The Merida Initiative Will Last Forever, State Department Claims

State Department officials announced yesterday at the Eight Annual Conference on Border Security that the anti-cartel Merida Initiative will shift its focus to Northern Mexico, and that the program will continue unabated regardless of which party wins Mexicos' presidential election in 2012.  

The State Department and DOJ have also apparently latched onto the idea of using local U.S. cops to train local Mexican police. William Brownfield, an assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, told the AP that local Mexican police are having the “most” trouble fighting the cartels, and that spending some time in the company of the San Diego PD and the Webb County Sheriff's Department will somehow fix that.

If we assume that San Diego and Webb County cops are experts at combatting organized crime, that still doesn’t change the fact that Mexican cartels are radically different from U.S. gangs. A timely post from the organized crime publication InSight explains just how different: 

The structure of the drug trade in the U.S. domestic market is distinct from the largely transit and production-based models seen in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. According to scholars like Marcelo Bergman of Mexican think tank CIDE, distribution markets are inherently different from production and trafficking markets in terms of the numbers of organizations and individuals involved. Like production, distribution can be manpower-intensive and may require large numbers of employees to deal the drugs. However, the situation in the U.S. is not conducive to large cartels because big structures are vulnerable to being detected and broken up by law enforcement, which is more effective and well-funded than, for example, Mexico's law enforcement. Highly compartmentalized organizations, like the decentralized network of street and prison gangs, are better suited to the U.S., as a large number of small groups draws less attention from the authorities than one big organization.

The Webb County Sheriff’s Department patrols the area around Laredo, which is a choke point for drug shipments, but hardly resembles Juárez or Moneterrey in terms of violence. The Webb County Sheriff’s Department has never been bombed, its officers do not face daily the likelihood of execution, and they have never felt the urge to quit their jobs en masse for fear of execution. If the State Department believes local U.S. cops can help the situation in Mexico, they should explain how, especially since the U.S. military has been training Mexican cops and military members for years, with more mass graves and cartel in-fighting as the only measurable result. 

The State Department should also explain how many kilos of blow it needs to confiscate to justify little kids getting their heads chopped off and how many weed fields it needs to burn to justify Northern Mexico being the most dangerous non-warzone in the world. While those queries are hard to benchmark, the DOJ and State have also failed to publicize (or perhaps even create) a timeline for the Merida Initiative, other than to say it will continue at least beyond 2012:

"Let me make this clear," Brownfield said. "No matter if the PAN (National Action Party), PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) or another party wins the election, the initiative will continue to work even when suffering some minor adjustments."

More on Mexico's failed drug war. 

Update: Here's a snippet of Brownfield's prepared remarks given today at the consulate in Juarez. These remarks were given to Mexican journalists across the river from the border conference in El Paso. Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy: 

Ladies and gentlemen, you hear an optimist in this process. I am one of those people who genuinely believe that this collaboration has produced positive results in recent years and particularly in the last twelve months. I think right now we are talking about how we can further improve this positive process.

I think we've had a lot sacrifices on both sides of the border, including, and you deserve credit for this, including the incredibly brave journalists here in the city of Juarez and other cities in Mexico that attempt to inform their communities about the realities of its streets and its people. And I congratulate you and offer you my respect for the fallen and the people you have lost due to your profession.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that this process of collaboration under the Merida Initiative will eventually succeed because of a very simple reason for Mexico as well as for the United States: We cannot lose, because if we lose we will say to the generations that come after us “you are condemned to live in a disgusting and repulsive world,” and that's a conversation I do not want to have with my children or grandchildren in years to come.

Thirty thousand people have died "in recent years" due to the increased pressure the U.S. has applied to Mexico's cartels. If that's winning, then yes, the U.S. is winning. 

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  • Warty||

    The Mierda Initiative? They just make it too easy.

  • ||

    Operation: Comemierdas.

  • ||

    I'll bet 40 to 50% of the readers and commenters on this site think the rioting in England last week was not that big a deal.

  • ||

    You're a retard.

  • ||

    Here's a rioter!

  •  ||

    Episiarch|8.18.11 @ 11:10AM
    Remember, this is Troll Free Thursday. Pass it on.

  • ||

    You're the most boring of the conservative trolls.

