There has been further terrible violence in the Mexican drugs war this week – thirteen people killed by masked gunmen in Oaxaca state, which isn’t even one of the areas that is normally regarded as in the frontline. The more this kind of thing happens, the more people will begin to ask whether President Calderon actually made a mistake in unleashing the “war on drugs” in 2006.
Perhaps the most articulate Mexican critic of the drugs war is Jorge Castaneda, the former foreign minister, who makes several telling criticisms of the whole effort, in this article for Foreign Policy. I sympathise with some of what Castaneda has to say. But it’s not clear to me what his proposed alternative is? Is he just suggesting that Mexico should have tolerated organised crime. That is certainly implied by his sentence – “Mexico is not Norway and it never was.” Read more