The violence unleashed in Mexico during Felipe Calderón’s six long years as President has resulted in 60,000 murders but resolved nothing.
In fact, drug trafficking organizations have thrived, diversified, and some think that they have deepened their penetration and corruption of Mexico’s institutions during this period. Any genuine change starts with an end to the drug war.
The Mexican Peace Caravan that crossed the United States calling for an end to the drug war last summer was bracketed between elections. It began in Tijuana, just six weeks after Mexico’s July presidential election, and concluded in Washington just six weeks before Obama’s re-election. Now, as 2013 is dawning, Mexicans can begin to see the outlines and true colors of their return to PRI rule. Read the full article on our People-to-People blog.
On Dec. 1, in the final act of his blood-drenched presidency, Felipe Calderón passed his tri-color sash to incoming PRI strong-man, and now President, Enrique Peña Nieto. The handover was backlit by protest and chilled by concerns about what it means to hand Mexico’s executive branch back to a party that, until 2000, had absolutely controlled -- and corrupted -- the nation during 71 years of unbroken one-party rule.
Many agree that Mexico urgently needs to undertake thorough and difficult internal reforms. To be effective, such reforms must challenge impunity all the way to the upper echelons of the military and Federal Police as well as top political and corporate circles. Washington officials and the Obama administration have shown little stomach for pushing such actions on Calderón. Similarly, Obama gave no visible signs of pushing Peña Nieto on such reforms during their first encounter in late November.
Pressure for change must come from somewhere else. That is why we must continue to build the movement against the drug war into an unstoppable force.
Mexican peace movement organizers are calling for a meeting in early 2013 to evaluate, strategize, and strengthen ongoing work between the organizations and peoples movements that built the Caravan on both sides of the border. They know the momentum around drug policy is on the side of reformers.
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Human Rights Director