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Fw: FNS News: Fox Joins Drug War Fray

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  • Greg Cannon
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 19, 2009
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      --- On Sun, 10/18/09, fnsnews@... <fnsnews@...> wrote:

      > From: fnsnews@... <fnsnews@...>
      > Subject: FNS News: Fox Joins Drug War Fray
      > To: fns_nmsu-l@...
      > Date: Sunday, October 18, 2009, 10:14 PM
      > October 18, 2009
      >
      > Politics News
      >
      > Fox Joins Drug War Fray
      >
      > Continuing his break with the old Mexican tradition of
      > former presidents
      > refraining from direct engagement in politics, Vicente Fox
      > has plunged
      > into another controversy: the Calderon administration’s
      > drug war.
      >
      > In blunt remarks made in Vienna, Austria, over the weekend,
      > Fox called on
      > President Calderon to return the Mexican army to its
      > barracks as soon as
      > possible and leave the enforcement of drug laws to federal
      > police.
      >
      > “Using the army, using force against force hasn’t
      > solved the problem,” Fox
      > told the annual meeting of the conservative European
      > Popular Party. “On
      > the contrary, it has multiplied it.”
      >
      > Mexico’s former president also had words for the United
      > States, calling on
      > his nation’s main trading partner to do a better job of
      > controlling arms
      > trafficking, money laundering and illegal drug consumption.
      > Nonetheless,
      > Fox questioned drug use prohibition as a realistic
      > strategy.
      >
      > “Drug consumption is a personal responsibility, not one
      > of government,”
      > Fox was quoted as saying. “Perhaps it is impossible to
      > ask government to
      > halt the supply of drugs to our children.”
      >
      > Mexico decriminalized the possession of small amounts of
      > drugs for
      > personal use this year.
      >
      > Fox’s Austrian comments could be a response to criticisms
      > from Calderon
      > administration officials and others that drug-tainted
      > violence and
      > corruption spiraled out of control during the former
      > president’s term in
      > office from 2000 to 2006.  Entitled “The Farm,” a
      > video song released this
      > year by the musical group Los Tigres del Norte lampooned
      > the Fox years and
      > the explosion of narco-violence. The wildly popular combo
      > performed the
      > song before 35,000 fans at a concert in Monterrey, Nuevo
      > Leon, on Sunday,
      > October 18.
      >
      > The latest drug addiction survey sponsored by Mexico’s
      > Health Ministry
      > reported that between 2002 and 2008 cocaine use nearly
      > doubled from 1.4
      > percent to 2.5 percent of the population in the 12-65 age
      > group. By 2008,
      > illegal drug use of any kind was reported among 5.7 percent
      > of the age
      > group in question, according the study.
      >
      > Like all Mexican presidents during the last 40 years,
      > Vicente Fox relied
      > on the armed forces as the leading force against illegal
      > drug trafficking.
      > Significantly, the armed forces also expanded its role in
      > immigration law
      > enforcement and other civilian policing duties during the
      > Fox presidency.
      >
      > In the Fox years, the Mexican army was deployed in Sonora,
      > Chihuahua,
      > Tamaulipas and other states after narco-related violence
      > began
      > intensifying to unseen levels in 2003. A review of Frontera
      > NorteSur’s
      > archives, showed that at least 1,395 people were reported
      > killed in
      > homicides linked to organized crime from January 1, 2005 to
      > November 29,
      > 2005.
      >
      > Another 2,012 people were reported slain in similar
      > circumstances during
      > the same period of time in 2006. By contrast, nearly 2,000
      > people have
      > been murdered in the narco war just in Ciudad Juarez this
      > year so far.
      >
      > A recent edition of the weekly Proceso magazine estimated
      > that about
      > 14,000 people were killed as a result of narco-violence
      > from the time of
      > President Calderon’s December 2006 inauguration to
      > mid-August 2009.
      >
      > “Not since the years before the Revolution and the
      > (1920s) Cristero War
      > has Mexico experienced homicidal violence as it has now,”
      > wrote Proceso
      > reporter Jorge Carrasco Araizaga in a story that compared
      > Mexico with
      > Somalia, Haiti, Brazil and Colombia.
      >
      > In his piece, Carrasco noted the proliferation of
      > paramilitary bands,
      > self-defense groups, armed communities, and private guards
      > of all sorts.
      > Arturo Alvarado, researcher for the College of Mexico, was
      > cited by Carrasco.
      >
      > “We are in an era of unprecedented criminal violence,”
      > Alvarado said,
      > “produced by delinquent bands as well as by the military
      > and police
      > interventions of the federal government.”
      >
      >
      > Sources: El Universal/EFE, October 17, 2009. La
      > Jornada/Notimex, October
      > 16 and 18, 2009. Lapolaka.com, September 3, 2009. Proceso,
      > August 17,
      > 2009. Article by Jorge Carrasco Araizaga.
      >
      >
      > Frontera NorteSur (FNS): on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news
      > Center for Latin American and Border Studies
      > New Mexico State University Las Cruces,New Mexico
      >
      > For a free electronic subscription email: fnsnews@...
      >
      >
      >
      >
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