A representative of the U.S. military said yesterday it was “unacceptable” that the fight against drug trafficking in Mexico has killed nearly 13,000 deaths in 2011 and admitted that the capture of drug lords not have had a positive effect on public perception of violence.
Appearing before the Committee on Senate Armed Forces, General Charles H. Jacoby, head of Northern Command, said that Mexican authorities have been successful in capturing or eliminating 22 of 37 identified drug bosses, “but that has not had an appreciable effect, a positive significant effect.”
“Violence has continued to increase. It was a tremendous increase this year, but figures are unacceptable, “said the commander in answering a question from Republican Senator John McCain.”I think it is premature to judge whether they are winning or losing the fight against organized crime.”
The senator asked for a diagnosis of the situation in Mexico after mentioning that almost 50 000 deaths have occurred since 2006 and almost 13 000 last year, related to the fight against organized crime.
“I agree that there are other things that need doing, and the Mexican armed forces are trying to establish security by reducing the violence in communities, particularly in the northeast. I think it’s the right strategy, “the military without specifying additional measures.
His comments contrasted with the usual stuff from the White House and State Department to avoid at all costs commenting that may seem like a criticism of the efforts of Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
“We see all the bad things that can be attributed to transnational organized crime at the border. We know from our experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq border, weak institutions are run by evil and illegal activities, “said Jacoby.
McCain continued his questioning, and asked why the United States have become known to the heads of the cartels in Mexico, but not the names of heads of cartels operating in thousand U.S. cities, according to a recent report from the Department of Justice .
“My estimate is that we know to a certain level of members of cartels that are operating in the U.S.,” said Jacoby. “I think we have a distant connection with some of the cartels in Mexico, but I think we have our own problem with gangs in America. We recognize this as a problem, and I know that our federal agencies and the Department of Justice are working on that. “
McCain also addressed the Southern Command chief, Gen. Douglas Fraser, who has requested an assessment of the security situation in Central America.
Fraser said the drug “in some cases are better equipped than their military and police,” adding that the problem of corruption among public officials “is still very, very serious in much of Central America.”
Change of address
On Tuesday March 6, the chief of the Northern United States, Charles H. Jacoby, had appeared before the House of Representatives in another tone.
“The military to military relationship between the U.S. and Mexico has advanced to levels of coordination that is unprecedented,” he said.
“Our Mexican colleagues share information on combating transnational criminal organizations,” he said.
In the legislative session on Tuesday, the head of Northern Command gave a list of aspects shared by the Pentagon with the Army and Navy of Mexico, as part of the unprecedented relationship.
Senate urged to push for a settlement against weapons
The Senate called on President Felipe Calderon strengthens Mexico’s international lobbying to achieve international agreement to prevent the sale of weapons from one country to another when there is a risk that will be used by organized crime.
Unanimously, the Senate called on President Calderon to Mexico, along with nations interested in the subject, promote an international treaty on arms trade to ensure the basic rules of international law, human rights and international humanitarian law to ensure that States do not engage in any arms transfers where there is an imminent risk that they may be used to commit serious violations thereof.
“The treaty must be based on shared responsibility of manufacturers and consumers as well as all the actors involved at different stages of the transfer process, which provides objective, nondiscriminatory and transparent to the arms trade.
“Similarly, it is essential that the Treaty will contribute to avoid the irresponsible trade in conventional weapons, or their diversion to the illegal market, where there is risk that the weapons will be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights humans, and the risk involved to peace and security, “the three senators,” according to the preamble.
It also calls on legislators to urge their own members of all parliamentary groups that “through the mechanisms of parliamentary diplomacy, involving, invite their counterparts to promote the signing of the International Treaty on Arms Trade to avoid forwarding them to activities prohibited by international law.
In the explanatory notes that motivate “as a neighbor of one of the largest suppliers of weapons worldwide, Mexico is suffering the consequences of illicit arms trafficking and the subsequent use violence generated by the crime.
“According to official reports, 85% of the weapons seized in the fight against organized crime came from the United States, where you can buy these weapons.”
The senators also refer to Mexico recently joined the Wassenaar Arrangement, a multilateral treaty that seeks to bring pioneering safe trade in conventional weapons, “from establishing export controls.”
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