Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Why It's Not Our War

Saturday, October 9, 2010 |

Source: Proceso
In order for dangerous drugs not not reach your children President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa (FCH) launched a war against drug traffickers three years ago. Since then, we Mexicans have become convinced that the war we need is another one: a war against crime for those who rob us, who kidnap us, who extort us and who kills us.

The President must have heard something or read our consensus, because he has changed his rhetoric since September of this year, he no longer refers to the "war on drugs" but a "war against crime" and he has called for "this is a struggle to be taken by the entire society."

At the same time, semantics aside, the response of his war continue to be identical to the ones in the past; it is a response against the drug kingpins but not a response against the crime that deprives us of our heritage, our freedom and of our very own life.

That is why the president's war continues to be his war.

What is the displacement between the president and the society? What stands in the way between him and us when the public debate becomes a dialogue of the deaf?

Simple: reality intervenes.

A reality that is best understood when it is decrypted. These are the numbers from the war that the president is claiming he is winning, in his own words: "In three and a half years we have seized drugs with a value equivalent to 10 billion dollars ... And in three years and a half 125 drugpins and lieutenants have fallen ... and 5,108 sicarios have been either arrested or killed."

In other words, these are the numbers of the war that the Mexican people have been subjected to. In three and a half years the rates of crime directed against the citizens of Mexico under the government of Calderón have remained almost stable, reaching between 1.4 and 1.6 million crimes. Almost stable: after three and half years of war, of the 28,000 people killed and 10 billion dollars spent on his war, the crimes against the citizens have fallen a mere 1.5%.

For that reason, it's a sad fact that the president's war continues to be his war and not ours.

Is it not the same criminals who transport and sell the drug and those who rob us, extort us and kidnap us citizens? Reality has shown that they are not.

To use a metaphor used frequently by the experts: the cartels are the big whales of the ocean that illegally surround our society, the little fish that follow circling each whale are the groups of people who commit the crimes against the citizens. While the whales are too busy with the lucrative business of transporting drugs into the United States, sometimes they use the small fishes but not all the time, they just let them do their petty crimes. But in more than one occasion the bosses have offered the federal government to get rid of them in exchange for a truce.

Remember the deals that the government made in 2009 with "La Tuta," then leader of " La Familia" in Michoacan or Arturo Beltran Leyva in Morelos, or the narco messages that appeared in some of the victims that were executed "for being thieves and kidnappers" in Mexico City. How the federal government responded to the offer of the capos was "we don't negotiate" in a brave tone and "we are not afraid" in an angry tone.

And because we do fear, the president's war remains his war.

The fact that the drug war is really only being waged by the military is well-known by all. Our police have been infiltrated by crime. There has not been one kidnapping case where "at least one police officer is not an accomplice" (Isabel Wallace), and it is estimated that "one out of two police officers are colluding with crime" (Alejandro Gertz Manero).

Then the president launches the full force of the military against the narco, of which he is obsessed with, and leaves us citizens in the hands of these cops which even he doesn't trust.

The truth is that people after being robbed, extorted or kidnapped have no one to turn to. The though of reporting the crime to the police is sort of macabre joke. We know that the reporting a crime has little chance of success when a detention is estimated to be at only 7% and less chance of a sentence which is estimated to be only at 2%.

On the other hand we know that the reporting of crime has the opportunity to become a new robbery, thanks to the information we provide to the police. That is why surveys estimate that 80% of crimes go unreported.

And there is the president with his epic war of major confrontations between generals and drug lords and here we are stranded in a wasteland of lawless with a double enemy, the "minor" criminal thugs (little fish) and terrible corrupt police.

If President Calderón wants his war to be our war, he needs to do more than to change the meaning of his rhetoric.

He must indeed change the target of the war: to focus on the safety of citizens as a new target.

An objective that has a criteria that defines success as the actual reduction of crimes against individuals and not the amount of drug seized or the number of capos or sicarios that have fallen. And to change the target he would have to change his response.

For example he must begin to radically clean the police forces, which perhaps can only be achieved for now by replenishing the police with soldiers, until a new generation of officers can be trained and become operational.

For example, multiply by 20 the efficiency in which the reporting of a crime becomes an apprehension of the criminal and results in a just sentence.

As such it will be a war against impunity and the safety of every citizen, Mr. president that would be another war.

And, yes, then and only then, it would be our war.

Share it:

32 Borderland Beat Comments:

ab cabrito said...

really good insight ...well written article

Anonymous said...

"Proceso" magazine is the same whose editorial director had a very condescending interview with el Mayo Zambada, one of the most wanted drug traffickers of Mexico and the US.

That alone should say a lot about the nature of their editorial pieces.

http://www.proceso.com.mx/rv/modHome/detalleExclusiva/78067

Anonymous said...

^condescending in the Spanish meaning = "Acomodarse por bondad al gusto y voluntad de alguien."

Buela Chivis said...

and from the asshole who cannot control his own country...freely tell us how to handle ours..

CALDERON'S TAKE ON THE PROP 19 MARIJUANA LAW

http://washingtonindependent.com/100173/mexican-president-argues-against-legalizing-marijuana#more-100173

Anonymous said...

Bullshit. Slice it any way you want - there is no law in Mexico - people are not safe in Mexico. Kidnapping is big business in Mexico - in the US kidnapping will get you life in prison. Mexico has no legal way of confiscating drug money in bank accounts. Why not?

I stopped reading Proceso because of their negative, condescending approach to everything. Like, "we're more intelligent than any of you peons and we're the only ones who have a true understanding of anything".

Mexico is on fire and Proceso wants to sit and parse words. They are also masters of the obvious. "The truth is people....have no one to turn to". No shit Sherlock! Duh.

ab cabrito said...

bwala C...YESSS...I AGREE...what a hypocritical culero calderon is ...mexico has legalized possession of small amounts of mota ...so consumption is legal now...don't want to kill the market...but this asshole wants it to stay illegal in the USA...to keep those prices up...when i read what he said i was incensed....what a fukn prick ...now we see whos side this asshole is really on...obviously he is for the cartels , especially his funding partners the sinaloas...legalizing pot in the USA is tantamount to kneecapping the pot profits...i am really starting to this thing now...chapo is barely touched ...the Z is allowed to operate ...and the rest of the narcos are getting fucked...that translates into big money y muscle for his gang/party(PAN)...when election time comes...PAN will call in the vouchers...


I am originally from a very corrupt part of the USA..I remember when the election workers would pass out money , whiskey, and also intimidate voters into voting a certain way....i can see this happening in Mexico...big time, next election

it is just Irish politics... con salsa

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I don't see mexico changing their ways. There are so many problems with that country it seems impossible. These are some of the things they would have to change.

People need to develop a respect for the law. That goes for both the police and the citizens, without which their country could never be free of this plague.

The people need to have the right to bear arms. An unarmed society is already doomed to fall prey to both criminals and their own government.

The country needs to re-develop or re-think what its real values and virtues are or should be because at the moment it seems they've been forgotten or are non-existent.

Stop pointing the finger at somebody else. Both our countries are guilty of the current plight on our societies, whether it's the criminalization of drugs which has only resulted in a prison industry to flourish as well as the rise of crime by those who use and sell it. We have to take responsibility for what's happening.

Anonymous said...

I get a kick out of all these ignorant rants.

Anonymous said...

calderon doesnt want drugs to be made legal in the U.S. becuase mexico has made billions off of the drug business. yet calderon declared a war on drugs which he now calls the war on crime yet their is no capital punishment and in mexico it is not illegal to go to jail for getting caught with small amounts of drugs. this president is a hypocrite in every way.

Anonymous said...

no mamenazes

Anonymous said...

The war on drugs was declared by Nixon.
i think you need to quit drinking the Republican/Teabag cool aid somewhat.

Anonymous said...

