Saturday, August 27, 2011

More Reaction to Monterrey

Greg Weeks and Malcolm Beith had some interesting thoughts. The latter:
Calderón is right to point the finger at the United States, but not at this particular moment in time. Drug consumption in the United States was not what allowed the attack in Monterrey to occur. The total impunity that reigns in Mexico -- due to the failure of police and security forces to maintain any semblance of trustworthy authority, the dragging speed of reform in the police forces, and the absence of any investigative capacity or will whatsoever -- is responsible for this atrocity. And Calderón's inability to admit fault or honestly describe the sorry state of his signature initiative is exactly what is making it so difficult for him to convince Mexicans of anything, including the notion that his party should remain in office next year.
With regard to Calderón, he needs to distinguish between proximate and fundamental causes, and recognize which of the two he has control over. The US's drug demand is the latter; Mexico's inability to secure convictions on more than 2 percent of the crimes that take place, its inability to control the nation's prisons, its unwillingness to punish political support for organized crime, its failure to move decisively against the financial networks of criminal groups, et cetera, et cetera--those are proximate causes over which Calderón has a fair amount of control. And though he has made some progress, his government hasn't done enough to address these problems. In contrast, there's not much at all that Calderón can do about American drug demand, other than complain. Even if he is logically consistent and his complaints are entirely fair, they don't amount to an effective response.


Don Gringo said...

Bullshit - the fault lies in the lack or corrupt application of building codes in Monterey and elsewhere

pc said...

That strikes me as a pretty small part of it. The bigger issue is the existence of gangs capable of and willing to pull this off, and the inability of the government at every level of punishing extortion, kidnapping, and other crimes that target the general population.

boz said...

Odd, I just published something on my blog partially agreeing with Don Gringo. I see the lack of good building safety inspections and the inability to go after crime as similar signs of government weakness.

pc said...

Insofar as that is a symptom of a broader problem, which I think is what you were arguing Boz, I'm with you, though I'd argue it's not among the most important of the symptoms. But if the case is that it specifically is the single cause of episodes like Monterrey, I have to disagree.