Monday, June 21, 2010
Jorge Castaneda: Mexico Cannot Win Without U.S. Advisors
U.S. Marine Corp advisor in Colombia
The former Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs said that without a broad alliance with the United States winning the war on drugs will be impossible.
Mexico's former foreign minister, Jorge Castañeda, said that the country can not win the drug war without a plan like the one implemented in Colombia, which would mean the acceptance of U.S. military advisers on Mexican territory and other conditions such as a major improvement in the human rights records of Mexico’s military and police forces.
Mexico has been traditionally extremely sensitive to the presence of any foreign military or any type of intervention within its borders.
Castañeda participated on Monday with a keynote speech addressing the difficulties of the struggle against organized crime by the Calderon administration at the Binational Forum "The challenges of insecurity and violence Mexico - United States" held in Mexico and attended by officials from both countries.
"If there is no Mexican equivalent to Plan Colombia we can not win the war" he said.
Plan Colombia is the name of the U.S initiative to curb drug trafficking and re-establish the rule of law in Colombia through mainly military and counter-narcotic assistance.
Castañeda noted that U.S. aid, as in the case of Colombia, is subject to certain conditions, including those relating to compliance with human rights standards in military and police operations.
In Colombia, he said, there has been an average of one thousand U.S. advisers in the last ten years. The equivalent number for Mexico in terms of the higher population would be to have three thousand U.S. advisors.
He also noted the vast difference in the flow of resources to both countries to combat organized crime and said the 1.3 billion dollars pledged to Mexico through the Merida initiative is grossly inadequate for the task.
“Plan Colombia has received eight billion dollars in 10 years for a country two and a half times smaller than Mexico” he said.
Not all of the pledged aid promised thru the Merida initiative has been funded by the U.S. Congress due to budgetary problems and also restrictions on some of the aid due to human rights violations by the Mexican military.
"The American condition was that you have to remove the immunity from military justice for violations of human rights”. “Is the army going to accept this condition after what happened in Tamaulipas? " he asked.