(/sites/default/files/uploads/2012/08/cuernavaca-shooting-AP53970_620x350.gif)Before the July 1 election in Mexico, Al Jazeera profiled Enrique Peña Nieto, candidate of the left-wing Partido Revolucionario Institucional, (PRI) that ruled Mexico as the “perfect dictatorship” for some 70 years but had been out of power for 12 years. Al Jazeera speculated that a PRI election victory seemed likely but “what happens after that is anybody’s guess.” Now the guessing is over.
Nieto and the PRI had been in power barely two months on August 24 when Mexican Federal Police opened fire, in broad daylight, on a vehicle with clearly marked diplomatic plates and carrying U.S. government employees. The attack, third on American personnel since 2006, wounded Americans Stan Dave Boss, 62, and Jess Garner, 49. Those who doubt the gravity of this attack might imagine the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ambushing U.S. diplomatic officials en route to Ottawa, or Scotland Yard detectives opening up with automatic weapons on U.S. embassy personnel in London.
Nieto said that things would be different in Mexico under an allegedly refurbished PRI, previously known for corruption, cronyism and authoritarian rule. His election was “no return to the past” and he vowed “neither negotiation nor truce” with organized crime. That is unlikely.
The Mexican Federal Police number 35,000 and the United States has spent millions providing them with training and even helicopters. The force supposedly deploys against criminal gangs but in June Mexican federal officers killed three of their own co-workers. Experts speculate the August 24 targets were intelligence agents, so the attack was hardly an accident and intelligence sources are obviously compromised.
Melissa del Bosque of the Texas Observer estimates 60,000 dead and 30,000 disappeared “in Mexico’s burgeoning civil war, spurred by the drug war.” This is a conflict of remorseless savagery, with gangs beheading victims at a rate outpacing that of jihadist Iraqi insurgents. Mexico’s soi disant “revolutionary” ruling class will have a hard time with this bunch. In the revolutionary ideology, as Orwell noted in Animal Farm, rats are comrades. The criminal gangs may well have bankrolled PRI’s return to power. It was, after all, outgoing president Felipe Calderon of the rival Partido Action Nacional (PAN) who deployed the Mexican military against the gangs.
U.S. officials, meanwhile, have been busy reaffixing the “kick me” sign that Jeane Kirkpatrick removed from America’s back, as Peter Collier noted in Political Woman. For example, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blames the violence of Mexican criminal gangs on American guns, an argument that has not the slightest validity. Except of course for the “fast and furious” scandal in which Secretary Clinton is embroiled. The gun nonsense is further evidence that the Obama administration has trouble discerning its true friends and allies.
Under the PRI, Mexico was corrupt and authoritarian at home and relentlessly anti-American in the United Nations. Its tourist ads touted the “Amigo Country” but Mexico was not a U.S. ally in any recognizable sense. The PRI policy of encouraging illegal immigration, even as Mexico roughly deported penniless Guatemalans and Salvadorans, amounted to colonialism. That practice changed little under the PAN governments.
After Mexico nationalized the oil industry in the 1930s, Evelyn Waugh wrote Robbery Under Law, subtitled The Mexican Object-Lesson. All but the willfully blind should find another object lesson in the attack on U.S. officials by Mexican Federal Police.
The PRI may be back in power under Enrique Peña Nieto but the new president and his government can hardly claim to control the country. U.S. officials should tilt U.S. aid away from nations where federal police attack U.S. personnel, and toward reliable friends and allies.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.
Leave a Reply