By Eduardo Ortega and Isabel Becerril
· No one can explain how the United States can be the largest drug market in the world without the corruption of its authorities
El Financiero, Mexico City – President Felipe Calderón expressed deep regrets that U.S. authorities and the media have pursued a misleading campaign against Mexico on matters of safety/security.
He bemoaned that there are magazines that are not only dedicated “to attacking” and “lying” about the situation of our country, but too they are dedicated to exalting criminals and making apologies for crime.
Just a day before, Forbes Magazine included the (Mexican) drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman on its list of multimillionaires, estimating his fortune at US$1 billion.
President Calderón participated in the “Mexico: Economic Outlook and Opportunities in the New Global Environment” forum, organized by ProMexico and the Council of the Americas.
Speaking before entrepreneurs, he classified it as “false and absurd” that U.S. authorities may characterize the Mexican government as not having authority over its national territory.
“I challenge those who say that to tell me where within (our) national territory they might want to go and I will take them. All I ask is don’t come on vacation, which is how some analysts apparently come to Mexico.
“What I ask is that we go precisely to the place in the country they want, in order to be acquainted with the dominion of the state. We do have problems, of course, as too does the United States,” he challenged.
He assured that his administration has sufficient strength to defeat crime, and it enjoys the broad support of society.
The president emphasized that in the United States no one is able to explain how (it can be) the largest drug market in the world without the corruption of its authorities.
He criticized that while the Mexican government is “cleaning house” from top to bottom, in the U.S. high-level authorities are not even investigated.
Therefore, Calderón said that even though he fully recognizes and values recent statements of President Barack Obama, he hopes that (Obama is) conveying that sense of support and joint responsibility to the members of his cabinet.
At the same time, he expressed confidence that both the leadership and the American media will assume their role of responsibility regarding the problem of drug trafficking.
He stressed that the minimum he is calling for from Washington is a sense of joint responsibility, because the problem of drug transshipments “consumes” the U.S. consumer society and impacts both sides of the Rio Grande.
Moreover, Calderon expressed hope that both (Mexico City) and the White House would intervene in the matter of arms trafficking to Mexico.
The president said that with the dissemination of (news) that there were 6,500 deaths in Mexico last year, the idea has been created that Mexicans are “collapsing” prostrate due to crime in the streets, and it is not so.
As well, he said police reports indicate that 93 percent of those deaths were directly or indirectly linked with organized crime gangs.
He added that with 30 per cent of those deaths – of drug dealers, informers, assassins or (money launderers), their bodies were never claimed by any family member.
In this regard, he explained that the violence is caused by the fighting between criminal groups for control of the market for drugs, which is why his government is mobilizing all of the strength of the state.
Furthermore, he emphasized that – according to “serious research” – Mexico has a 10.7 rate of violent deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, a figure that is lower than those recorded in various cities in the United States.
El Financiero, Mexico City, March 13, 2009; MexiData.info translation