Friday, February 19, 2010


One element of the new Juárez policy that deserves a bit of praise* is its relative clarity: Calderón established a timeline for implementation of the new strategy (100 days), and placed the responsibility for the federal government's activity on the shoulders of a trio of officials. These are baby steps (Calderón could have gone further in connecting implementation to specific goals; as it stands now, a 20 percent decline in murders would probably lead to the government congratulating itself for a job well done, but Juárez would still be the most dangerous city in the nation by a wide margin), and it's not clear that even a perfectly designed strategy would do a great deal to reduce violence in the short term, but this goes further than most security initiatives in establishing the criteria by which the plan and its creators can later be judged.

*Actually, much of the plan shows innovation and creativity that had been absent; unfortunately, it took two years of bloodshed to bring the newly nimble approach around.

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