Mexican police need bigger guns to fight increasingly violent drug gangs, a federal police chief said, after drug hitmen killed seven officers in the northern city of Culiacan.
“We need machine guns,” said General Rodolfo Cruz, the federal police force’s link with the army in their joint 18-month-old war on Mexico’s powerful drug cartels.
“Pistols are just for showing off, they are good for nothing,” he told reporters in Culiacan
Oh, yeah, machine guns are a really good choice for police work, especially when you’re working in populated areas of your own country filled with… citizens. You know, children, families, etc. Rather than just “showing off” with a pistol, you need something that indiscriminately scatters bullets all over the place.
You start with a drug war with massive black market profits. As criminal enterprises jockey for this gold mine, violence breaks out. Rather than deal with the root cause, you send in troops to go after the criminals. They fail to oblige by packing up and leaving their gold mine, but instead buy AK-47s and fight back, with violence escalating. So now you want machine guns to respond. And what will the criminal groups do? Roll over and play dead? No. They’ll just get bigger guns, or escalate other guerilla warfare techniques. And then what happens?
Stratfor – publisher of online geo-political intelligence analysis written by a global team of intelligence professionals (read former CIA staff) – has argued that Mexico rapidly hurtling down the road to becoming a ‘Failed State’ due to the ‘War on Drugs’.
You should read the entire Stratfor article: Mexico: On the Road to a Failed State?”
There comes a moment when the imbalance in resources reverses the relationship between government and cartels… That is the prescription for what is called a ‹failed stateŠ Ö a state that no longer can function as a state.
Escalating the war doesn’t destroy the cartels. You can destroy individuals or even individual cartels, but the profits will still be there. They can bunker down within the citizenry and strike when they wish. And if the level of their ability to corrupt exceeds the resources of the country to counter (see Guitherism:”No government in the world can compete with the black market in financial compensation for police officers.”), then you achieve a failed state.
The really sad thing is reading the conclusion of the Stratfor analysts.
One way to deal with the problem would be ending the artificial price of drugs by legalizing them. This would rapidly lower the price of drugs and vastly reduce the money to be made in smuggling them. Nothing hurt the American cartels more than the repeal of Prohibition, and nothing helped them more than Prohibition itself. Nevertheless, from an objective point of view, drug legalization isn‰t going to happen. There is no visible political coalition of substantial size advocating this solution. Therefore, U.S. drug policy will continue to raise the price of drugs artificially, effective interdiction will be impossible, and the Mexican cartels will prosper and make war on each other and on the Mexican state.