Jesus Velasco: Would U.S. ever trust a PRI president? [op-ed]

Dallas Morning News, 6/7/12

All of this leads me to ask: If the PRI’s Enrique Peña Nieto wins the presidential election, will the American government trust his administration? Is the U.S. willing to exchange classified information with a PRI administration? How is the PRI going to obtain legitimacy? Has PRI changed or will it rule Mexico again as an authoritarian government?…

For a long time, U.S. authorities distrusted the Mexican government. In 1997, when the PRI ruled, Ron Brooks, task force commander of the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, testified before a Senate committee that according to “DEA administrator Tom Constantine, there is not one single law enforcement organization in Mexico in which DEA has an entirely trusting relationship…”

During the Calderón years, the distrust has diminished but not disappeared. Washington has cooperated with Mexico in providing training and equipment and sharing intelligence information. The Obama administration is happy with the Mexican policy of directly confronting the cartels and arresting important drug figures. But all is not well….

Finally, as Joaquin Villalobos asserted in the Mexican magazine Nexos in January, “what will be the guarantees that people who decapitate or massacre keep their promises? … Speaking about negotiation is accepting weakness and giving recognition to the criminals.” For these reasons, it is difficult to think that Peña Nieto and the PRI will reach an agreement with the drug cartels.

Read More…

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