When power is in just the hands of of a hereditary privileged elite and the leaders of narco terror gangs this is the result. Let’s not follow the lead of Mexico as we progress into this still relatively new century.
On November 27th Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, did what he should have done long ago: he announced a series of measures aimed at making the rule of law a priority of his administration. He did it in response to a groundswell of protest against his government triggered by the disappearance of 43 students in the southern state of Guerrero two months ago. But in failing to acknowledge any responsibility for the crisis, and in failing to challenge the entire political system to clean up its act, he may have missed a chance to turn the tide of public opinion.
In a nutshell, he localised the problem. He said he would draft laws to enable the authorities to remove municipal authorities colluding with drug traffickers, as allegedly happened with tragic consequences for the 43 students. He plans to replace Mexico’s 1,800 municipal police forces with 32 state ones. He ordered an immediate deployment of federal forces into areas of organised crime in Guerrero and nearby. He unveiled plans to create special economic zones in the poor south to encourage investment and reduce crime, as well as promising special treatment to poor farmers in the area.
What he did not acknowledge was that there is rot at the top as well as the bottom, says Miguel Pulido of Fundar, an NGO that promotes transparency. He sidestepped the federal government’s responsibility for letting drug gangs run rampant in the countryside, even though such crimes are federal, not local. There was no cabinet reshuffle signifying that the government was acknowledging the political cost of its failures.