Dispatches From The Badlands

Status of Mexico's Drug War

Author: Robert Arnold, Investigative Reporter, rarnold@kprc.com
Published On: Jul 12 2012 11:51:22 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 12 2012 12:04:37 PM CDT
Washington, DC -

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a report Thursday peppered with warnings about Mexico's continued battle against the drug cartels.

While the report praises outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderon's efforts against the cartels, the Committee notes "the horrific tactics utilized by the criminal organizations to intimidate both their rivals and the authorities have burned deeply into the Mexican public consciousness." (the Committee made special note of an instance where a pig's head was sown on to the torso of a human body). The Committee also explains that while a majority of Mexicans support their country's efforts, many "doubt whether their government will prevail."

This is where the Committee recommends that Mexico shift the focus of its tactics from "capo (boss)-centric" to more of a protecting the safety and security of civilians from cartel violence approach. The report states Mexican citizens "doubt" comes from, "the government's inability to clamp down on the hyper-violence occurring in certain parts of Mexico." Mexican President Elect, Enrique Pena Nieto has already gone on record saying he plans to shift his country's efforts more toward safety and security of civilians, rather than the majority of efforts being placed on dismantling the command and control structures of the cartels.

The Committee's report also calls on the US to continue both logistical and financial support of Mexico's efforts. The Committee recommends Congress  "ensure adequate, sustained funding, ideally at $250 million a year for the next four years." This money comes from the Merida Initiative started under President George W. Bush. There are several other observations and recommendations in the Committee's report so I've included copy of the full report on this post.