LatinaLista — The day before yesterday in Culiacan, Sinaloa seven federal agents were killed, presumably at the hands of the Sinaloa drug cartel.
In spite of this loss of life, the Attorney General of Mexico, Eduardo Medina Mora, assured a reporter during an interview that “although it doesn’t seem like it, all Mexicans are winning and are going to win” in combatting drug trafficking.”
Mexican federal agent reinforcements arrive in Culiacan.
(Source: La Jornada)
Medina Mora is correct when he says “it doesn’t seem like it.” The public murder of federal agents whose jobs are to root out and arrest these powerful drug traffickers almost seems too much for Mexican authorities to handle by themselves.
It’s no wonder they asked for monetary help from the US government. The money would surely help a cash-strapped government combat groups that appear better equipped with both weapons and manpower bought with the profits of illegal drug running.
Yet, it seems that no amount of money is worth being held accountable to another country.
Congress is set to pass a final aid package to Mexico called the Merida Initiative, but Congress has attached some strings to the package and revised it to the point that it riles the pride of Mexican politicians.
The original initiative was supposed to help Mexico obtain helicopters, improve intelligence sharing, and reduce the smuggling of high-powered weapons from the U.S. to Mexico. The Mexican government was supposed to receive $500 million the first year.
Yet, Congress reduced the amount to $350 million the first year and the kind of helicopters they want to help Mexico with are “used” helicopters.
It’s not the first time the US has given Mexico used helicopters. It was done once before and Mexico ended up having to return them because so many of them were crashing.
Also, Congress doesn’t want to hand the money over unless Mexico agrees to allow the US to “evaluate” how well they’re not only combatting drug traffickers but also addressing human rights abuses, judicial reforms and other issues.
Needless to say, coming from a country that sanctions the existence of Guantanamo Bay, Mexican officials are offended by the added stipulations.
It cuts to the very core of national pride and sovereignty. After all, no country likes to be told by another what to do. We don’t stand for it. Why should they?
Mexico is right to feel offended but there is a big difference. Mexico has a problem that is escalating out of control. It’s no longer confined to the traditional “turf areas.” It’s seeped into the suburbs of Mexico City and other major metropolitan towns, into the tourist spots and it flaunts its disrespect of law enforcement and authority.
Mexican officials need to put machismo pride aside and look at the bigger picture, but Congress also should reinstate the original promises of the Merida Initiative which Presidents Bush and Calderon agreed upon.
And while Mexico should be enraged that strings are attached to the aid package, they should be more enraged at themselves that they’ve allowed a minority culture of corruption to flourish and thrive in their country.
Congress should make Mexico accountable for human rights abuses and implementing judicial reforms and they should go one step farther â€” demand that Mexican officials root out and stop the most horrendous crime of the country that has been going on for the past 15 years â€” the Juarez murders.
Unless these strings are attached, it’s been proven that Mexican officials will exert little willpower to remedy these wrongs. For example, after 15 years, it’s curious that still no one has been identified as the culprits behind the killings of these young girls.
If $500 million lies in the balance, perhaps then Mexican officials will address Juarez and the other issues and finally resolve them with a little more speed â€” and in the process, clean up a country whose people have been waiting all their lives for their leaders to do.