Well, the attempts by the government to avoid the comparison of the proposed Mexico drug war funding with the disastrous Plan Colombia aren’t working too well.
The media are quite comfortable calling it Plan Mexico
Known as “Plan Mexico,” the new measure would be aimed at curbing escalating drug violence along the border with Mexico. The majority of the funding will come from taxpayer money and will enable the Mexican government to bolster it’s telecommunications capability and it’s ability to monitor airspace to fight the Mexican drug cartels more efficiently.
And at a press conference today with President Bush, Prime Minister Harper of Canada and President Calderon of Mexico, a reporter asked:
Q Good afternoon, President Bush and Prime Minister. And I thought that
this summit would be the — actually Plan Mexico would come out of this,
the combination of three governments to combat the effects of drug
trafficking. What is the obstacle? What is causing the delay? Why don’t the
societies of each country know what this plan is about? And can you
actually confirm the support of the United States to Mexico? Apparently it
will increase tenfold, and the levels will be similar to Colombia. We hear
very often the United States wants to take part in this situation against
drugs, this war on drugs, and we see it very clearly in Mexico. Now, what
is it all about? Could you tell us?
Of course, President Bush clarified everything…
PRESIDENT BUSH: Man! Hombre! (Laughter.) We discussed a common strategy to deal with a common problem, and that is narco-trafficking and violence
on our border. First, let me say that in order to develop an effective
common strategy there needs to be serious consultations between our
respective governments. It’s one thing to say, we’re interested in working
together; it’s another thing to develop a package on both sides of the
border that will be effective in dealing with the problem. That’s what our
people expect us to do. They expect us to see a problem and to develop an
effective strategy to deal with that problem.
President Calderon and I met in Mexico, and we had a serious discussion
to get this initiative on the table. This is an interim meeting, a meeting
for us to make sure that the strategy that’s being developed is — will be
effective. So we reviewed where we are in the process.
The United States is committed to this joint strategy to deal with a
joint problem. I would not be committed to dealing with this if I wasn’t
convinced that President Calderon had the will and the desire to protect
his people from narco-traffickers. He has shown great leadership and great
strength of character, which gives me good confidence that the plan we’ll
develop will be effective. And the fundamental question is, what can we do
together to make sure that the common strategy works? And that’s where we
are in the discussions right now.
There’s all kinds of speculation about the size of the package, this,
that and the other. All I can tell you is the package, when it’s developed,
will be robust enough to achieve a common objective, which is less violence
on both sides of the border, and to deal with narco-trafficking. And we
both have responsibilities. And that’s what the package is entailed to
develop. It’s to develop how do we share our joint responsibilities.
It’s in our interests that this program go forward. You mentioned Plan
Colombia– this is not like Plan Colombia. This is different from Plan
Colombia. This is a plan that says we’ve got an issue on our own border. We
share a border and, therefore, it’s a joint program that will mean — that
won’t mean U.S. armed presence in your country. Mexico is plenty capable of
handling the problem. And the question is, is there any way for us to help
strengthen the effort? And so that’s what we’re studying.
And I can’t give you a definitive moment when the plan will be ready,
but we’re working hard to get a plan ready. And it’s a plan that, once it’s
proposed and out there, I strongly urge the United States Congress to
support. It’s in our interests, it’s in the U.S. interests that we get this
Wow. That really answered all my questions about Plan Mexico.
What did he say?