Friday, January 6, 2012

Security in the Campaign

Given the importance of the issue in Mexico, it seems like the candidates are taking their time to really dig in to public security issues. More here:

Peña Nieto’s approach serves as a microcosm for insecurity’s role in the campaign in general: rather than taking center stage, public security has drifted into the background. As the campaign continues, this may change -- it’s hard to imagine the presidential debates passing without more substantive discussion of organized crime -- but there’s little question that the candidates’ reticence reflects a disinclination to engage the issue. As a result, there is a misalignment between the significance of the issue and the amount of attention it has received.

What this tells us is that for all of the dissatisfaction with the current state of security, there are no alternatives that slip easily into a campaign sound bite. While it’s easy to lament the spike in violent deaths under Calderon, it’s comparatively difficult to envision a reliable, short-term path out of the current morass. And any candidate who capitalizes on the security woes in order to win himself (or herself) the presidency would soon face the unenviable task of having to live up to his promises.

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