Thomas E. McNamara, Los Angeles Times, 9/20/2010
Washington and Mexico City are unsure whether Mexico today resembles Colombia’s insurgency of 20 years ago. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton thinks it does; some Mexicans and, maybe, President Obama think not (“The wrong solution in Mexico,” Opinion, Sept. 10). As the American ambassador in Colombia when the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar was at riding high, and later when he was defeated, I side with Clinton in seeing many parallels.
By recognizing the parallels between the two conflicts, the U.S. and Mexico can learn valuable lessons from Colombia’s battle with narco-insurgents.
Thomas E. McNamara was ambassador to Colombia from 1989 to 1991. He served as a State Department official in the Clinton administration and both Bush administrations.