Jun 12, 2012

Candidates in Mexico Signal a New Tack in the Drug War

This article would be good if it were accurate. We at the Americas Program have been monitoring closely the views of the major candidates on the drug war and although it is easy to find a few comments regarding the need to devote more attention to the root causes of the violence (even the U.S. State Department--a staunch promoter of the drug war-- does this), both Peña Nieto and Vázquez Mota have repeatedly affirmed their commitment to toeing the line (what Peña Nieto might actually do in office is a different matter.) López Obrador presents the closest to a paradigm shift, stressing the need to address poverty and inequality, and offering to remove the army from the streets as soon as the police are adequately trained (not something we see happening in the short term, given the high levels of corruption and complicity). Nor is it correct to say that the US government is remaining neutral--Under-Secretary Brownfield and others have explicitly voiced their strong desire to see a new government continue with the present strategy and levels of military and police cooperation in counternarcotics efforts, despite the counterproductive impact so far.

The most interesting thing about this article is the comments section--be sure to take a look at the many informed and thoughtful comments, which weigh in overwhelmingly against the war on drugs model.

NYT The top three contenders for Mexico’s presidency have all promised a major shift in the country’s drug war strategy, placing a higher priority on reducing the violence in Mexico than on using arrests and seizures to block the flow of drugs to the United States.

The candidates, while vowing to continue to fight drug trafficking, say they intend to eventually withdraw the Mexican Army from the drug fight. They are concerned that it has proved unfit for police work and has contributed to the high death toll, which has exceeded 50,000 since the departing president, Felipe Calderón, made the military a cornerstone of his battle against drug traffickers more than five years ago.  Read more.

No comments:

Post a Comment