LAST UPDATE> AUGUST 24 2012 Revised Version 1.0

Mexico, the spiral of cruelty

By Le Monde Newspaper
Translated into English by Alexander Backman
Original link in French:

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In these same columns, here are two years, Mexican president,  Felipe Calderon, was pleased with the results of the all-out war he engaged since the beginning of his mandate, in December 2006, against organized crime and the ‘narcotraficantes’.  He assured back then, "We are going to beat crime”.  Additionally, while addressing those which worried about the vertiginous progression of insecurity in the country:  "If  you  see dust, it is because we are cleaning house."

Beaten at the time of the presidential election of June, Mr. Calderon will pass the baton to Enrique Peña Nieto at the end of the year. With an overpowering assessment. The Mexican National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) comes out to announce these confusing figures: 27,199 homicides were recorded in 2011; between 2007 and 2011, the total has risen with 95,632 assassinations. On the basis of the recorded tendency these last months, one estimates that number of homicides during the mandate of Calderon will end at 120,000.  That is to say more than double of the often evoked and – already incredible figure – of 50,000.

This true hecatomb constitutes, by far, the most fatal conflict on the planet in recent years. More so as the official figures which have been just published are a revealing the relentless gangrene which has overtaken the country. Beyond the number of dead strictly related to the fight against drugs, industries of kidnapping, extortion of money, prostitution, trafficking of people and of bodies have arisen. The homicide charts show that they are not limited to the areas of strong establishment of the gangs any more, but tend to be disseminated on almost the whole territory.

This spiral of cruelty, caused by the war against the ‘narcotraficantes’ and the paybacks between the drug cartels, does not save anybody, including tens of journalists who one want to hide, or of the tens of more victims of blackmail or corruption. It seems to have raised all the taboos on the respect for human dignity.

This spiral, finally, has sanctioned the terrible failure of the "military" strategy committed for six years per Mr. Calderon, with the constant support, in particularly financial, by the United States, which constitutes the main drug market. But nobody seems from now an alternative measure or to propose  an alternative policy, the evil runs so deep, the worst fear, the endemic misery. And one can only doubt  that the election of Mr. Peña Nieto changes will change anything there: it points, in effect, to the return of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which had dominated the political life of the country during decades, based on corruption and compliance with regard to the druglords.

Beyond Central America, the challenge is launched to the United States and with Europe, whose prosperity of the drug markets and the sales of weapons feeds Mexican violence directly. It is not an exotic challenge, but a planetary one, which would not be less indifferent.

The Staff


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