Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Creel Interview

Milenio's Sunday mag had a long interview with Santiago Creel last week, in which they touched on his security proposals:
On the issue of security, what would be your proposals?
Summarizing isn't easy, but I will try: I think the first thing is to set the federal house in order with a Secretary of the Interior [as distinct from the Secretario de Gubernación; I usually translate the two interchangeably]. In Europe or South America, where there are medium successes on security issues, they have secretaries of the interior that gather all of the responsibilities that have to do with federal public security. If today we ask ourselves which agency in Mexico is responsible for federal public security, it's not clear, and I don;t think many cooks make a good soup.

Are we talking about a unified police command?
Yes, but under a system of one police, which will allow us to organized the Tower of Babel that we have: the 400,000 police officers uncoordinated in the state and local police. Another of the fronts would be the direct combat, but at the finances of organized crime. We can't just continue with the captures, no matter how big or important the capos are; we have to go after their money. That money is worth some $25 billion a year.

Why hasn't that happened?
One more: I proposed an initiative in the combat of money laundering, we already approved it in the Senate and it was going to be approved in the Chamber of Deputies. Once this happens, along with the [asset-seizure law], I am convinced that the state will have the necessary tools to identify and confiscate the assets of organized crime. A third important element of my security plan has an international dimension: let's imagine that there are no producer countries to the south nor the great consumer market to the north. What would we have? A Mexico without violence.
The point about the lack of coordination regarding security is well taken, but another cabinet post and another layer of bureaucracy doesn't seem to be the answer to me. It would be better to just informally subordinate all of the relevant positions to one Secretario de Gubernación and let it be known that he has your ear.

Regarding the "international dimension", it isn't clear to me that he is proposing anything, the conclusion he draws is both logically flawed and based on an absurd premise--if there wasn't any greed and hate and jealousy, there probably wouldn't be any violence in Mexico, either, but what do we get out of pointing that out?

As far as the unified command, here's my skeptical take.

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