Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Some Gangs Are Worse than Others

Linking to a piece by Denise Maerker, Boz mentioned on his Twitter feed yesterday that in the past, Calderón was criticized for ignoring Sinaloa, and now he's being increasingly encouraged to do just that. A recent piece by Jorge Fernández Menéndez implicitly makes a similar argument.

I've long thought that differentiating between the gangs and their various approaches to mafia operations is a good idea. But a discriminating approach to the various criminal gangs needs to be coupled with a more effective communications strategy for two big reasons. Politically, if Calderón had explained why, for instance, the Zetas were more dangerous than Chapo and Mayo and deserved more of the government's immediate attention, then he could help move the debate beyond the inevitable accusations of protection (which, at least in theory, would be untrue) or favoritism (which would, strictly speaking, be correct), and the subsequent denials. Furthermore, making clear what that the gangs had done to earn the greater share of the government's attention would discourage such behaviors from other gangs, and hopefully lead to a safer pattern of interaction between criminals and the government.

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