Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mexican president makes impassioned defense of attack on organized crime to critics, victims

President Felipe Calderon made an impassioned defense of his military assault on organized crime in an unusual public faceoff Thursday with his biggest critics: sometimes weeping relatives of murder victims who blame the government for the bloodshed.

Poet Javier Sicilia, who lost his son to drug violence in March, opened the publicly televised exchange by demanding that Calderon take the military off the streets and apologize to victims for a failed strategy that he and others say have caused more than 35,000 deaths since Calderon took office in late 2006.

“Where are the benefits of this strategy?” Sicilia asked Calderon, ticking off a list of cases where people have gone unpunished, from drug violence to a 2009 day-care fire that killed 49 children. “You don’t have anything to show us, and we are not politicians, we are citizens.”

The meeting at Mexico City’s historic Chapultepec Castle was emotionally charged, with a mother breaking down in tears as she demanded results into the investigation of her four missing sons, and a relative of two slaying victims of drug traffickers holding back tears while he asked for an update in their case.

Sicilia said that Calderon is “obligated to apologize to the nation and in particular to the victims.”

Surrounded by grim-faced top Cabinet members and the first lady, the president pointed his finger and pounded the table to emphasize that with criminal gangs seeking to control Mexico, it would have been irresponsible not to act.

“I agree that we must apologize for not protecting the lives of victims, but not for having acted against the criminals,” Calderon said. “One thing I regret is not having sent (the military) before.”

Several people have been arrested in the March 28 slaying of Sicilia’s son, Juan Francisco Sicilia, a college student who authorities say was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Calderon repeated what has become the mantra for his administration: that criminals, not the government, are causing the violence. “Francisco was killed by criminals, not federal forces,” he said.

While the face-to-face confrontation seemed dramatic, most observers expected little to come of it.

“It’s the typical way the Mexican government has worked for decades,” said John Ackerman of the legal research institute at Mexico’s National Autonomous University. “They’re open and willing to talk and have a meeting, but from that to actually taking things into account ... is another thing.”

Some saw the public confrontation as benefiting Calderon, giving him a wide audience for his message, while Sicilia’s proposals to focus on cleaning up institutions and attacking corruption are things the government says it’s already doing.

One of the most concrete demands from his group is for a memorial that names all drug war victims.

“They don’t understand the phenomenon of drug trafficking, so they have presented a package of proposals that have nothing to do with public policy,” said columnist Raymundo Riva Palacio. “All of their proposals are emotional.”

Sicilia has organized what he calls a civil disobedience movement for peace, leading protests in Mexico City and the nearby city of Cuernavaca and a caravan to the violent border city of Ciudad Juarez, where Calderon also had an emotional meeting last year with relatives of youths killed when gunmen burst into a party and opened fire.

Sicilia’s movement announced it will send a new protest caravan to Mexico’s border with Guatemala.

Previous marches organized by other victims-rights groups in Mexico have drawn more protesters, and violence has only increased.

Calderon gave a frank assessment of what is going on in Mexico: that cartels control some areas of the country, corruption is rampant, judges are paid to let criminals go and local police are in the employ of gangs.

But he said he couldn’t wait to clean up institutions before launching an attack.

“If you can stop a crime and you only have stones, then you do it with stones,” he said.

Sicily ended his remarks by giving Calderon a scapular he received from a victim’s family along one of his marches, calling it “a sign that justice now rests with you.”

Calderon agreed to meet with the peace activists in three months, after the two exchanged an awkward hug.


  1. Calderon would perhaps be a little bit more convincing, if he would admit that HIS Mexican government/ military itself is often acting like a criminal cartel...

    “I agree that we must apologize for not protecting the lives of victims, but not for having acted against the criminals,” Calderon said. “One thing I regret is not having sent (the military) before.”

    Mexico is tired of this pretense by Calderon that his PAN government is a bunch of saints when they are no such thing. People have not forgotten at all how Calderon handled the unrest in Oaxaca, for just one example of what we are talking about here. Also, they have not forgotten how he and his party stole a fraud filled presidential election.

