Feb 27, 2014

El Chapo's Capture Will Help Restore Mexico's Reputation (Milenio, Mexico)*

*This article, translated by our friends at WorldMeetsUs, views the capture in a positive light as a blow against impunity. Curiously, at the same time the author notes that 'unleashing violence' is a probably outcome of the capture. Again, we have different opinions based on different perspectives--the most positive tend to emphasize the improvement in the image of the Peña Nieto government--breaking the commonly held ideas that the government favored the Sinaloa Cartel and that the PRI would negotiate with cartels. The more negative perspective, like ours, fear for the repercussions in public safety and likely ineffectiveness in terms of eliminating organized crime activity.

Translated by WorldMeetsUs
February 25, 2014

It  must be said: The capture of El Chapo Guzman is an undeniable achievement of Enrique Peña Nieto's government. It is a success no matter how one looks at it. It was a success for the armed forces, for the way the information is handled, and in terms of the operational effectiveness and perseverance in achieving a single goal: to stop and imprison the most wanted drug trafficker in the world.

Independent of the undeniable and justifiable satisfaction that the government feels, Mexicans, too, must be satisfied with the government's performance in this regard. The capture of the legendary narco is a down payment in the fight against crime and impunity.

The operation to arrest him reflects well on the professionalism of specialized corps of the Marines and Army. No longer need we imagine surgical operations as an element of quirky movies or the capabilities of forces in other countries. In Mexico there are institutions that function properly, and the successes of operations against crime, whether government run or not, should give us all some peace of mind and boost our sense of confidence.
It's only natural that theories and scenarios are now doing the rounds about what will happen after the fall of Archivaldo Joaquín Guzmán. If the cartels fight amongst themselves, violence will be unleashed that will get ugly fast. This is likely to happen given the way criminal organizations are arranged. We don't know whether El Chapo arranged for a successor, or if we'll see the type of  virulence we have become accustomed to at times. The truth is, however, that what happens next will largely be a function of the follow-up operations conducted by government forces. The thesis, however, that we shouldn't hunt down the capos because of the violence it will unleash - rather absurd in my view - is impermissible. The place such people belong, given their criminal histories and treachery, is in prison.

The participation of the United States in the operation should be seen as par for the course. Sharing information is a basic activity among those seeking a joint result. Of course, the gringos always make a nuisance of themselves by being the first to make the announcement - this time an "official" from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. As a consequence yesterday morning, the first photographs came from The New York Times and CNN. I don't see a problem here. The Mexican government did what it had to do: it maintained control over their information and acted in a timely manner.

The capture of El Chapo will also reflect on the country's global image. If it is undeniable that, particularly in some areas, we suffer from the scourge of organized crime and violent images that impact perceptions abroad, so, too, must the opposite be true when a criminal, whose illegal operations have reached other countries, has been captured. If the effects of criminal violence generated by these mafia groups are the most distressing depiction of our current situation, effective lightning actions are the way to reverse the picture to that of a country which energetically and professionally fights  those who bet against the law.

Today is not a day to demand more. Without haggling, we must congratulate the government.



Consult original article

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