In Mexico, there are regions in which the society and the economy have been "narcotized." This doesn't been that they've been overcome by drugs but rather that their daily functioning can't be conceived of without the role that drugs play in the community relationships.The thing is, even accepting Raphael's conclusion, I'm not sure that makes Calderón's strategy wrong. Whether the society is indistinguishable from the drug trade or only partially dependent on it, the first step still needs to be weakening the cartels. You can disagree with tactics, but there is no victory that isn't predicated on lower-profile, more defensive trafficking organizations. In any event, there's no Looking for Relative Victories while Losing the War on Drugs for Dummies that Calderón or anyone else can consult, so everybody is traveling without a map.
Those that put in motion Calderón's [anti-drug] operation knew this fact. They well knew that they weren't going after a solitary tumor, but rather against an extended cancerous web well rooted in the social body.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Mexico's Medical Problem
Ricardo Raphael compares Mexico's drug problem to fighting a metastasized cancer, and says President Calderón's strategy --which he compares to a big knife-- is more apt for attacking a tumor. The metaphor is imperfect, but his basic point is correct.