This Wednesday's White House dinner with Mexico's president Felipe Calderón may serve as the culmination of President Obama's failed strategy of appeasement. Obama has not demanded concrete results in the "drug war" or asked hard questions about human rights, corruption and judicial reform. The administration has been distracted by a sweet-talking Mexican foreign policy team. If Obama wants to help reduce violence south of the border, it is time for him to stop playing Calderón's game and to exercise real leadership in North America.
The Calderón administration has gained U.S acquiescence by periodically extraditing drug lords, responding to U.S. intelligence with round-ups, and welcoming American military and law enforcement into Mexican territory. On the surface, Calderón's right wing Party of National Action (PAN) appears to be more pro-American than its predecessor, the old guard Party of the Institutional Revolution (PRI). Fearing that the PRI may soon return to power, Washington has adopted Calderón as its favorite son.
But the truth is that Calderón is directly responsible for the violence which has taken 22,000 plus lives over the past three years in Mexico. This violence today threatens to spill over to the U.S. After three years of Calderón's administration, there is no sign of improvement.
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