Aug 18, 2011

Whack-a-mole Drug War: Mexico Governors Announce New Anti-Crime Strategies

We put this in the context of the announcement yesterday by the U.S. head of the Merida Initiative that the U.S. is re-orienting its drug war strategy to work more with Mexican state and municipal governments. And there are presidential elections coming next year on both sides of the border. 

InSight Crime: Mexico’s federation of state governors has announced a 10-point plan aimed at reducing “high impact” crime like kidnapping, and tackle the issue of young people not in work or education.

After a meeting between representatives of the National Conference of Governors (Conago) and the National Public Security System (SNSP, i.e., federal police) in Mexico City, the officials held a press conference to reveal details of their plan. The new measures will to be divided into two phases, one to be rolled out from September to December 2011, and another in 2012. The plan aims to combat money laundering, to seize the profits of criminal activity and to reduce crimes such as kidnapping, murder, extortion and arms trafficking.

Marcelo Ebrard, the current president of Conago, (also mayor of Mexico City and possible presidential candidate of the left-wing PRD party in 2012) said the ultimate goal is to reduce Mexico’s crime rate with a coordinated strategy jointly developed by the states, the Federal District and the executive.

Included in the plan is the creation of a national database of ballistic fingerprinting to track weapons, and the implementation of a scheme offering scholarships and grants to young people. This aims to tackle the problem of "ni-nis" who·neither study or work ("ni estudian ni trabajan"), which has been identified as a fuel for crime, as they can be tempted to join gangs. A previous collaboration by state authorities to reduce street crime in June, named Operation Conago-1, was deemed a success, resulting in more than 3,900 arrests.

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