Mexico: Victim of America’s War on Drugs

March 8, 2011  |   Mexico Politics and Policy

Mexico: Victim of America's War on Drugs Paul Crist, March 3, 2011 All is not well in the complex and multifaceted relationship between the U.S. and Mexico. A number of recent issues have heightened tensions, including the murder of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent Jamie Zapata, and the wounding of another agent on February 15th, on a highway near San Luis Potosi. That incident has once again ratcheted up jingoist rhetoric from some U.S. politicians and the sensationalist frenzy of U.S. corporate media. The Mexican government swiftly arrested alleged perpetrators, and have emphasized that the gun used, as most guns used in violent crimes in Mexico, came from north of the border. The leaking by Wikileaks of diplomatic cables written by U.S. Embassy personnel depicting Mexico's armed forces and police agencies as "inefficient, corrupt, riven by infighting," and "reliant on the United States for leads and operations" has infuriated Mexican President Felipe Calderón. Mexico continues to wait for the opening of U.S. highways to Mexican trucks, as called for under the North American Free Trade Agreement. (The U.S. Congress has blocked the program under pressure from industry groups, with arguments about highway safety and illicit drug and human trafficking concerns). Mexicans are angered by state-level measures to crack down on undocumented migrants such as the Arizona "papers please" law. Indiana just slipped through similar legislation while the media was focused on protesting workers, fighting to protect the right of collective bargaining. More states are sure to follow soon