Saturday, 11 July 2009

Mexican Midterm Election: Fallout and challenges for Calderon

Following the midterm elections, where Felipe Calderon's Political Accion Party (PAN) suffered major losses, a high level meeting at Los Pinos discussed strategies for the 2012 election. Several pressing and nagging issues confront Felipe Calderon and Mexico besides the global economic collapse and a tourism industry devastated in the aftermath of the N1H1 outbreak.
Day Care Tragedy and its Fallout:
In early June, a day care tragedy in Hermosillo left 48 children dead! In the aftermath, it became clear that IMSS had created nepostic arrangements with the owners and had licenced and paid generous subisidies.
Furthermore, day care centres in Hermosillo and other parts of Sonora were allowed to remain open even when they had failed inspections. Eventually, it became clear that many of the owners were well-connected to the politically powerful elite of Mexico. Felipe Calderon and the PGR opened investigative files to lay charges against IMSS bureaucrats before the July 5 midterm elections, but refused to provide the names of people who were under investigation until after the election. Immediately after the midterm elections, the PGR issued international search warrants against 9 people who had family and business connections reaching to the highest levels of power in Mexico. The issue became even more complicated during this last week when it was also revealed that some day cares had been approved and licenced to family members of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, one of the capo de capos of the Sinaloa Cartel. Meanwhile, a strong grass-roots political movement has been growing
to pressure demands for transparency and justice. Increasing levels of Vigilante Justice? In Colombia, a group named “Los Pepes” emerged to wage counter-terrorist and paramilitary strikes against the capos heading the Colombian cartels. The Pepes were probably funded by a wealthy elite in Columbia, possibly by the government, and perhaps by rival cartels who had tired of Pablo Escobar who had damaged the cocaine business links through his high profile statements and actions. (See Bowden, Mark. Killing Pablo : The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw. 1st ed. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2001.). Not much has been written about populist counter-insurgency or organized paramilitary reaction to the drug cartels in Mexico. In the State of Sinaloa, there are rumours and documentation of a mysterious group that has been kidnapping (“levantar”) and executing auto-thieves. Both Noroeste and Rio Doce have written several articles about “los mata robacarros”, and there were even a few newspaper articles that claimed that someone from the “mata robacarros” offered to find and execute the drug addict who killed a young girl in Culiacan last week. In Morelia, the strange cult-like group of narcotraffickers named La Familia has emerged as a powerful and dangerous force, and they are strongly suspected of and linked to several kidnappings, tortures and executions of sicarios (hitmen) working for other cartels — especially Los Zetas. The press in Mexico has recently been referring to a group or individuals that have been given the name “Mata Zetas “. Given the level of violence in Mexico, it is impossible to tell whether there is actually an organized group of vigilantes or whether these are simply military or police forces carrying out the executions. Human Rights and Plan Mérida: Violations and accusations of human rights abuse wherever the Mexican army is involved in the drug war have been common from the first moment that Felipe Calderon sent the army to Michoacan in his first year of his sexenio.The release of funds promised under the Merida agreement have been delayed in the US congress primarily because of “riders” in the US demanding accountablility and guarantees of human rights. The Mexican government has resisted providing blanket guarantees that they can do this. However, it now appears that the US (Sec. State Clinton) have put down a firm foot and insisting that the abuses stop. The recent report published in the Washington Post appears to have hit a nerve, and the recent execution of an activist anti-cartel Mormon leader in Chihuahua has escalated the pressure coming from the US. There are parallels with the Enrique 'Kiki' Camarena murder and the intense US political pressure applied after his execution. Meanwhile, in Mexico, the level of cynicism and distrust of any government institution has increased incrementally in the light of the Day Care deaths in Sonora.
Balacera en Morelia Abandonan en Michoacán 8 bolsas con restos humanos
  • Human Rights Issues
    • Seguridad, el gran fracaso de Calderón
    • Calderón, desprecio a los derechos humanos
    • Reporte sobre la lucha antinarco o cesará ayuda a México, plantea EU
        • Los funcionarios consultados indicaron que la notificación de que será necesario que el gobierno de Calderón envíe a Estados Unidos un informe, fue realizada por la secretaria de Estado, Hillary Clinton, luego de que el zar antidrogas de ese país, R. Gil Kerlikowske, señaló que su nación investigaría presuntos abusos de militares mexicanos, ante un reporte del diario The Washington Post, donde se afirma que el Ejército Mexicano ha efectuado desapariciones forzadas, actos de tortura y redadas ilegales en persecución de narcotraficantes.
        • Agregaron que el Ejército actúa contra el crimen organizado debido a que muchas corporaciones policiales han sido sometidas, lo que ha permitido a los cárteles de la droga trasladar cargamentos de droga o distribuir enervantes, y quienes se han encargado de detener a los criminales son las fuerzas federales

No comments: