Thursday, January 15, 2009
Corruption in Mexico's police forces? Can it be?
Now that the United States has acknowledged there may be corruption among police and security officers, maybe leaders in both countries are finally ready to take effective actions to battle drug traffickers who killed nearly 6,000 innocent civilians last year. A senior U.S. law enforcement agent acknowledged Wednesday that corrupt security force officials leaked anti-drug intelligence to traffickers to enable them to escape capture, according to the Reuters international news service. This may have come as a surprise to U.S. drug enforcement officials, but it is plainly obvious to everybody else. The drug trade would not have grown into the international monster it is today without the cooperation and, indeed, participation of officials in every country involved, including the United States. The U.S. agent, who Reuters said requested anonymity, also applauded recent efforts by the Mexican government to arrest top officials compromised by Mexico's powerful drug cartels. "There have been occurrences where we have shared information and then found that the information we shared was compromised, given, provided, leaked to the very targets that were being investigated," the official told Reuters. Mexico's president, Felipe Calderon, has made fighting drug traffickers a top priority and has sent thousands of soldiers and federal police to battle the cartels, including the Sinaloa federation and the Gulf Cartel. In June, the U.S. Congress allocated $465 million in aid to fight drug trafficking in Mexico and Central America, part of the $1.4 billion package called the Merida initiative.