Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Quite the Contrast

Last week, Alejandro Hope published a characteristically interesting post in which he called for something akin to DEA spreading its version of the nuclear umbrella across Mexico. More generally, the piece was about the need for the government to focus on communicating effectively with the narcos, not in the back-of-the-seedy-bar sort of way, but rather using signaling to paint some lines in the sand.

A few days ago, Felipe Calderón made the following statement:
There are people that attack my government for combating criminals, and now what did they want us to do? To invite them inside, to serve them a cup of coffee or what? Whoever doesn't want to combat criminals does not govern, that's the truth.
I'll have more to say about this at some point in the future, but if you aren't willing to look for ways to distinguish between different groups, you can't draw any lines, and you can't incentivize different behavior. It does not seem like Calderón has ever been particularly interested in distinguishing between different gangs or different criminal activities.

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