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Drug Cartel’s Grip on Mexican Politicians and Police Revealed in Texas Court Files

David Agren - The Guardian
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November 10, 2017
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According to Santiago Roel the president of the Semáforo Delictivo (Crime Gauge) organization, violence in Mexico could only be stopped if drugs were legalized. (Youtube)

The accusations made in three Texas courtrooms were staggering. Witness after witness described how a notorious drug cartel pumped money into Mexican electoral campaigns and paid off individual politicians and policemen in the border state of Coahuila to look the other way as hundreds of people were massacred or forcibly disappeared.

The Texas court testimonies – gathered in a report released this week by the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law and Fray Juan de Larios Diocesan Human Rights Centre in Coahuila – give one of the most complete accounts so far of how organized crime has attempted to capture the institutions of democracy in Mexico’s regions.

The report prompted outrage among activists who have worked with victims of violence. But the accusations were met with sharp denials from Mexican politicians and a pointed lack of interest from judicial officials.

The Mexican public, meanwhile, mostly shrugged, even as the country endures its most violent year on record and the crackdown on organised crime seems unlikely to end anytime soon.

“The lack of action from government is to be expected,” said Jorge Kawas, a security analyst in the city of Monterrey. “But the lack of outrage by Mexicans is just disheartening.

“We’ve become numb to excessive violence. There’s no leadership in government or in the streets and Mexican media is practically useless for holding power accountable.”

Allegations that Mexican politicians have acted in cahoots with drugs cartels have been common for decades, though such accusations have seldom resulted in thorough investigations, let alone criminal convictions. Even after sworn testimony in US courts has described corruption, Mexican officials appear unwilling to act.

“For Mexicans, it’s always sad to hear that the real investigations against crime and corruption in Mexico have to be done elsewhere in order for them to actually mean something or obtain a result,” said Esteban Illades, editor of the magazine Nexos.

Mexico’s militarized crackdown on drug cartels over the past decade has cost more than 200,000 lives and left more than 30,000 missing. But by its own terms, it has been a failure: 2017 is shaping up to be the country’s the most violent year on record.

Read the rest at The Guardian


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