Saturday, October 16, 2010
Clinton: U.S. wants to increase help for Mexico's fight against drug cartels
Can the United States really help Mexico succeed in its battle against drug cartels that have expanded their influence farther and farther south from the border between the two countries? From the safety of Northern California, hundreds of miles from Tijuana, it used to look as if the Mexican government was forced to fight corruption it its own police forces before it could engage the drug traffickers that had turned even peaceful cities into dangerous places. But years of unabated violence have made the lines of power a lot easier to understand. That's why U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the other day that the powerful Mexican drug cartels were behaving a lot like political insurgent groups than mere gangs. "This is one of the most difficult fights that any country faces today," Clinton told San Francisco's nonpartisan Commonwealth Club in a speech Friday, according to Cable News Network (CNN). "We are watching drug traffickers undermine and corrupt governments in Central America, and we are watching the brutality and barbarity of their assaults on governors and mayors, the press, as well as each other, in Mexico." Clinton said the United States could help Mexico rebuild its criminal justice system and retrain its police forces to fight the cartels, which she said were acting like terrorists. "For the first time, they are using car bombings," she said. "You see them being much more organized in a kind of paramilitary way." Clinton's comments were no doubt a reference to U.S. efforts to find the body of David Hartley, a U.S. resident believed to have been shot by drug traffickers on Mexico's border with Texas, CNN said.