jueves, 10 de noviembre de 2011

"The G20´s Choice of Calderón is a grave error" (The Guardian, November 10, 2011)

The G20 committed a big mistake by naming as its chair for 2012 a possible war criminal who is in the midst of an intense electoral battle in his home country. Mexico's President Felipe Calderón will not push the G20 mandate of "promoting open and constructive discussion … on key issues related to global economic stability". His only interest will be to use this international forum for political purposes. In the context of widespread protest against global financial management, with Calderón at the helm, the G20 exposes itself to even greater popular anger.

Calderón has already convinced the G20 to move up its 2012 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico, so that it takes place only a few weeks before the 1 July presidential elections. The Mexican president hopes to use the presence of the international leaders to boost his failing credibility and overcome his party's weakness in the polls. But precisely the opposite could be the case, since the highly-charged political environment in Mexico might lead to new social protests against the world leaders.

Calderón is particularly desperate for international recognition because on 25 November 2011, a group of lawyers, journalists, activists and academics, let by human rights lawyer Netzaí Sandoval, will bring a formal petition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Calderón for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The petition is directed against the Mexican president and other top officials, as well as the leaders of Mexico's most important drug cartels, for refusing to follow the basic protocols that should rule armed conflicts and conducting systematic assault on the civilian population. The petition now has the support of almost 20,000 signatures online, as well as another 5-10,000 on paper.

Over the past five years, Calderón has presided over a bloodbath of historic proportions, with over 50,000 violent deaths (including at least 1,300 youth and children), 230,000 displaced people and at least 10,000 "disappeared" persons. This violence is not a normal outcome of the global economic downturn or of disputes between rival drug gangs, but indicates the existence of a full-blown humanitarian crisis. Indeed, the scale of the crisis is much larger than those in Congo, Sudan, Kenya or the Ivory Cost, all of which are presently under investigation by the ICC...