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Should Mexico's War vs. Drug Traffickers Be Questioned

Should Mexico's War vs. Drug Traffickers Be Questioned

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What is tangible success in Mexico's drug war?
What is tangible success in Mexico's drug war?

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Published by: Jerry E. Brewer, Sr. on Dec 07, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Column 120610 Brewer
Monday, December 6, 2010
Should Mexico's War vs. Drug Traffickers be Questioned?By Jerry Brewer
Why is Mexico’s response to the potentially worse scourge in
its history still being debated as to success and skepticism?Mexican President Felipe Calderon is consistently challengedin both schools of thought since his taking office in 2006, anddedicating the fight for the rule of law a cornerstone of hisadministration.
It is true that over 30,000 people have been killed in Mexicoover these issues; drug trafficking participants, as well asinnocent citizens, police, military, and other governing officials.Even U.S. citizens have not been immune to this killingmachine, with the superior military-style armaments andincredible wealth needed to sustain an extended fight thatconfronts a government.
In a way, Mexico’s nationally elected leader has become the
scapegoat of many that have run the intellectual and double-talk gamut of second guessing
first his voracity then histenacity, and now his rationality. Must we also questionCald
eron’s success in reducing U.S. drug demand?
Obviously, he has no help there and has in fact pointed thisout throughout his tenure in office.
The U.S. Office of Drug Control Policy states that people in the
U.S. spend approximately “US$65 billion a year 
to buy illegal
drugs.” Too, it reports that “drug
-related damages amount toan estimated US$110 billion a year, and approximately 52,000deaths a year are drug-
related” in this country.
Calderon was savvy and proactive enough to realize that hispolicing structures in place, prior to and at the start of his termin office, were not adequate, capable, or inherentlyprofessionally qualified to encounter and engage such amonumental paramilitary style of onslaught against officials,citizens, and the Mexican nation. He turned to his military for
the firepower and “war 
like” conditions.
In comparison, in the U.S., with more capable and skilled lawenforcement structures and institutions, what would this
nation’s leader do if a regional area of a principal U.S. city was
engulfed in combat with drug traffickers laying siege withgrenades, anti-tank weapons, rocket-propelled grenadelaunchers, and automatic weapons? Would the NationalGuard be an option at an absolute minimum?
Let us not forget that as far back as August 2005, NuevoLaredo, Mexico experienced that firepower as well as themurder of police, police leaders, and local governmentofficials. Was it not incredibly obvious to the U.S., as well asMexico, that this was a real threat to both sides of the border?The local U.S. consulate even had to close for a few days!
During the period of 2005 to this very day, both the U.S. andMexican governments have continued to politically second-
guess what is fact from fiction, and played “name the problem”
that has been graphically witnessed by countless victims.Is it narcoterrorism or not narcoterrorism? Is it an insurgencyor not; is it transnational organized crime; is Mexico apotentially failed state; or is it just simply about the drug tradeand supply and demand?
In truth, it is simply about the slaughter of people and an
enemy’s de
fiance of the rule of law. A chess game that muststop.
It appears that Calderon has personally set aside the issue of
political costs of decisions made on Mexico’s homeland
security. Calderon has asked for U.S. help and received it,this evidenced in the takedown of many of those in theprincipal organized crime hierarchies in Mexico.
Yet this is not about the quantity or seizure of drugs in whichsuccess is measured. The demand will easily outlast thesupply. And transnational criminals will always chase themassive profits in U.S. contraband demand
whatever is indemand.The viable issues of concern regarding a sustained militaryeffort in Mexico are weaknesses of the military in criticalcriminal justice procedures, from criminal law, evidencerecognition/collection, investigation for prosecution purposesand related matters, to secure convictions
all of which arefundamentally law enforcement responsibilities.The palpable results of combined military and police efforts inMexico, with U.S. assistance, have created setbacks to thetraffickers. This is evidenced clearly in some redirecting ofdrug routes through the Caribbean and South America toEurope. Too, other organized crime activities such asextortion, kidnapping for ransom, murder for hire, and humantrafficking are on the increase.
So, once cohesive cartel power structures have finally provento be penetrable. Yet how will success be truly measured tosatisfy critics and those that second guess actual interdiction

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