    Yes, so now he wants to wrap himself in the Mexican flag and talk about how he's battling criminals? But the people have not forgot that Calderon himself is basically nothing more than a head of a criminal cartel.

    Mexico is a very economically unequal and much less than democratic nation. And Calderon himself happens to be the thug the monied thugs have put into power. It is doubtful that Javier Sicilia will ever be fooled by such a person.

  2. Calle de Calderon will be the street that all the stray dogs shit in.

  3. Mexico is Mexico Socialism has never caused any government to improve the lives,economy,overal standard of living for any country that has embrased the concept. No country can prosper without Functioning institutions ,law and order, Mexico has had neither.Calderon is strong he is attempting to force Mexico into the 21st century,to reform the corruption the abuse of power and is being more sucessful than any leader Mexico has ever had.This battle must be continued forever either the State leads sets policy or the anarchy of criminal gangs destroys the entire country. Complaining that there are poor people and wealth needs to be dismantled and distributed to the masses is old hat BULL SHIT,even the communist have abandoned this Marxist dribble, IT DOES NOT WORK.

  4. With all due respect and sincere condolences to Poet Javier Sicilia for the loss of his son, if the military is pulled from fighting the criminal groups what do you think is going to happen? The criminal groups will take over every square inch of Mexico and every good person will be living under extortion... The military is Mexico's ONLY hope, without them Mexico is for sure a FAILED COUNTRY! Mexico needs to ramp up the drastic measures passing a death penalty and killing narcos on site...

  5. Mr, Anonymous 9:30, you just flat out right ignored all I mentioned about the PAN and Calderon stealing the presidential election and backing one of the most criminal state governments in Mexico, the one in Oaxaca, where the PAN accepted an entirely violent response against a legitimate protest movement by the state's autocratic one man PRI ruler.

    Calderon simply is not a man moving to establish a new democratic order in Mexico, and that's the reason that Mexicans will soon throw his party out of federal power in favor of the disgraced PRI no less! Not even the rotten Fox PAN regime managed to accomplish the political rehab of the PRI, as Calderon is well on the road to doing.

    And your dismissal of my mentioning the horribly unequal distribution of Mexico's wealth as being a principle cause of the cartels finding such fertile ground to carry out their operations as being nothing but 'Marxist dribble' show us how utterly clueless you are about Mexico's real problems. Yes, the whole world does not revolve around the drug war the US government has pushed off for Mexico to carry out on its own soil. Mexico does have even more major problems than just the drug battles going on. But you seem to not understand that, like many of the other US Right Winger posters here on BB, who only see immigration and drug war stuff as being the issues for anybody.

    And Anonymous 10:30, your advocacy for 'killing people on site'. How the hell do you know if they will just all be narcos? You don't. Do you think that a civilized country can just have cops and soldiers running around ad lib killing people on site, and then apologizing afterwards when all the inevitable what will be called mistakes occur? If so, you are sadly mistaken.

  6. I said Mexico is Mexico how does any 3rd worl country evolve,thru a functioning government,taxes and public works that actually get done instead of being sucked dry from corruption. I personally believe government itself is inherintley evil Thomas Paine,but it is necessary. Your arguments have been made for the last 200 years, during that time some countrys have been prosperous others not, there are common characteristics of the prosperous countrys and the ones that are not. Corruption and disparity of wealth exists everywhere not just Mexico these problems are agressivley managed in prosperous countrys,Mexico is in transition ,retarding this mutation is a bad thing for all of us who have a vested interest in Mexico.All responsible Mexican citizens need to understand and appreciate,support the efforts to civalize Mexico.First make it safe,make it prosperous and opportunitys will spring up the people will have chances to improve their lives ,and they will.

  7. @ Ardent,

    I'm not really sure if your able to comprehend or understand the purpose of this blog site? The articles submitted on here are..."Reporting on the Mexican Cartel drug war," it says it in the title of the blog site. So, when "right wingers" make comments on BB with regards to " immigration" and "drug war stuff," Duh! It should be no surprise. BTW..It's obvious your definition of a "right winger" is anybody, who has a difference of opinion than yours and those who are "Anglos."

