Mexican Election Puts Drug War in Limbo, Say Robert Weiner, Ex-White House Drug Spokesman, and George Clingan, Latin American Policy Analyst; Oped in Arizona Republic

Jul 03, 2012, 13:13 ET from Robert Weiner Associates

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Mexican election has put the Drug War in limbo, ex-White House Drug Policy spokesman Robert Weiner is saying today, joined by Latin American policy analyst George Clingan.

Weiner and Clingan say in an oped in the Arizona Republic today entitled,  "U.S. Must Boost Drug-War Aid to Stop the Cartels," that President-Elect of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, elected Sunday and taking office December 1, has stated he will 'change' Mexico's drug war.  His decision as to 'how' and whether it actually happens will bear significant consequences for the United States.  "While he said in his victory speech that he will not yield to the cartels, his actual new policies may be more forgiving to them," say Weiner and Clingan today.

"The cartels control 980 local governments in Mexico and have distribution networks in 230 U.S. cities," Weiner and Clingan report.    

Weiner and Clingan assert that the "position on the drug war has been vague" by President-elect Nieto.

They point out, "A White House readout of President Obama's call to President-elect Pena Nieto Monday cites a discussion of 'common goals including democracy, economic prosperity, and security,' but does not mention fighting drugs. That's the elephant in the room."

"It is critical that we reaffirm our commitment to weaken the super-cartels by sending a strong message to the new Mexican president.  Nieto has called for 'better regulation of the military' and stated that Mexico 'should not subordinate to the strategies of other countries.' The candidate who came in second, the PRD's Lopez Obrador, would reject U.S. intelligence, weapons, and aid.  Neither candidate gave the U.S. overwhelming confidence for a commitment to stopping the drug trade."

Clingan and Weiner added, "Every new Mexican President comes in and says he will fight the drug trade but shortly finds his government and his law enforcement branches consumed and largely controlled by drug corruption – this has happened for as long as we can remember.  They have even had a recent Drug Czar who turned out to be part of the drug cartel."

Weiner and Clingan argue, "The United States would do well by doubling anti-drug aid to Mexico, but contingent on a stick—measures assuring the next Mexican president's continued efforts to win the drug war. However, we don't even give them what we promise. Of the $1.4 billion authorized for Mexico since 2008 under the Merida initiative, we shorted Mexico by a third.  The least we should do is fully fund our promised cooperation with Mexico. Mexican officials rightfully assailed our 'slow deliveries while the bodies kept building up in Mexico.'"

Weiner and Clingan conclude, "Mexico itself has spent $35 BILLION on the drug war while we've given them less than $2 billion to solve our main crime and social problem – 68% of U.S. arrestees test positive for illegal drugs. The U.S. should give a far more realistic dollar support level to Mexico's anti-drug efforts and far more focus to the effort.  It will take the combined efforts of Mexico and the United States to deal a fatal blow to these too-big-to-fail cartels who threaten us daily."

Contact: Robert Weiner/Richard Mann 301-283-0821, cell 202-306-1200

SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates