Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Anabel Hernández: Fox And (Especially) Calderón Protected Sinaloa Drug Cartel

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 31, 2015

Seems that the man known not-so-affectionately as “FeCal” lived up to his nickname during his time as Mexico’s president.

Prominent Mexican journalist Anabel Hernández, in the course of researching her 2010 book Los señores del narco, which was translated into English and retitled Narcoland, shared some inconvenient truths about Calderón and his connections to Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and Guzmán’s Sinaloa cartel during a recent Huffington Post interview:

And those of us in the media had only concentrated on the legend of Chapo Guzmán, based on his violence, on the tons of drugs he trafficked, without asking ourselves, “How does he do it? How can this man be so powerful?” And the only way of explaining how the Sinaloa cartel and Chapo Guzmán became so powerful is with the complicity of the government.

It was that way, reporting on the story of Chapo Guzmán and the power he was accumulating during the Felipe Calderón administration, that I found that this so-called drug war was completely false. When I started investigating, I began receiving information in documents and testimony in the U.S. courts and interviews I did with drug traffickers that the Sinaloa cartel enjoyed government protection since the Vicente Fox administration, and that protection continued through the government of Felipe Calderón. [editor’s note: Former Mexican President Vicente Fox was in office from 2000 to 2006. Former Mexican President Felipe Calderón served from 2006 to 2012.]

I starting doing public information requests in Mexico to see if these things being said in [the U.S.] courts were true. What I found was that during Felipe Calderón’s so-called drug war, the cartel that was attacked the least, that had the fewest arrests, was the Sinaloa cartel. And in government statistics, throughout the Felipe Calderón administration’s six years, there were increases in marijuana production, increases in opium production, increases in amphetamine production, increases in drug consumption in Mexico. What kind of drug war is this where a cartel gets stronger, becomes the most powerful cartel in the world, and on the other hand, drug production reaches historic levels in Mexico?

Did anything significant change once Calderón left office? Not really:

When [current Mexican president] Enrique Peña Nieto took office, he really took over a country that had been destroyed. Instead of recognizing that and developing a serious plan to confront it, Peña Nieto tried to sell the image to outsiders that “no, Mexico is doing really well — we’re passing political reforms, social reforms, economic reforms, and everything is going very smoothly.” The international press believed it.

And because there are several prominent figures and industries on this side of the border that profit greatly from the War on Some Drugs, the real perps will likely get away with it even as America slowly wakes up from its racism- and corruption-fueled Drug War trance.

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