For Felipe Calderon becoming president of Mexico was not easy. The new agent had to go to the Congress through the back door to take oath and prevent legislators from the opposition boycott its ceremony first possession last December.
Calderon proved to be tenacious. But such an act is nothing compared to the challenge of dealing with the big bosses of drug trafficking.
In the first act of his presidency aggressive Calderon launched “Operation Michoacan,” a strategy to rescue the country from the drug lords. He began in his home state of Michoacan, where they have committed 50 percent of drug-related crimes in recent times.
Seven thousand federal agents and military personnel were deployed to control the violence. For 22 days, the mission yielded a total of 80 arrests and the destruction of almost 600 acres of marijuana plantations.
The border city of Tijuana, Baja California, became the second battle front with more than 3 thousand soldiers and federal agents. They face other challenges. According to the Attorney General drug traffickers have been “seized Tijuana.” The city is now one of the main destinations for drugs smuggled across the border into the United States from Central and South America and other parts of Mexico.
Drug use is also growing. The Mexican authorities say they have identified just in Tijuana at least 8 thousand “shops” or “riding schools where drugs are readily available. But perhaps most disturbing is the fact that drug cartels have penetrated successfully in public and private institutions. Disturbing but not surprising.
The drug-related corruption in Mexico has been rampant for decades. It is no secret that the drug barons have enjoyed the protection of officials at the highest levels of government and the army.
In February 1997, then-President Ernesto Zedillo was put in an embarrassing situation of having to order the detention of its own drug czar, General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, for its connections with the Juarez cartel.
While President Vicente Fox boasts of success in its war against drugs, the reality is that violence has increased during the six years of his presidency. Thousands were arrested, including a few big fish, but some continued to control the business from prison and emerged smaller groups fighting for control of the routes of drugs that were neglected.
The send thousands of troops to Nuevo Laredo in 2005 to combat violence generated by drugs in the so-called “mother of all battles” was counterproductive for Fox. Not only because the violence continued, but because the local police ended face to the military.
According to the Public Security Commission of the Chamber of Deputies occurred about 9 thousand executions related to drug trafficking during the six years of Fox, an average of four per day.
Calderon warns that his fight against drugs will be long and costly and could result in loss of life. Have a plan of action that includes the use of the army and navy to strengthen local police and federal agencies. He promised pay raises to the military and harsher sentences for kidnappers and narcos.
However, it will be competing with the long arm of the drug trade and its deep pockets. His biggest challenge will be to prevent further corruption in the law enforcement agencies, to pursue those who hide behind their credentials to protect drug traffickers and sold to the highest bidder.
por: el Mensajero