violence needs to continue, it needs to be strengthened, and we need to pursue it vigorously. The loss of any life is regretted and regrettable, but it is not a loss of our confidence that we can together as two nations defeat this violence.

QUESTION: But do you think this escalation of violence can maybe force to change the current strategy from --

MR. DUGUID: I think that in some cases, as it has been described to me, that a resulting uptick in the violence is a reaction to the success of the program. That isn’t to say that there isn’t much work to be done and certainly the protection of civilian life, innocent life, is something that programs that we share together must try and address. But I don’t see that we should change our strategy based on this particular incident. What we should (do) is strengthen and pursue our strategy vigorously.

QUESTION: Do you believe this is going to get worse before it gets better?

MR. DUGUID: I won’t speculate on where the course goes from this point.

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