Monday, 13 April 2009

Calderon: U.S. Officials Involved in Drug Trade

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Felipe CalderonA familiar accusation leveled at U.S. government officials came from a surprising source: Mexican President Felipe Calderon. “It is impossible to pass tons of drugs or cocaine to U.S. without some grade of complicity of some American authorities,” he said in a March 30 interview with the BBC before leaving for an official visit to London. “We need to act on both sides of the border.”

He also suggested there needs to be research done to establish the scope of the corruption in the America. “We need to discover and eradicate that corruption in order to fix this problem,” he added after mentioning that he had helped jail the former attorney general and the head of federal police forces for alleged corruption. "There is traffic in Mexico because there is corruption in Mexico. And that is true. But with the same argument, if there is traffic in United States, it is because there is some corruption in United States."

After praising himself for all his efforts to eradicate drugs and corruption, Calderon said President Barack Obama and his administration were working in a “different” and “very positive” manner to help Mexico. According to Calderon, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have a “real commitment” to a “common problem” that must be “faced together.” He also renewed his suggestion for even closer cooperation in the fields of law enforcement and intelligence, which The New American has reported on in the past. “The problem is that Mexico is the neighbor of the largest market of consumption of drugs in the world,” he claims.

President Calderon also took the opportunity to complain once again about American guns that are smuggled into Mexico, pointing out that there are over 10,000 guns stores in cities and towns close to the border.  When asked what else America could do to help Mexico “solve” its problems, one of Calderon’s suggestions was that the United States should change its legislation regarding guns — including re-instating the assault-weapons ban. Anti-gun U.S. congressmen have jumped on this ban idea, claiming 90 percent of guns used in crime in Mexico come from the United States. But the "90 percent" claim is false, and evidence shows that many of Mexico's guns come from Central America, where it's possible to get automatic weapons not available in the United States.

“We are doing our job,” explained Calderon. “It is necessary that consumer nations do their job as well.” He emphasized heavily the need to reduce consumption.  “Whatever I can do in order to reduce supply will be un-useful if we don’t find a similar effort in order to reduce consumption.”

The Mexican president further explained that Mexico was “cleaning house,” taking out leaders of the drug cartels. One of the main problems with this line of reasoning is that every time a drug lord is killed or put in jail, a new one rises. With the amounts of money involved reaching into the tens of billions, politicians for sale shouldn’t be hard to come by either.

The allegation that U.S. officials are involved in drug trafficking has been repeated for decades, even by many in the Drug Enforcement Administration and other branches of law enforcement. Is the drug war corrupting America’s politicians and civil servants? Possibly. Will banning guns, throwing more money at foreign countries and anti-drug enforcement, and integrating security with corruption-infested Mexico solve the problem? Absolutely not. The most effective (not to mention constitutional) solution would be to end the federal war on drugs and properly secure the border.

Photo of Felipe Calderon: AP Images

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