Over and over it said Calderon's war.
The option it offered was for Calderon to clean up this and fix that. Hey pendejo, that's still Calderon owning the deal.

Over and over the answer is unsaid but is there plain as day.

IT IS EVERYBODY'S WAR.

This same stuff will continue until leadership, Calderon must get off his high horse and enjoins with the people (marries up with them) and TOGETHER they go forward against this evil.

Anonymous said...

Although Calderon initially it was a war against drugs and corruption, he was very clear to state the objective was not just about drugs. He stated the drugs will continue, supply meets demand here there and everywhere. What he said from the beginning was AT THE VERY LEAST his goal was to "do housekeeping" by weeding out corrupt offcials and officers and knock drug violence down to size where eventually with new police forces, it can be handles by local and state agencies not federal police and military roaming the streets.

I'm not a die hard Calderon fan, but I give him credit for doing what no President has ever attempted to do before him.

Yes, he's been in office and is not over half of his term. Somehow though, I think the decades of Mexico's woes are going to take a bit more than 1 President's term to "cure".

How long will it take, who the hell knows. What I do know is that it would happen a lot quicker if the country would unite and work together against this bullshit instead of playing PRI-PAN political cards and sitting around waiting for one man to sweep through and create a miracle.

People seem to fail to realize if this President fails,(or any for that fact) the country takes a hit and fails as well. So you don't like Calderon, okay. What do you want to do, wait another 3 years doing nothing and see if the next guy can make a better go at it in his 6 years? and another, and another. How many more "failures" can Mexico honestly take?

foreignpress said...

The Mexican people must learn a lesson from the Russians of World War II. Every Russian -- man, woman, and child -- was either armed or knew how to pull a trigger. That is how they defeated the Nazi. In a way it was horrible genocide, but the war was won. An armed people's revolt is the only way the cartels will be upended and destroyed.

MJ said...

Who started the war? It was way, way a very long time ago. Not in the 21st Century and nor was the A.D too. It was in the B.C. that started it. It is part of our tradition in the world historic, so who knows when the war in the world will stop.

Buela Chivis said...

@ Cabrito

Calderon is a hypocrite. Mx not only legalizes MJ but all drugs for "personal use" similar to Colombia circa 1994...So his slap-down to Cali is difficult to make sense of.

Calderon has not been all bad and in line up with those assholes who came before I will say he is the better of all assholes. That said, there is no resonable explanation why he would want speak out against prop 19..unless.....

PS

I am guessing you are from Chicago?

"lito cabrito said...

ya'll is some simple minded fools to blame the crime and corruption in Mexico, on the USA...
since the days of the Aztecs the strong violent men have ran over the more peaceful people, this is just a new version, kidnapping, rape, murder, robbery,and extortion have nothing to do with drug users in the USA, but they are a major activity of a lot of the criminals in Mexico, shaking down the taco stand or the shosehine guy or the chiclets guy, is not the fault of the USA, i agree they make a lot of money transporting drugs, but it is not the only business, when you have a dis-armed defenseless population they will always fall victim to the armed criminal, whether it is Aztecs with clubs or culeros con pistoles, that combined with an largely untrained , low paid , no benefits police force, sets the stage....plus governors and other "elected"officials who take bribes from big time criminals and are only concerned about robbing the people as much as possible.... in Mexico you pay a mordida for about any activity, it may be a small amount , or a lot, that is the way it works, you get a ticket, pay your way out of it, you need a permit? buy it, a cop see's your dog shit on the street ,you gonna pay him...you park your car on the street, a street guy offers to watch your car, you don't give him 10 pesos, the next time he sees your car , he is gonna bust your window out...it is easy for all you people who know nothing about Mexico to blame the USA, but you are wrong...blame the endemic corruption of the Mexican system, and the unarmed population,the desperation of a lot of the people there ... then maybe you can start to understand...to put it into proper context a lot of officials have little choice , when offered plata o plomo , either take the money ,or see your family killed, who do you complain to , the police? they may be paid off as well...do you start to see how pot heads in the USA have less and less to do with it now...when guns are denied the common man only outlaws have guns, and soon even the honest police are overcome...go live there and you will see, it will slowly sink in, the least reason is the drug business, it is just a symptom not the cause

boing said...

big time crime got it's start both in mexico and the usa during the first prohibition ( alcohol)

obviously prohibition is good for crime ...that is why calderon wants it to stay illegal in the usa

he gets a cut, and don't want to see a profit drop...

Anonymous said...

I actually think President Calderon is doing a fine job. Way better than Fox or the PRI douchebags.

Buela Chivis said...

@ anon 10:14

PRI aside, post a short list of reasons you say Calderon is doing a fine job. I feel he is better but comparatives not counting...specifically?

Geo said...

It's not Mexico's war, it is an attack on Mexico by the United States by the meth addicts. The US is assassinating Mexico to feed its drug, not Mexico's, drug addictions.

La violencia ha robado el alma del pueblo

http://borderzine.com/2010/09/la-violencia-ha-robado-el-alma-del-pueblo/

This is a really well written article
Thanks

Buela Chivis said...

Dang!CABRITO!

I find your rant; worthy insight & articulation

Buela thumbs up

Buela said...

@ anyone

ok...I must ask what fuck is Calderon doing in this foto?

Ovemex said...

@buela:

Playing the harmonica??? That's what I thought, at least.

Buela said...

@ Ovemex
the front edge looks too narrow..?

Anonymous said...

ya dejen de chingar al presidente este problema viene de muchos anos atras, todo se lo debemos al PRI esten senor mis repetos se amarro los pantalones para empezar esta guerra su unico error fue no medir las consecuencias y no tomar medidas necesareas ,pero por algo se empieza y dejen de quejarse que to do el pais de mexico incuyendoa mi fuimos los que creamos este mostruo del narcotrafico saben por que por que siempre dejamos al PRI EN el poder y quisiera equivicarme ,pero casi estoy seguro que el PRI va aganar las proximas eleccione gracias a quie a to do el pueblo de mexico que no se nos quita lo estupido ,nosotros entendimos mal el refran de zapata preferimos vivir de rodillas que morir peleando, saludos a todo soy mexicano hasta los huesos y me duele todo esto que esta pasando pero nosotros somos los culpables de todo no el presidente y yo no soy de ningun partido

"lito cabrito said...

@buela:

jajajaa...i agree with ovemex...he is either playing the harp....or doing some lines from off his iphone...he looks sinister with the raise eyebrows...kinda like an old nixon look...jajaja

"lito cabrito said...

@ geo

it is not just Mexico...the house down the road from me just burned a few days ago...why?...you guessed it ...cookin' the stuff...some of these pinche madres look like the walking dead ..like the zombie movies...and talk about DESPERATE ...some of these culeros stripped the metal from the outside of the building they was livin in to sell it to feed their jones...AND IT WAS WINTER TIME ...JAJAJAJ...fuckn crazy pendejos...chinga madres wave at you when you drive by...but all creepy like ...like beckoning you in....uuuuurrrhhhhh!!!!!...all hollow eyed and scabby lipped ....geeeekkkkk!!!!!

Ovemex said...

@anonymous 3:58 p.m.

Mis respetos

I take my hat off to you, Sir.

Saludos

Anonymous said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101008/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_drug_war_mexico_president

spettatore said...

How about the problem of hypocrisy/bureaucracy on both sides of border? It couldn't be clearer that the US Government (bureaucracy), from Obama on down the chain, considers the drug problem to be primarily in MX. What the hell has US done in the way of strong action to shut down the drugs streaming over the border from the plazas? What has US done strongly about the avalanche of weapons, ammo, and even military equipment (grenades, RPGs) pouring over the border to MX?

Essentially the US response has been MIA.

Anonymous said...

Cabrito - very, very well put!!!

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;

borderlandbeat@gmail.com