Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Businessmen Call for a Truce

A business group in Tamaulipas has called for a truce between the federal government and the drug gangs:
We ask [Calderón] for a truce and for an exchange of military helicopters for tractors so as to make the rural areas more productive, to trade machine guns for credits for businesses, and to exchange each detonated grenade for a job.
If only it were so simple. I understand their exasperation, and it's only natural that they look to the government to fix what's broken, but I don't see how the government would be able to make Tamaulipas more peaceful by calling off the dogs. The reason for the spike in violence is the split between the Zetas and the Gulf. If the government was powerful enough to make them bury the hatchet, it would probably be more able to tamp down on the violence to start off with. Which is to say, easing up on pursuit would not likely have more than a marginal impact on crime. Given that, aside from being irresponsible, calls for a truce run counter to the interest of legitimate businessmen. More on this later.

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