Sunday, April 11, 2010

American Analysts on Felipe's Priorities

Via Matt Yglesias, Mark Kleiman on Mexico's drug problem:
Fighting “drugs” or “drug trafficking” is as meaningless as fighting “terror.” Real enemies have proper names. Two of the Sinaloa group’s rivals – the Gulf group and Los Zetas, which is more a private army than a drug-trafficking organization – pose comparable threats. Perhaps there are one or two more names that belong on that list. Mexican and U.S. enforcement should focus on those groups, and on the groups on the U.S. side of the border who handle their drugs, to the exclusion of every other drug trafficker in Mexico. And if Sinaloa is winning the war just now, then it ought to be at the top of the priority list. Any organization that is just dealing drugs, and isn’t shooting at cops and journalists and citizens, needs a good leaving-alone.
Kleiman admits to not studying Mexico's security issues too closely, and it shows a bit, chiefly in the fact that there are no major gangs who avoid killing cops and intimidating reporters and corrupting government officials. Also, for the past few months the report has been that Tony Tormenta's Gulf gang has been allied with Chapo. But he's absolutely right that Calderón would do well to follow a set of guidelines to determine which gang is the foremost priority rather than treating them all the same or bouncing his crosshairs haphazardly from one gang to another, a point I've made on a couple of occasions in the past few months.

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