Friday, March 13, 2009

Mexico and U.S. Locked in "Narco-Dance"

I hope my dear readers don't mind my translating a few interesting bits from the daily newspapers. My goal is to shine a little light on Mexican culture and current themes in Mexican social and political discourse. This, from Tuesday's headlines--

"(Mexican President) Calderón asks for Action from the U.S."

"President Felipe Calderón asked the United State on Monday to assume its part of the responsibility which it has in the combat against narco-trafficking with deeds (actions), even though he recognizes noticing a new sense of U.S. collaboration." The story continues to say that his government is disposed to take whatever technological assistance from the U.S., which doesn't--of course--imply any sort of military intervention whatsoever into Mexico.

I'm surprised that the course of events has come to the point where this (military intervention) would even be discussed.

Calderón continued in the article: "If the Mexican Army, federal and state police and risking their lives in this fight, and in the name of the HUNDREDS of Mexican police who have died, it is fundamental that the United States assume with deeds their corresponding responsiblity in this fight." He continued to say that the U.S. should share military and civilian intelligence and concerning Mexican criminal networks operating in the U.S.

The article concludes with statistics: 6,290 narco-related deaths in the country, and another 1,000 already in 2009. At the end of February, U.S. authorities captured 750 suspects across the United States, suspected of involvement with the Sinaloa drug cartel.

From reading other articles and from discussions, it's clear that many Mexicans lay a large part of the blame for the terrible state of affairs here at the feet of the Americans. There is a documented two-way flow: illicit drugs flow north from Mexico to the U.S. Americans are the consumers. If there were no American users buying this stuff, no market would exist. Conversely, flowing south are automatic weapons, acquired at U.S. gun shows and from disreputable gun dealers there (note recent case in Arizona). The Mexican authorities regularly show a "bust" on television with dozens of captured handguns, rifles, and high-powered weapons, all acquired from U.S. sources. Both countries are locked in this deadly two-step and it will take both to solve the problem.