Tuesday, August 17, 2010

False Choice

One element of the BGC poll published in Excélsior that I take issue with is the list of choices as far as the best approach to take with regard to organized crime. The biggest problem is that legalization and an aggressive frontal attack do not constitute an either/or proposition. Legalizing marijuana means potentially undercutting a major source of Mexican gangs' income, so in that sense it's not an alternative to an aggressive stance, it would be a major part of one. Similarly, legalization tomorrow doesn't mean that Chapo and the rest will disappear, so legalization alone is not a sufficient short-term approach. Even if it turned out to be a wild success, legalization is a medium- or long-term solution; it won't do anything about Juárez in 2010. Likewise, another of the options mentioned by Excélsior --tolerating the non-violent gangs while attacking the violent ones-- isn't a broad definition of government policy, but would rather be a logical guide to establishing priorities, and not one that is necessarily in conflict with legalization or a Calderonista approach.

This strict categorization of approaches to security represents a broader lack of innovation and creativity to security in Mexico.

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