Just as the grandchildren of Canadian rum-runners who made their pile during Prohibition in the U.S. are now both wealthy and respectable, the same sort of development can be expected with Mexican drug-runners. To reach that happy ending, however, Mexico will have to get past a couple of crisis points.
That's exactly the right frame of mind one needs to take a reasonable look at the Mérida Initiative. In just these two sentences, Cooper either implicitly or explicitly makes three important and often neglected points: 1) Mexico is not doomed; 2) dismantling not just a cartel but the cartels is a generational struggle, not something likely to result from three years of American aid; and 3) Mexico now faces a crisis, which American policy-makers should feel obliged to alleviate. Of course, for rum-running Canadian families to turn permanently honest, we had to legalize booze. That's not going to happen with any popular recreational drug any time soon.
Also, the Chicago Tribune weighs in with an endorsement of the Mérida Initiative, and thankfully avoids the delusional language employed yesterday by the Miami Herald.