Mexico: The Americans Have A Plan

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October 24, 2007: Is there a danger that Mexico's "Cartel War" will spill-over into the United States? People began asking that question in early 2007 as president Calderon's anti-drug war moved from western Mexico into Mexico's northern states. The truth is, it already has, if the increase in drug gang-related violence that began around 2000 (especially along the Texas and Arizona borders) is treated as part of that war. Obviously "spill-over" concerns the US, which is why the US is providing information and technical support to Mexico, and will soon be spending $500 million to help in the anti-drug effort across the border. A "hot pursuit" situation, where Mexican authorities are chasing cartelistas up to the US border, is highly unlikely. However, unlikely does not mean impossible, and this scenario introduces a lot of political "what ifs" that both Mexico and the US would not like to explore. This is why the US wants to improve direct communications with Mexican police and intelligence. It's also why the US needs to improve its own police communications networks along the border.

October 22, 2007: The U.S. government is trying to get $500 million from Congress, to help Mexico fight drug traffickers and drug cartels. The money would help "strengthen Mexico's capabilities" to deal with these threats. The $500 million request is thought to be a first installment, with the US eventually providing $1.4 to $1.5 billion in support. Mexico wants more helicopters and other aircraft. It also wants more modern communications and intelligence equipment for its police. It is likely a chunk of the $500 million will also be spent on police training programs.

October 17, 2007: Will it be Plan Mexico? The US and Mexico are working on a "regional security cooperation partnership" to fight drug trafficking. In December 2006 president Felipe Calderon's government decided to treat the challenge of drug cartels as a military as well as criminal challenge. That has an echo of Colombia, where its leftist guerrillas have gone into the drug business. But it is an echo. While Mexico and Colombia have some similarities, there are a number of differences, the chief one being the Mexican federal government is much stronger than Colombia's.

 

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