Calder贸n to demilitarize Mexican drug war?

After meeting with UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour, Mexican President Felipe Calder贸n announced Feb. 6 that he would gradually remove army troops from drug enforcement duty, replacing them with newly-trained police units. Use of the military in Mexico’s war on the drug cartels has been harshly criticized by rights groups, including the official National Human Rights Commission. However, the official plan still posted to the website of Mexico’s Federal Registry says military forces will remain involved in drug enforcement through the end of Calder贸n’s term in 2012. (Bloomberg, Feb. 6)

Soldiers searching a house near the border town of Miguel Alem谩n, Tamaulipas, Feb. 7 discovered nine tons of marijuana and a huge cache of arms鈥攊ncluding 89 assault rifles, a battlefield machine-gun, grenades, plastic explosives, military uniforms and more than 80,000 rounds of ammunition. Five men guarding the house were arrested. (NYT, Feb. 9)

An army colonel and two presumed narcos were killed in a shoot-out in Par谩cuaro, Michoac谩n, Feb. 7. Two soldiers were also wounded. Soldiers were backing up local police in a raid on drug laboratory (presumably methamphetamine) when they came under fire with AK-47s. (La Jornada, Feb. 7)

See our last posts on Mexico and the narco crisis.

  1. Mexicam military vs. drug cartels
    The UN seems very concerned to protect Mexican drug cartels from the Mexican military. These cartels are not ordinary street thugs, but are armed with military weapons. Effectively countering them will require forces with superior firepower such as the military. Besides each military unit involved in controlling drug cartels is a unit too busy to cross the US border as the Mexican military have done over a hundred times.

    1. Does “Plan Colombia” mean anything to you?
      Do you want Mexico to look like Colombia in five years? Military involvement in drug enforcement has led to total disaster there, in case you haven’t noticed. Besides, sending the Mexican army after the drug cartels sounds to us like a textbook case in the fox guarding the chicken-coop. To a large extent the Mexican army is the drug cartels.