Clinton: Mexico needs “equivalent” of Plan Colombia

President Barack Obama is backtracking from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement comparing Mexico and Colombia. “Mexico is a large and progressive democracy with a growing economy,” Obama said in a Sept. 9 interview with La Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper in Los Angeles. “As a result, you can’t compare what is happening in Mexico with what happened in Colombia 20 years ago.”

Clinton said in response to a question after a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington the previous day: “We face an increasing threat from a well-organized network, drug-trafficking threat that is, in some cases, morphing into, or making common cause with, what we would consider an insurgency.” She added that Mexico is “looking more and more like Colombia looked 20 years ago,” with drug traffickers controlling “parts of the country.”

“In Colombia, it got to the point where…more than a third of the country—nearly 40% of the country at one time or another—was controlled by the insurgents, by FARC,” Clinton said, referring to the Colombian guerilla army. She asserted that the US, Mexico and the Central American countries need to cooperate on an “equivalent” of Plan Colombia—the multi-billion dollar military aid program that was launched 10 years ago. (LAT, Bloomberg, WP, Sept. 9

Mexico and Central America already have a multi-billion dollar US military aid program, the Merida Initiative—which critics are already dubbing “Plan Mexico.”

Another mayor killed
In the latest in a wave of slayings of Mexican mayors, on Sept. 8, masked gunmen stormed the office of Alexander Lopez Garcia in El Nranjo, a village in San Luis PotosĂ­ on the border of the conflicted state of Tamaulipas. (AlJazeera, Sept. 9)

Authorites in Tamaulipas say they have arrested seven suspects in last week’s horrific massacre of 72 migrants on a ranch near the US border—all presumably members of Los Zetas narco-gang. Police in Ecuador report that have also arrested a coyote (human trafficker) who was also involved in the incident. (EFE, Sept. 9; Prensa Latina, Sept. 6)

See our last posts on Mexico and the narco wars.

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  1. Why are you taking her statement at face value!?
    as if Plan Colombia were a model of success instead of 5 million displaced/ethnically-cleansed, record drug exports, murders of labor and dissident leaders/activists etc.

    Plan Colombia was an abject failure except at pacification of the country by a drug cartel- controlled government for the benefit of multinational extractive industry.



    1. Who says we are?
      I know proper blog etiquette is jump up and down, wave your arms and scream your opinion at the top of your lungs, but just because we are presenting facts dispassionately doesn’t mean we are taking anything at “face value.” If you were paying attention, you would know that we consider it utterly sinister that the US is attempting to export the Plan Colombia model to Mexico.

      So c’mon yourself, hombre.