    Also, there is a reason why..this blog site is in English..have you figured that part out yet! I challenge you to go visit a more "Mexican" influenced blog site that is written in Spanish like "Blog de Narco." Where the type of people, who post on there, are generally vulgar and insulting to one another. In addition, the posters on that site (BDN) are clearly not Anglos or right-wingers, so you should fit right in and you can feel better being insulted (cussed out) by a fellow Mexican, in Spanish no doubt!

  8. @Ardent,

    You can hardly call present day Mexico, as of lately, being civilized! Indeed, to some extent it is the cops who are going around killing/murdering people! How many articles have appeared on here, where Mexican law enforcement officers (from all branches) have been fired or arrested in connection with criminal drug cartel activities. One of the primary reasons why the Calderon administration activated the military to combat the problem was the civilian police force could not be trusted. What would you have done? I hear absolutely no viable solutions from you...only degrading comments about the United States! So, lets hear it more comments about "Anglos," "right wingers," and the U.S. Government..let's pretend your in charge in Mexico (God Help Us), what are you going to do, to change things...remember solutions, plans of action, not finger pointing and the "ole blame game."

  9. Since the problem is not just drug trafficking, the solutions that tackle Mexico's problems have to be way more comprehensive than just policing and military approaches to one issue. The PAN is uniquely not situated where it can take the necessary measures to tackle those other problems of import to Mexicans though. It is a party that finds its principle backing in sections of the most corrupt in Mexico... the religious and economic elites.

    Let's think some about the problem of Mexico's deficient medical programs, that barely touch those most in need, the bottom 50% of society. PAN is not going to implement better government problems, since #1- they would say that it would interfere with free enterprise to do so, and #2- The PAN will not push to actually tax the rich in Mexico to have the governmental funds to do social programs that would alleviate the worst poverty in the country. The PAN will not try to bite the hand that feeds them, and that hand is from Mexico's elites.

    Perhaps you USA AnonyMoes see this I am talking about now as all being irrelevant to the issues that this blog addresses, but that just is not the case. Think for a second....

    If you have say a family of three kids in some Mexican rural area where the ground has been overgrazed, the water is not accessible to use to irrigate, and the big farmers have hijacked all government funds that might have made some capital available to smaller farmers, what do you do? Do you try to leave your family for years and go off to the US to be hunted like you were a stray dog, so that you could send the money earned back? Do you starve and let your youngest kid die from dirty water and you having no access to the medications that would perhaps save her life? Or do you join up with the only guys offering 'employment' in the local area? And be glad that you have some money in your pocket for a change....

    Or, let's say that you are a young male teenager of 15 without any possibility of getting a good education or a job? What is Calderon and his PAN offering you? The answer is that they offer you nothing but just more of the same rural and urban poverty.

    The point I am making, is that militarizing Mexico further and setting it firmly towards a continued internal conflict for decades to come, is not a real solution to the problems of needing to tax the Mexican rich some at last, needing to create real employment with real wages, and implementing social structures that guarantee people access to education, medical care, sanitation, roads, and other services that a state should be providing, but in Mexico's case, does it at best haphazardly and most corruptly. Javier Sicilia is advocating for an approach to solving the problems of Mexico that is more comprehensive than merely drowning the country in blood.

    What American boobs seem never to understand, is that the say 10% of the Mexican population that enjoy American standards of living act like a collective barricade to keep the other 90% of Mexicans down in the mud. You USAer boobs, many of whom of you are total racists, like to come here and yelp out against fat and ugly Naco narco types because it makes you feel all superior. But to Mexicans, the upper 10% of the population are also the Big problem. US boobs, you need to look at your own economic elites. They're your real problem much more than Mexican trafficking cartels will ever be.