  • ||

    Here's another rioter.

  • ||

    I don't even live in the UK...

  • Warty||

    You're more retarded than White Indian.

  • ||

    Whoa, hold on there, buddy. That's a pretty high bar to clear.

  • db||

    Most of our trolls couldn't jump high enough to bang their nuts on that bar from below. But I'd buy a ticket to that show.

  • Zeb||

    At lest White Indian brings some different kinds of crazy/stupid to the table. This guy is boring.

  • Wow||

    The State Department should also explain how many kilos of blow it needs to confiscate to justify little kids getting their heads chopped off

    Why doesn't anyone take libertarians seriously?

    Thirty thousand people have died "in recent years" due to the increased pressure the U.S. has applied to Mexico's cartels

    Wait, who is doing the killing?

  • db||

    Wait, what creates the incentive to kill over a white powder, that, if legal, could be made for a few dollars a pound?

  • ||

    Terrorism. They hate our way of life.

  •  ||

    Libertarians: never willing to blame a murderer for his own actions.

  • Hugh Akston||

    When you imagine a boot stomping on a human face forever, make sure it's a vaquero boot.

  • ||

    All those dead Mexican people mean we're winning! We can't stop now!

  • Mexican Thugs||

    De nada!

  • ||

    If we legalize dope, the drug dealers will open shops and go to work building VWs.

  • ||

    If Mexico legalized drugs, would we invade? Discuss.

  • Jim||

    We would have to. For the children.

  • ||

    I know some people who would "invade" for a weekend at least.

  • DONDEROOOOOOO!!!!!!||

    I'll pitch in $6.75 for gas.

  • ||

    There's still the question of Mexican farmers burning agave fields in favor of corn. That threat to our precious tequila cannot be tolerated.

  • Chupacabra||

    I would favor invasion to protect my tequila supplies.

  • ||

    Probablt. The Happy drug warriors got their panties in a wad over this

  • Hugh Akston||

    Why invade? The US fleet of flying killer robots means that no matter how many Mexicans we blow up, it's still not hostile.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Mexico would need to build a border wall.

  • IV||

    They better step up the smack quality. I'm not going to bang up anything the color of Coca Cola.

  • Binky||

    If Mexico legalized drugs, would we invade?

    Sure, we'd invade something. Probably not Mexico, though.

  • Zeb||

    I could see the US taking aver the immediate border area in Mexico if that happened. Though it would be spun as "help" to Mexico rather than the occupation that it really is.

  • ||

    Will.Not.Work

    Read this or any of Bowdens last few books...

  • ||

    OK, Mike, this was a good post. Sorry for dissing you on the immigration thread.

    ::pats Mike's head::

  • Almanian||

    Sure, a bigger hammer COMPLETELY makes sense in this circumstance. Dance with the one who bring ya, just have them put some lead in their pockets. BRILLIANT!

    Have at 'er, boys!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Kevin Costner really never did get his due.

  • ||

    Needs more CAPS.

  • ||

    Dude, the mail is a Zionist conspiracy.

  • Mr Whipple||

    FUCK!

  • Almanian||

    HERC - 2012!

  • Brett L||

    Not as prophetic as your US-Vietnamese alliance against China posts.

  • ||

    "...the program will continue unabated regardless of which party wins Mexicos' presidential election in 2012."

    It's interesting that the State Department can make that statement. ...and even more interesting that the program will continue regardless of who wins the United States' presidential election in 2012 too--I guess the State Department figured that probably didn't even need to be said.

    Meanwhile, it's not enough that we're responsible for all the economic, social, ethnic and religious problems of Iraq and Afghanistan--we gotta be responsible for Mexico's problems too?

    Everyday Mexicans I knew in Mexico were about as happy with American involvement in their internal affairs as I suspect the Iraqis are too.

  • ||

    Did they actually say that or is that just Riggs' interpretation of other remarks? There's no link to a news story about the speech and no identification of the officials who supposedly said this.

  • Riggs||

  • ||

    There's no direct quote of the guarantee of continued Merida after 2012 again, but here is a news story about Brownfield's remarks:

    Brownfield outlined the initiative's four pillars and said Mexico has spent billions of its own dollars to beef up its national security.

    These pillars are disrupting the capacity of organized crime to operate,
    enhancing the Mexican government's capacity to sustain the rule of law, creating a modern border structure (at land crossings, ports and airports), and building strong and resilient communities.

    Through the Mérida Initiative, the U.S. government seeks to help Mexico rebuild its police, judicial and corrections systems, a process that experts agreed will take time.

    Brownfield said that the Mérida Initiative will continue regardless of who is elected president next year in Mexico.

    "We will proceed and we will succeed. We have no choice," he said.

    Of course, this is ONE second-tier official who may well not be at the State Dept after a GOP presidential victory, so I'm not sure how much of a guarantee that would even be even if he said those words exactly.

  • ||

    "Meanwhile, it's not enough that we're responsible for all the economic, social, ethnic and religious problems of Iraq and Afghanistan--we gotta be responsible for Mexico's problems too?"

    I'm a complete, utter, uncompromising abolitionist when it comes to the drug war. Without exceptions. But that's perhaps the most deleterious bullshit I've ever heard in my fucking life.

  • ||

    Don't abolitionists support banning things?

  • Brett L||

    Slavery?

  • ||

    ab·o·li·tion·ist
       [ab-uh-lish-uh-nist] Show IPA
    –noun
    1.
    (especially prior to the Civil War) a person who advocated or supported the abolition of slavery in the U.S.
    2.
    a person who favors the abolition of any law or practice deemed harmful to society: the abolitionists who are opposed to capital punishment.

    Tulpa's not a moron. Stop spoofing people already.

  • ||

    The word is that Webb Co. SO and US military will now jointly train the Mexicans in Mexico...a bit of mission creep for the SO, but what the hey, we get toys and a place to play.

  • ||

    The first hunter-gatherers didn't worry about wars or violence. They spent their days relaxing, sleeping, and eating mulberries. Like the birds, they lived in perfect harmony with nature.

  • ||

    I have a better idea: arm every Mexican citizen with an automatic rifle, a pistol, and sufficient ammunition for effective use. Then legalize all narcotics (here and in Mexico), try and execute a random pick of 50% of executive-level politicians in both countries for being accomplices to mass murder, insurrection, and treason, and relax on your couch with a nice, cold beer, Mr. Whoever Actually Does It, because you've just made the world a better place.

  • David E. Gallaher/Ruthless||

    So don't get your nose out of joint Mexico. The US military will stay in Colombia, Panama, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq....
    Where did I leave out?
    This is why Warren Buffett needs to pay higher taxes.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Pakistan

  • ||

    Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc. ad nauseum.

  • sarcasmic||

    Doesn't mierda translate to shit?

  • Binky||

    Second-degree mierda, yes.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    The State Department and DOJ have also apparently latched onto the idea of using local U.S. cops to train local Mexican police.

    Having already trained the Zetas, it only seems fair.

  • ||

    Has anyone considered the possibility that the real motive for the American War on Drugs in Mexico is revenge for Pancho Villa's humiliation of the American government?

    -jcr

  • ||

    Has anyone considered the possibility that the real motive for Taco Bell is revenge for Pancho Villa's humiliation of the American government?

  • ||

    The only problem with that theory is that Taco Bell has nothing at all to do with Mexico.

    -jcr

  • Zeb||

    Taco Bell is Texas's subtle, roundabout way of getting revenge on Mexico for the Alamo by making people think that what they serve is Mexican food.

  • cynical||

    So, since they're being helpful and all, are they also going to give Mexican cops some heads-up when they sell guns to the drug cartels?

  • ||

    Not if they want promotions.

  • Aqua Buddha||

    Can we get Herc and White Indian on the same thread, PLEASE?

  • Think||

    nope. You can't have that combo. You can have rectal and Tony, or you can have MNG and Anonypussy

  • Think||

  • Aqua Buddha||

    If he isn't dead, neither is Suki. Ain't worth the cost.

  • Zeb||

    Suki (sadly) doesn't seem too dead lately.

  • Suki||

    Am not.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that this process of collaboration under the Merida Initiative will eventually succeed because of a very simple reason for Mexico as well as for the United States: We cannot lose,...

