13 de julio de 2008

Secuelas de la 'guerra' contra el narcotráfico

Hoy el New York Times Magazine publica un largo artículo sobre Genaro García Luna, Secretario de Seguridad Pública del gobierno calderonista, y la estrategia que han implementado las autoridades para combatir al narcotráfico.

Aquí encuentras el artículo.

Para mi, estos son los párrafos más relevantes:

  • But by the measure that matters most to the average citizen — security — the situation was as bad or worse than ever. Even as the Mexican government was sending fleets of security officers to Tijuana, there were at least 15 drug-related killings there the week of García Luna’s visit.

  • ... This pattern has become common in Mexico. Since the end of 2006, the Calderón government has sent more than 25,000 soldiers and federal police on high-powered anti-drug “operations” to combat drug cartels. It has initiated sweeping plans for judicial and police reform. It has extradited several top cartel figures to the United States, earning praise and a package of anti-drug aid from the U.S. government. Yet this year is on pace to be the bloodiest on record for Mexico’s drug war, surpassing by almost 50 percent last year’s toll of more than 2,500 deaths.

  • Since taking over as Mexico’s top cop at the end of 2006, García Luna has repeatedly said the situation with the drug cartels would get worse before it got better. But when I spoke to him after his visit to Tijuana, even he seemed startled at just how bad the violence had become — especially since the narcos had started turning their weapons on the state instead of on one another...

  • ... For now, in carrying out many of the biggest operations against the cartels, the government has relied on the Mexican military. But militarization carries risks. The military worries about increasing corruption and a growing number of soldiers deserting their units to join the traffickers; others have warned that militarization will lead to major human rights violations. García Luna recently announced that the military should be heading back to the barracks, and a new and improved police — better-armed, better-trained, less corrupt — should begin fighting on its own by the end of this year. Before that can happen, though, he will have to build a kind of cohesive and effective federal police force that Mexico has never had.

  • In much of the country the police are popularly viewed as abusive, incompetent and corrupt — a perception not helped by periodic scandals, like the recent appearance of videos showing Mexican police officers being trained in torture methods. In some of the main trafficker strongholds, the police are the protectors of the cartels; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officers on the ground refuse to even interact with local police departments for fear that doing so will put them at risk. David Zavala, a federal police commander running García Luna’s operation in the border city of Juárez, told me: “When we arrived, we first had to get the municipal police out of the way. A lot of them are involved in trafficking. Sometimes they’ll tell us, ‘There’s nothing over there.’ That’s the first place we look.”

  • In the latter half of the ’90s, Mexico’s one-party political system started to open up, and in the 2000 presidential election, the P.R.I. lost power to Vicente Fox, a former Coca-Cola executive running under the banner of the National Action Party. The transition to democracy was a moment of great hope for Mexico. But it also undermined the system of de facto regulation of the drug trade... the state ceased being the referee of disputes and an apparatus that had the capacity to control, contain and simultaneously protect these groups. If there is no referee, the cartels will have to resolve disputes themselves, and drug traffickers don’t do this by having meetings...

  • Rather than destroying the cartels, the government’s high-level strikes transformed the cartels from hierarchical organizations with commanding figures at the top to unruly mobs of men vying for power. The cartel’s hit men and hired muscle began shooting and slaughtering their way into the upper ranks of the organizations. “The government has gotten rid of some of the old bosses, but now we’ve got ourselves new leaders who are less sophisticated and more violent,” a top Mexican intelligence official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, told me.

El párrafo más interesante es el siguiente, pues esboza una definición que podría utilizar el gobierno calderonista para declararse vencedor:

  • Later, I asked García Luna if this was an acceptable definition of success in the war on drugs: violence down, the police seemingly in charge, the cartels operating less conspicuously and less violently. He ducked the question but did not dispute the implication.

En otras palabras, si reducen los niveles de violencia (al menos lo que salga en periódicos y noticieros), si parece que la policía está en control y si los carteles operan de manera menos visible y menos violenta, podría entonces decir el gobierno que la estrategia está funcionando. ¿Que sucede con el consumo y la demanda de drogas? Ese no es tema de la estrategia y, en consecuencia, tampoco del artículo.

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