a Devastating Shock to Mexico
damage control that the government has attempted isn't nearly enough to
mitigate the harm that has been done. … If someone had been dedicated to tracking files that are the most devastating to Mexico in the State Department archives, he would have been hard pressed to find a more damaging set."
The publication of internal State
Department documents about Mexico is equivalent to an external shock to the domestic
policies of our nation. The information will further complicate the end of this
administration's term in office and increase tensions within the government.
The damage control that the government has attempted isn't nearly enough to
mitigate the harm that has been done. The government should seriously consider remedial
measures to protect state institutions and offer apologies to those who were offended.
If someone had been dedicated to tracking files that are the most devastating to Mexico in the State Department archives, he would have been hard pressed to find a more damaging set.
It does little good to argue
that President Felipe Calderon is truly committed to the battle against drugs, if
all that comes along with that commitment demonstrates how his
government is permeated by incompetence and corruption. The information shows
Felipe Calderon as a leader who puts no limits on U.S. involvement, fails to
coordinate security in his areas of responsibility and is absent from key
decisions that can only devolve to him. The impression remains that the central
decisions regarding domestic security are being taken by parts of the U.S. government.
And that after four years, each sector of government that has been organized
according to his wishes, is working on its own without any coordination among
the Defense Department, the Navy, the public security services, the Center of
Investigation and National Security, and the Attorney General's Office, not to
mention other institutions of government and the complex federal mosaic. Important
decisions like the suspension or continuance of security cooperation are resolved
among the agencies themselves.
The worst thing one could say
in the midst of a “war” regarding a command is that there is no coordination of
forces, it is losing control over significant portions of its territory and it has
less and less support from its general public. Such a situation, it is known,
It's urgent to develop a
policy to protect the Army as an institution (including the Air Force and the
Navy) in view of the new challenges they face (human rights, adaptation their
functions to new realities and global pressure). The nation requires new armed
forces that are competent, respected, and whose activities adhere to and are protected
by the Constitution. If anything, Mexico and its Armed Forces have a lot to be
proud of compared to other areas, where there are problems with civilian
control and loyalty.
It would be desirable for our
chief executive to review the claims [in the U.S. cables] that involve him personally,
in order to make corrections where necessary. If, indeed, Felipe Calderon told
a high-ranking U.S. official that President Chavez could have financed the campaign
of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, when Calderon has all of the elements to prove
that this is false, what would he lose by apologizing publicly, as the U.S.
government has done with those they have offended by the WikiLeaks disclosures?
[Editor's Note: In a cable
from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, dated October 2009, President
Calderon is described as telling the former U.S. director of national
intelligence, Dennis Blair, that he believed Chavez had "funded"
his top opponent and nemesis in the race three years earlier, Andres Manuel Lopez
Given the external shock posed
by these leaks, the government might close itself off with formality and the inertia
of its policies. This would be a grave error. We need to make a serious and dignified
response, not make another declaration. The best response is to recognize and correct
- and to do it now. Right now, the one hurt most directly is the government. If
nothing is fixed, the price will be paid by this set of institutions and their leaders,
including those hoping to govern them within two years.
*Manuel Camacho Solís, Coordinator
of the Dialogue for the Reconstruction of Mexico (DIA)