    ...because we're pretty much going to declare victory no matter what happens, and never ever admit that we were wrong.

  • Fire Tiger||

    Thirty thousand people have died "in recent years" due to the increased pressure the U.S. has applied to Mexico's cartels. If that's winning, then yes, the U.S. is winning.
    {chants} USA USA USA

  • govco||

    Sometimes it is necessary to cull the herd.

  • ||

    One potential benefit of US cops training their Mexican counterparts: lots of dead chihuahuas.

  • WTF||

    If the State Department believes local U.S. cops can help the situation in Mexico, they should explain how,[...]

    "STOP RESISTING!"

  • yelly||

    Has anyone considered the possibility that the real motive for Taco Bell is revenge for Pancho Villa's humiliation of the American government?
    Nike Free 7.0 v3 Womens Running Shoes - Grey/Yellow/Green
    Nike Free 7.0 v3 Womens Running Shoes - Grey/Pink/White

  • tim||

    It absolutely can. Old mattresses lose their ability to correctly support the body during the night. Not only can your mattress become a problem, but pillows also create neck problems.

  • tim||

    It absolutely can. Old mattresses lose their ability to correctly support the body during the night. Not only can your mattress become a problem, but pillows also create neck problems.

  • ||

    I know I'm preaching to the converted here, but next time you are having a discussion with pro-prohibitionists, please ask them this question:

    After decades, hundreds of billions spent, millions jailed or killed, and countless raids, seizures, and various other "victories" in this war, do you know of ONE SINGLE PERSON who got off drugs because there weren't any drugs available anymore?

  • NotSure||

    A valid argument, but even more than that, I do not accept that getting people off drugs should be their right to stop in the first place.

  • ||

    Multnomah County Chairman apologizes for lemonade-stand shutdown

    Multnomah County's top elected official apologized Thursday for health inspectors who forced a 7-year-old girl to shut down her stand last week because she didn't have a food-safety permit.

    Chairman Jeff Cogen also said he has directed county health department workers to use "professional discretion" in doing their jobs.

    "A lemonade stand is a classic, iconic American kid thing to do," he said. "I don't want to be in the business of shutting that down."

    Nothing else happened.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/port.....eve_m.html

  • ||

    And no dogs were shot or people beaten to death because the cops were not involved.

  • ||

    St. Michael Kids Set up Lemonade Stand

    After hearing of the tragic helicopter crash in Afghanistan, one local family wondered what they could do to lend a hand.

    Michelle LeMonds and her children decided a lemonade stand would work. LeMonds, a local photographer, writes:

    "My kids made a lemonade sale with all profits benefitting the Wounded Warriors foundation....They served different treats each day, and they raised more than $200.

    Nothing else happened.

    http://stmichael.patch.com/art.....d-warriors

  • William Brownfield||

    Thirty thousand people have died "in recent years" due to the increased pressure the U.S. has applied to Mexico's cartels. If that's winning, then yes, the U.S. is winning.

    As long as it's brown people, and they're dying on the other side of the fence, then it's definitely a win.

  • db||

    Scenario: Mexico decides it's had enough killing, legalizes drugs, tells the U.S. to GTFO. U.S. says "oh no you dih-unt!" and cuts off Mexican access to U.S. trade (think high tariffs, outright bans on some Mexican products etc.) U.S. companies with large presences in MX (like most big manufacturers) freak right the fuck out and beat a path to D.C., furious.

    Plausible? Next actions?

  • ||

    I think we've had a lot sacrifices on both sides of the border, including, and you deserve credit for this, including the incredibly brave journalists here in the city of Juarez and other cities in Mexico that attempt to inform their communities about the realities of its streets and its people. And I congratulate you and offer you my respect for the fallen and the people you have lost due to your profession.

    Tens of thousands of dead brown people. But hey, god damn it, at least they have the respect of some mid-level paper pusher.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The State Department and DOJ have also apparently latched onto the idea of using local U.S. cops to train local Mexican police.

    Our training of the locals worked out so well in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Poor Mexican Dogs

  • ||

    I wouldn't worry about them. Chihuahuas are very small targets. After a few training sessions with US cops, no Mexican would be able to hit one if you duct-taped it to the end of his weapon.

  • Chinahailin||

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