martes, 16 de marzo de 2010

"How Mexico Gets it Wrong" (Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2010)

The killing of three people linked to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez on Saturday forces a rethinking of the situation in Mexico. The government's "war on drugs" isn't working.

The violence, which has taken more than 17,000 lives over the last three years, has invaded the very fabric of Mexico's politics, government and society. It is time for the United States to transform its approach by replacing military aid and blind confidence in Mexico's sitting government with support for public institutions and broader citizen diplomacy. In the end, restoring order depends not on soldiers in the street and strongman tactics but on a more transparent, effective rule of law.

The Mexican government tries to defend its policies by minimizing its failures, arguing that 90% of the victims of the escalating violence are criminals. But this tired rhetoric is debunked almost daily by the killings of innocent journalists, human rights activists, students, housewives and maquiladora workers. A month ago, 16 hapless high school students were gunned down at a house party. After first claiming that the victims were most likely gang members, President Felipe Calderon was quickly forced to accept their innocence and issue a public apology for his comments.

Full text of article available at:,0,188718.story