"I know that the armed forces are not acting inappropriately, although there have been some cases," said Interior Minister Fernando Gómez Mont, who is responsible for coordinating security operations across Mexico. "The government honestly believes that. There is no incentive for abuse."The phrasing of the bolded part completely destroys the credibility of the sentiment, although perhaps he was speaking in a language with which he is not entirely comfortable. The final sentence is certainly correct; allowing a brutalizing army (even if only periodically so) to operate when a professional one would be much more effective is a mistake. Again, this isn't something Mexico's political leaders can fix overnight, but Mexico could be doing a much better job of addressing this. That is, unless you believe the gist of the recent Charles Bowden piece on Mexico, which will have to wait until tomorrow.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
More Reports of Abuse
The Washington Post's story on abuses by the Mexican military reads like a mini version of the Human Rights Watch report on the same subject, which is to say, it's disturbing. Obviously, changing a military culture is not an easy task, and it's made even trickier by Calderón's reliance on the army, but the article sure leaves you with the feeling that Mexico's isn't taking this problem seriously, as did the HRW report. Take this response from Fernando Gómez Mont: