Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mexico drug war, rebooted

President Enrique Peña Nieto says he wants to soften Mexico's bloody, military-led offensive against its criminal lords with a brainier, more preventive strategy. Well, wish him luck with that. Peña Nieto this week had to dispatch troops to the so-called hot country of western Michoacan to quell confrontations between marauding gangsters and village self-defense militias. An army general with special forces experience has been placed in charge of the state police. Michoacan is also where the last president, Felipe Calderon, launched a militarized drug war offensive in late 2006 that's left tens of thousands dead or disappeared. Though government pressure has pushed news of it from front pages and airwaves, the gangland mayhem continues. Officials have tallied some 1,000 people killed in each of the first five months of Peña Nieto's term. Outside experts smirk at official clams of a double-digit decrease in mob murders compared with last year. "The incidence of violence hasn't greatly varied since the last months of the Calderon administration," Alejandro Hope, who served in Mexico's intelligence agency during Calderon's watch, commented in his blog. "That's the real reality, the true truth, the cosmic bottom line. The bad thing isn't that a government makes propaganda but that it's believed."...more

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