Much of the narco-trafficking violence comes from compromised local governments corrupted by drug money.
Marisela Escobedo’s life changed forever in August 2008 when her 16-year-old daughter Rubi failed to come home. What was left of Rubi’s body was found months later in a dump — 39 pieces of charred bone.
The Costa Rican legislature on December 20 approved another deployment of dozens of U.S. ships to its territory for the next six months, but denied permission for warships to deploy to the country until a full debate occurs after the New Year.
This past September, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drew criticism for comparing the current situation in Mexico to “Colombia 20 years ago.” Most of that criticism questioned whether the analogy was appropriate or whether the statement was an unnecessary affront to a close U.S. ally, the Mexican government of Felipe Calderón. But the more significant part of Clinton’s comments was her enthusiastic praise for Plan Colombia—the massive U.S. military aid package started by her husband in 1999—and her insistence on the need “to figure out what are the equivalents” for other regions, particularly Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
It’s not just the weak African states that are corrupted by drug trafficking, but larger ones like Ghana.
Win or lose, the gangs in Rio and drug cartels in Mexico need to reinvent themselves to provide stability, security, and even livelihoods for communities, or they’ll disappear.
One cable describes a Mexican government pursuing losing tactics in the name of an unfocused strategy that leaves everyone worse off, with the exception of the country’s increasingly drug cartels.
Mexican President Felipe Calderón can point to a significant catalog of accomplishments under his watch, from a handful of key legislative reforms to his government’s praiseworthy response to the swine flu epidemic in 2009. Far better known to most Americans, however, are his battles with organized crime and the unfortunate consequences: high-profile kidnappings, decapitated heads, disappeared reporters, the dystopian descent of Juárez. All told, some 30,000 have been killed in murders linked to organized crime since Calderón took office in December 2006.
Latin American governments can’t help but ask how the U.S. government can continue to call on them to implement harsh drug control policies when a key policy is being called into question in the United States itself.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated Wednesday that Mexico and Central America were facing an “insurgency” that requires the equivalent of a Plan Colombia in the region. Her comments immediately raised the ire of the Mexican government and sparked fears of expanded U.S. military intervention.