  10. If I had a dime for every time tArdent has been asked for solutions instead of bumping his gums against the hand that feeds him...I'd be a millionaire. I never understood people who come to this country and then turn around and badmouth it. I heard about a confrontation in a UTB class where a guy who was coming from Matamoros said that even illegals have a right to bitch and moan, that Mexico was better than the U.S., that the men in mexico act more manly, etc. etc. Well this young proud veteran told him that if he didn't stop bumpin his gums that he'd personally take him and toss him back over the river. The dude left after the whole class even the teacher went at him for insulting our nation. One thing is to criticize our government, another is to make gross generalizations about our nation's people. If it was all about generalizations then we know who is shamelessly doing nothing about anything.

  11. Then what are you doing on this blog yourself tArdent if not to open your big yapper like the rest of us you so vehemently called US boobs? Doesn't that make you one too? You're no different and these so-called observations you claim to have exclusive rights to, are nothing new, we know Mexico is fucked, it's been fucked for a long time,..that my friend is not our problem, nor should it. Our problem, if it's our kids getting offered drugs, if it's our kids getting assaulted in Mexico, if it's our kids getting kidnapped here, if it's our tax money going to the Mexican elites and not to remedy anything, if it's our banks used to launder drug money, if it's our lands used for trafficking and human smuggling, if it's our saftey being hindered...all of these things and many more..that's what has us worried, but at least we recognize this and try to improve it day by day. You don't have to tell us our system is failing, that our Border Patrol is corrupt, our sheriffs are on the payroll, etc., we know don't have to tell us the level of corruption going on in Mexico either, shit we know that too. You're the one that hardly veils his racism and then you have the gal to criticize us as if we are the problem? I've never seen you ever admit that you are part of the problem as well...Why is that? Are you a saint Ard? Why are you so special? You only come here to get a rise out of people, and most likely you'll get one from somebody and as usual all you ever get is put in your place because you offer no solutions except the usual anti-America bitch bitch bitch.

  12. Oh, boo-hoo-hoo....

    'One thing is to criticize our government, another is to make gross generalizations about our nation's people.'

    Actually I did no such thing. Not all Americans are boobs and I never ever said that they were, Anonymous 5:19.

    As to your and other BB boobs' charges that I never have any proposed solutions of my own different from the go at it with a gun booby 'solution' that you folk favor? Well that isn't true either. It's just that you clowns are all so seemingly only focused on 'what you consider to be 'law enforcement' approaches to crime that you don't listen to what's actually being said to you.

    My last post before this one proposed that Mexico tax its rich and implement programs to do away with some of the poverty and unequal distribution of wealth there, if the government wants its citizens to not to be attracted to working with the cartels??? Don't they?????

    Your ears are closed though and you hear nothing. And the PAN government hears NADA, tambien.

    Javier Siclia (as well as I could) could easily write an entire book of alternative proposals for you Right Wing dittoheads of both nations, but you guys are basically illiterate and wouldn't read it out of willful love of your own ignorance. You're more prone to accept this mentality instead.... from Anonymous 5:19 himself,.. who expresses great afan for this super militarized, machista pendejo idiot in his local community level college (UTB) classroom who ...

    'Well this young proud veteran told him that if he didn't stop bumpin his gums that he'd personally take him and toss him back over the river.'

    Your hero then! A uniformed moron for uniform morons! Whooptedoo! BB seems to attract this type of BOOB like rotten meat attracts maggots... And boobs like boob so-called solutions that don't actually work. This is exactly what the "Let's all wage war on drugs' idiocy is.

  13. People keep making reference to socialism in Mexico and it is about the farthest from socialism. You have the ultra rich few, a few middle class, and the masses which are poor. The ultra rich have no regard for the poor and really don't even need or want your support in keeping it that way. I also believe if God created a government, it would be much more socialist than capitalist as it is my understanding that He did "create us equal."

    Between the media and the ultra wealthy in the US, we are well on our way to becoming a similar nation. The conservative media in the US keeps pumping out propaganda about about capitalism, and ultimately, it will kill the US because we are losing our middle class at an alarming rate. We have a reported 10% unemployment and the US produces and manufactures less and less because the ultra rich can make more if they farm manufacturing out to other nations for pennies on the dollar. And the want to be republican followers get out and march in defense of the ultra rich capitalist every day supporting the thieves. Did you know that 5 years ago, your income needed to be $300,000 a year to benefit from republican policy. I am sure it is $400,000 a year now. Trust me, they don't want are need you defending their policies and agendas. They probably laugh at your dumb asses.

    And the media convinces the simple minded followers in the US that they need to vote and support all capitalist and conservative views because they to can become ultra rich if they do? And then, your job gets cut, you end up on unemployment, and the social programs you hated save your ass!!!!!!


  14. Normally I don't agree with Ardent, but I do this time.
    Ardent is totally right. The economic imbalance caused by the elites is the real problem. No solution will work until that is corrected.
    I will go one step beyond Ardent and write that the entire drug war is a natural and appropriate reaction to the overwhelming poverty and crime perpetrated by the elites.

  15. In Mexico the Country is Full of Conservative Uneducated peasants with very little Government.
    Until it grows up and Becomes more Liberal and Tolerant without so much religious dogma invading their thoughts, this will continue.
    Education is the key to a prosperous Mexico,
    Throw off the shackles of Conservative Backward thinking and get modernised!!!!!

  16. Anyone who has not seen the documentary film "Presunto Culpable" has no idea what is wrong in Mexico. Ardent has not seen it. If he had seen it he would have referenced it in his posts on BB.

    Ardent and anon 8:53 want to turn everything into a class struggle. They don't need to read anything or see anything or think - they have it all figured out. Redistribute wealth and all will be well. In all the lines he has written on this one article, after many insults and much name-calling, Ardent cites one "proposed solution" as being his. And what is Ardent's proposal for Mexico's problems? Tax the rich and implement programs to do away with poverty and redistribute wealth. That's it. Ardie is not big on detailed thinking.

    What he is big on is calling names (I count 9 just in his 11:17 post) and tortured, tangled syntax. Post 3:32 PM lines 2-3, "The PAN is uniquely not situated where it can take the necessary measures to tackle those other problems of import to Mexicans though."

    Post 3:32 PM, paragraph 4 is an attempt to justify the actions of poor farmers who sign up with drug dealers in order to survive. But the point is lost because it is so long and convoluted. And still Ardent would solve the farmer's dilemma by increasing his income. But what would Ardent do when the criminals robbed or extorted the farmer's money? What solution does he propose to protect the farmer's family from kidnapping?

    In the next to last paragraph of the 3:32 PM post Ardent get as specific as I have ever seen him. From the taxes of "the rich" he wants to create "real employment with real wages" - as opposed to phony employment with phony wages? He wants to engage in social engineering to be sure people can get an education. The last I heard the tuition for full time classes at the national university was around $20 per year. Ardent criticizes the government's "haphazard job" of providing infrastructure and medical services but he gives no suggestions, only complaints. He likes Javier Sicilia's "comprehensive" approach but he seems unfamiliar with it.

    In the last paragraph of 3:32 PM, Ardent renews his attack on USAer boobs and economic elites and says they are a much worse problem than Mexican drug dealers. He calls names 5 times in this paragraph alone.

    Mexico is in crisis and her problems are much bigger and more urgent than Ardent's half-assed, pseudo leftist thoughts can fathom. Class revolutions have not been seen to improve the lot of the 90% to which Ardent refers.

    Nonetheless Ardent's love for Mexico and his deep concern for her future are feelings that I share and that I suspect are shared by most BB readers. Watch "Presunto Culpable" and join their cause on Facebook.Please.





  18. Jun 26 is totally incorrect in stating that Ardent and 8:53 are presenting simplistic solutions and are more interested in personal attacks than solving problems.
    Elitism in Mexico is the essence of that country. It has been there from the beginning. The people are fed up, starved out, preyed on, and massacred by elites who provide living conditions that force people into criminality to survive. The drug cartels could never be as powerful as they are without the direct assistance and guidance of the elites.
    We are witnessing outright Mexican civil war. And as much as I hate the criminals that defy the law, I hate the elites that create the conditions of poverty even more. The common Mexican people are rising up against the elites in the form of this drug war, both illegally as drug combatants and legally in the form of Sicilia style social uprisings.
    Comprehensive social change where all individuals are created and treated equal by a fair and enforced law is the only possible solution to the Mexican drug war.

  19. THW WAR ON DRUGS IS PATHETIC.I as a mexican feel ashamed to have such a stupid,unrealistic,ignorant,selfish,overall STUPID,president.This war on drugs is and will continue to be a COMPLETE failure,just ask the united states of america what a huge amount of success they had,haha and continue to have,as the number 1 market for drugs in the world.pRESIDENT FELIPE CALDERON IM SUPRISE NOBODY HAS SHOT YOUR STUPID ASS,YOU SHOULD DO THE COUNTRY OF MEXICO A FAVOR AND COMMIT SUICIDE.I THINK EVERYONE WHO HAS LOST A FAMILY MEMBER DO TO YOUR GENIOUS ACTIONS WOULD BE HAPPY.

  20. To those here (you know who you all are!) who always criticize me for only proposing 'simplistic' solutions for Mexico here on BB, I would advise you that there is a word limit on just how much one can write on on this blog.

    You keep asking me to write you a book of alternative proposals to the one that merely advocates using soldiers and troops to militarily fight a 'drug war'. If I even begin to write such a book for you nice and pleasant folk, my post gets rejected as being way to long and does not get printed. T

    hus, I have to keep it nice and simple, for nice and simple people. BB does not want us to get too wordy, you see? However, that does not mean that there simply no alternative solutions to this US addiction for waging (and paying for) war and that poor, dumb, lost Ardent can't seem to find any. He can, but they are longer than a paragraph or two to outline for you nice pleasant people here on BB. Sorry... That's just how the blog is.

  21. Blame BB. Clever excuse but still just an excuse.

  22. I was not blaming anybody here, Anonymous 3:12. I was just pointing out that longer posts are not allowed, and since everybody wants me to write a book of 'solution' alternatives to guns and drug war battle strategy for them, I'll have a real problem getting all you good friends on the political Right a copy of it.

  23. so if unequal distribution of wealth is the basis for all the problems in Mexico...

    what do you call big time narcos who own gold plated jewel encrusted guns...and mansions..and bentlys...and tigers ..and so on..robin hoods?... economic egalitarians?

    ard tard you are a spokesman/apologist/shill for the DTO's...

    your rationalizing acceptance only serves to legitimize and make excuses for criminal behavior... and pisses on the many, many poor people who refuse to become corrupted ...

    my grandfather was as poor as any man who ever lived...and he was honest all his days ...

    does poverty explain the mayor of Pharr's sons actions ...trying to smuggle 100 pounds of mota? it dosen't

    you have overlooked greed and a culture of corruption as causative factors

    once again ard....BBRRRNNNNKKKK!!!!!!...YOU ARE WRONG

    i sometimes wonder if you are really that dumb..or if you are just pushing an agenda

    why do you never criticize the narcos ?????

  24. Soy mexicano de mucho corazon
    Me gustaria desir que este gobierno en menos 12 anos han echo mas que los 86 anos que el pri acorrumpido el pais me da lastima que no vean lo que es el cambio en un pais que era tan corrupto que tal vez sus marchas no las pudieran aver realizado y tal vez que el que mas ladra lohubieran desaparasido como solian haser que lastima que de les olvide lo q un dia mexico fue y lo q es ahora wake up people wake up life is at hard

  25. @ Tony Montana que bueno que seas " mexicano de mucho corazón" pero güey, no mames. Tu ortografía está de la chingada.

  26. ardent @ 4:18 offers more excuses for having nothing to say and for doing nothing.

    I, for one, am not your good friend. Is this your version of being nice or reasonable or something?

    If you haven't seen Presunto Culpable and you don't follow their cause on Facebook then you are just blowing hot air.


  27. Thursday with his biggest critics: sometimes weeping relatives of murder victims who blame the government for the bloodshed. cid episode 2015 dailymotion


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