JesusMendez Vargas, kingpin of La Familia, a Mexican drug cartel, was arrested Tuesday along with several other high ranking cartel officers.1 Despite the recent capture of Vargas and his officers, drug violence in Northern Mexico shows little sign of slowing down. The Mexican drug wars, being distinct from other gang violence previously experienced, is a direct result of US policy influencing the politics of another country.
|Jesus Mendez Vargas in Custody|
Felipe Calderon, Mexico’s current president, has acted as nothing but a US puppet since his narrow and contested victory over Andrés Manuel López Obrador. His restriction to trade with Latin American countries that are open to liberal market economies and his repeal of the Estrada Doctrine2, Mexico’s declaration of the respect for state sovereignty are only some of the policy choices that Calderon and his administration have enacted since his election. These policies among other socially conservative and fiscally liberal policies including flat and lower taxes and “free trade,” make Calderon the George W. Bush of Latin America, and the National Action Party he represents the reactionary imperialist ally of the United States government.
There is a distinct correlation between Calderon’s election and the increase of violence between cartels and Mexican authorities. One of the reasons for this increase in gang violence is the US insistence on a Mexican crackdown on the cartels, despite the inability for the Mexican government to fund such an operation, especially considering the fact that many of the police officers that the Mexican government had been trying to mobilized were already receiving bribes from the cartels.
|President Felipe Calderon of the PAN|
The human rights violations occurring from the military itself has been astounding. With the legislation being passed down from the Mexican government, the Mexican military has been given the power to directly enact legislation, an obvious contradiction of a “liberal democracy” that Mexico insists it is. The military and police force have both been using threat and torture techniques, not only on suspects, but citizens as well.3 So, if the citizens are being terrorized by both the cartels and the imperialist backed reactionary government, where should they turn to?
Though the US and Mexican governments may claim that the arrest of Vargas and his high ranking officers signals an end to the Mexican drug war, they also forget that even if La Familia is somehow incapable of finding new leadership, there still remains the Beltran Levya Cartel, the Gulf Cartel, the Juarez Cartel, Los Negros, the Sinaloa Cartel, the Tijuana Cartel, and Los Zetas Cartel to continue the terrorizing of the country, as well as the US emulated and supported government to torture it’s citizens.
3Larie Freeman, Troubling Patterns: The Mexican Military and the War on Drugs (Washington, D.C.: Latin America Working Group, September 2002)