Post-Election, Mexico May Shift Its Focus in the War on Drugs
The New York Times reports that all three candidates in Mexico's upcoming presidential election are signalling a break from the U.S. in its drug war strategy.
The candidates, while vowing to continue to fight drug trafficking, say they intend to eventually withdraw the Mexican Army from the drug fight. They are concerned that it has proved unfit for police work and has contributed to the high death toll....
The U.S. believes this will result in more drugs coming into the U.S.[More...]
Are the candidates bluffing to get elected? The White House seems to think so:
One senior Obama administration official said on Friday that Mr. Peña Nieto’s demand that the United States respect Mexican priorities “is a sound bite he is using for obvious political purposes.” In private meetings, the official said, “what we basically get is that he fully appreciates and understands that if/when he wins, he is going to keep working with us.”
That's not much of a commitment. As to the other two candidates:
“Results will be measured not by how many criminals are captured, but by how stable and secure the communities are,” Ms. Vázquez Mota wrote on her campaign Web site.
Mr. López Obrador — whose security strategy is called “Abrazos, no balazos,” or “Hugs, not bullets” — has criticized how United States officials have approached securing Mexico. “They should send us cheap credit, not military helicopters,” he said.
What do the Mexican people think? This sounds about right:
“You go ask the majority of people about a drug lab in the city, they are going to say, ‘As long as they don’t kill or rob me, it doesn’t matter,’ ” said Jorge Chabat, a foreign-affairs professor at CIDE, a research institution here.
The U.S. needs to rethink its focus on the War on Drugs and admit its been a failure. Unfortunately, if more drugs start coming in to the country, it will probably just double-down on the same-old punitive approach.
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