Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hillary Jumps on the Comparison Du Jour

Hillary Clinton says that Mexico increasingly resembles Colombia from the 1980s, and added that Plan Colombia, while controversial, delivered results. The implication is that Mexico needs its own Plan Colombia in order to overcome the present problems.

The issue here isn't that she's wrong, exactly; Mexican security does look increasingly chaotic, all the more so when take a step back and consider the arc of the past eight years or so. But when comparing Mexico and Colombia, the differences are far more important than the similarities. Mexico doesn't have anything like the Farc, the paramilitaries, or the giant tract of jungle that is completely out of government control. It doesn't have to fight drug traffic against the backdrop of a decades-long civil war. And it is in the realm of these key differences that you can point to some success for Plan Colombia and President Uribe (i.e., the Farc was weakened), not on the Colombian security issues that are most comparable to Mexico (like cocaine production and traffic, where Colombia remains the world leader). That should give us a lot of pause.

Also, I'm not sure if this is related, but Santiago Creel and Jesús Murillo Karam today came out against a Plan Colombia for Mexico.

No comments: