Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Note from the Newspaper

El Siglo de Torreón had an interesting note on the front page of yesterday's paper:
Attacks by organized crime on the civilian population have multiplied in the Laguna and while authorities offer to combat crime, criminals are a step ahead of good intentions in launching their blows.

Forty-six civilians have died in four multiple homicides since January. A dozen more have fallen in crossfire. More than fifty innocent victims haven't been enough so that the three levels of government end their differences and begin working jointly and stop evading their responsibilities regarding the failure in combating crime.

The violence that is shaking La Laguna doesn't recognize borders. The criminals cross state and municipal lines while political actors hand out blame along party lines.

What bloody event has to occur for them to understand the gravity of what is going on in La Laguna? How many more deaths, President Calderón, Governors Moreira, Hernández Deras, Mayors Olmos, Calderón, and De la Torre?

The population of the Laguna is ready to participate, the question is whether our authorities are as well.
What makes this more striking is that El Siglo is not, in my experience, given to Excélsior-style, self-righteous calls to action.

I also think it's worth noting that while El Siglo is right in its diagnosis of the government's unwillingness to take insecurity sufficiently seriously, separate it from politics, and work as a whole, it's also not quite clear that the civilian population is ready to participate constructively. Rightly or wrongly, there is an enormous trust deficit between the governors and the governed, which makes it difficult at this point for the population to get 100 percent behind any government action, which is a significant barrier to an effective crime policy. Of course, a concerted effort from all realms of government lasting several years would probably do wonders in fostering trust among the general population, but I don't imagine it would be an overnight improvement.

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