Friday, May 13, 2011

Calderón with Charlie Rose

Calderón appeared on Charlie Rose the other night. I haven't watched the full thing there, but at some point, Calderón used Colombia as an explanation of why he expected the levels of violence to go down soon. This was wrongheaded for a number of related reasons. A) Colombia is not a good model for Mexico for a million different reasons; B) Using such a crude cause and effect --i.e. after ten years of trying hard, Colombia reduced violence; we've been trying super-hard for five years, so a similar reduction is just around the corner-- practically requires you to overlook variables that have a significant impact on security; C) We can't really know how gangs will react to government strategies; even if the strategy is wisely plotted and wildly successful (neither of which would you be likely to say about Calderón's), the gangs may decide to keep on killing people. There is only so much the government can do to engineer drops in the murder rate, so Calderón's comment reflects hope and faith more than anything.

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