Friday, March 06, 2009

Just the Facts, Please

While we're always happy to see the Mexican government placing the blame for the drug wars squarely on the shoulders of the US, where it belongs, we think the presidente is overreaching a bit here:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon hit back at accusations his government is failing in the fight against violent drug cartels, saying that corruption in the United States is also to blame.

With murders among feuding Mexican drug cartels on the rise and continued ravenous demand for cocaine and other illegal drugs north of the border, Calderon said the United States should take a hard look at itself before pointing the finger at anyone else.

"The main cause of the problems associated with organized crime is having the world's biggest consumer next to us," Calderon said in an interview with AFP.

"Drug trafficking in the United States is fueled by the phenomenon of corruption on the part of the American authorities," he said, calling on US President Barack Obama to step up the fight against drugs in his own country.

Calderon admitted some Mexican officials had helped cartels, but urged the United States to consider how many of its officials have been implicated.

"I want to know how many American officials have been prosecuted for this,"
he said, listing a string of prosecutions made against Mexican police officers and government officials during his administration.

Well, no. Sure, American's are the ones buying the drugs, funding the cartels and selling them all the guns, grenades and rocket launchers, but cops and politicians on the drug lords' dole (while certainly not unheard of) is really more of a Mexican thing. Stick to the facts, Felipe - they're incriminating enough, and generally on your side.


Anonymous said...

I've worked as a borderlands reporter on the U.S. side. Just like my colleagues on the Mexican side, I want to stay alive. When it comes to official corruption (the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs Service especially), you look the other way. Of course it exists, and everyone who lives along the border knows it.

And lets not get into the way U.S. political campaigns are funded (via private "contributions"), something called a corrupt practice everywhere else -- including Mexico.

And, look at the actual U.S. prosecutions for gun running. They are dropped or reduced to minor state charges for reasons having absolutely nothing to do with criminal intent, and everything to do with "impunidad."

When Mexicans start seeing the Wall Streeters and bankers who launder the "drug money" being rounded up by FBI agents wearing ski masks, claims of U.S. assistance can be taken seriously, but not until then.

Burro Hall said...

True, but sort of manzanas y naranjas in the context of what Calderon is saying. Our campaign finance system is a scandal, but, as it happens, a perfectly legal one that the drug cartels tend not to participate in. And I couldn't agree more about the weak-ass gun prosecutions, but what's the evidence that this is due to drug-trade corruption rather than the fact that the border regions are populated by what we Northeastern elitists call "gun nuts"?

The Mexican government never listens to me, of course, but Calderon's best move would be just to drop this whole war on the cartels in exchange for the cartels agreeing to drop the war among themselves. Get out of the way of the traffic and let Uncle Sam deal with it on his side of the border - they're his drugs, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure the drug cartels AREN'T involved in U.S. politics? The cartels' billions aren't stuffed in mattresses, but are invested in U.S. banks and investment houses. The U.N. Anti-Narcotics people estimate it's narco-funds keeping a lot of the remaining banks afloat. And, whose pushing for the bailouts and "special rights" other than those same banks?

And, ever heard of Nevada? Where do you think the money came from to finance that state's political establishment? Not to talk of the Kennedys whose money came from the gangsterism and smuggling industry of their day (so did Barbara Bush's, being heir to the Pierces [as in Franklin] who got their ill-got gains from the opium trade).

Money is fungible. No way to claim some is "dirty" and other "clean."

Burro Hall said...

Cynical as I may be, I'm gonna go ahead and say that the whole bank bailout thing is more than just some politicians doing the narcos' bidding.

I suppose they cartels could be involved in US politics, but those would be some pretty fucking stupid politicians, since you can get just as much money from, say, Pfizer, Philip Morris and Citibank without being sent to jail for the rest of your life. Of course, Republicans still hold 41% of the seats in the senate, so it's no like there's a shortage of dumb-ass motherfuckers running the country. But they'd really have to be uniquely dumb-assed.

Lazlo Lozla said...

Old post, but I had to chime in: I have always wondered how come tons and tons of ilegal drugs arrive to the US from all over the world, not only from Mexico. I mean, heroin from the Middle East do not come by mail, and cocaine doesn’t come in small packages all the way from Colombia. There has to be a hub, regional distribution centers the size of Walmart's, where containers arrive by land, air and sea. And yet, nobody notices, nor the money of those transactions ever shows up...