Latin America: Mexico Considering Creation of "Drug Czar" Post

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #468)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

The government of Mexican President Felipe Calderon is considering the creation of a national "drug czar" position to coordinate its offensive against drug traffickers. The proposal comes as President Felipe Calderon wages a police and military offensive with thousands of troops deployed against drug traffickers in the state of Michoacan and the border city of Tijuana.

Last year, drug prohibition-related violence in Mexico reached record levels, with some 2,000 people killed in internecine struggles among the so-called cartels and in fighting between police and cartel gunmen. The business of supplying drug-hungry Americans is a multi-billion dollar enterprise for Mexico's drug trafficking organizations.

Mexican media reported last week that the Calderon administration was studying the proposal and consulting with the military high command and US authorities as part of the process. According to those reports, the "drug czar" would participate in formulating national security strategy and would be advised by high-ranking officials from the departments of defense, navy, finance, and public security, as well as the Attorney General's office.

The notion has the support of legislators in the ruling PAN party, as well as members of the left opposition PRD. PAN Senator Felipe Gonzalez Gonzalez told Formato 21 radio that creating a "drug czar" post is a "subject of national interest." He urged legislators from all parties to "responsibly analyze the feasibility" of creating such a post and to support legislation that would make it possible.

PRD Senator Graco Ramirez told the radio station he agreed with the need for a "drug czar" given the growing power of the drug trafficking organizations, adding, perhaps wishfully, that the position should be held by a military officer to "avoid the temptation of being corrupted" by the cartels.

The "drug czar" would undoubtedly be a busy man if the position is created. Calderon administration officials have told reporters that the military-police forays into Michoacan and Tijuana are likely to be expanded to the states of Guerrero and Sinaloa.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

The drug war is just big untaxed business's. Was that temptation on O. North or was it just business , guns and drugs , The trade business. No one wants to loose their place at the trough. ........well , on second thought........ Maybe ... Serpico.!!!! , Pat

Fri, 01/12/2007 - 6:21pm Permalink

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