Last week Mexican president Felipe Calderón made a trip to the US, to have his 5th reunion with president Barack Obama. This meeting could be considered an astounding failure, for Calderón went to the White House with one specific purpose: to receive the head of US ambassador Carlos Pascual on a silver platter.
Relationships between the diplomat and the president have turn incredibly sour ever since the Cablegate scandal unleashed by Wikileaks broke last year, when it was found Pascual had written several memos expressing his lack of confidence in the way the Mexican government has conducted the War on Drugs, initiated by Calderón since the beginning of his term in 2006. Specifically, Pascual mentioned to his superiors in Washington how the Mexican Army had shown certain amount of reluctance to action when provided with special US intel on the whereabouts of the druglord Arturo Bertrán Leyva; on account of this, the embassy decided to deliver the intel to the Mexican Navy, which promptly prepared an operation that ultimately ended in the execution of Beltrán Leyva in 2009.
Thus, Pascual revealed the constant infighting and lack of coordination that have plagued the government's effort to fight the cartels, coupled with the perennial corruption that permeates every aspect of the Mexican judicial system. This did not seat well with Calderón, who has maintained a PR campaign to ensure the citizens and foreign investors that things are under cotrol, and that the government has the upper hand in this war.
Unfortunately for the Latin American leader, the White House had no intention to grant him his wish, for it would establish and unfavorable precedent in US diplomatic relations: Pascual would have become the most prominent diplomat to have lost his career over the Wikileaks scandal, and you just can't have foreign dignitaries to start requesting the replacement of ambassadors because they are doing their jobs --i.e. spying on their hosts-- can you?
It is nevertheless most unfortunate that Calderón's staff didn't inform him about a little report conducted by CBS News on the very day he met Obama. The news was about a Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent named John Dodson, who claimed that he received orders from his superiors to allow the trafficking of weapons across the US-Mexico border.
Agent Dodson and other sources say the gun walking strategy was approved all the way up to the Justice Department. The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico. ATF named the case "Fast and Furious."
So the Justice Department was conducting a little experiment here, allowing the traffic of around 2000 weapons —and without bothering to inform the Mexican authorities, their so-called "allies". Weapons they knew would be used to commit violent crimes against Mexican civilians. Innocent people would die due to those guns.
And they went ahead with it.
Documents show the inevitable result: The guns that ATF let go began showing up at crime scenes in Mexico. And as ATF stood by watching thousands of weapons hit the streets... the Fast and Furious group supervisor noted the escalating Mexican violence. One e-mail noted, "958 killed in March 2010 ... most violent month since 2005." The same e-mail notes: "Our subjects purchased 359 firearms during March alone," including "numerous Barrett .50 caliber rifles."
Just what kind of heartless personality do you need to have in order to conceive such a Machiavellian scheme?
Senior agents including Dodson told CBS News they confronted their supervisors over and over. Their answer, according to Dodson, was, "If you're going to make an omelette, you've got to break some eggs."
If you're going to make an omelette, you've got to break some eggs...
Because that's ALL those innocent deaths amount to these bastards: eggs to be broken, pawns to be sacrificed in their shitty geopolitical board. Lives to be toyed with.
Another reason for Calderón's visit that I failed to mention, was the recent assassination of Jaime Zapata, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agent, who along with his partner was ambushed by Los Zetas near San Luis Potosí on Feb 15 (the other agent survived).
Subsequent investigations into the death of this US agent later managed to track the murdering weapon: it had been sold in Dallas, Texas.
A more cynic person would judge Zapata's death as poetic justice. But I don't see it that way; to me his death is a tragedy, like all the other deaths that have occurred in the past years in Mexico.
They are even more tragic, because they could have been prevented. Yet they are permitted by detached government officials on both sides of the border, who seem to forget that the numbers in their briefing documents and estimation reports are more than numbers: they are human lives.
I for one, I'm eager for a change in the menu.