Jim Kouri
Obama's promises to Mexico ring hollow to some
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By Jim Kouri
March 6, 2011

President Barack Obama's promises to Mexico's President Felipe Calderon on Thursday are getting mixed reviews from Americans and Mexicans who have opposing views on how to deal with the Mexican drug war and the continuing flow of illegal aliens into the United States.

Many Latinos are displaying skepticism with Obama's pledge to increase the availability of equipment and materials needed to fight an effective war against the powerful drug cartels such as Los Zetas. They take an even dimmer view of Obama claiming the U.S. will send law enforcement personnel to help the Mexican military and police.

Both Mexican and American commentators say they believe sending a large number American law enforcement personnel into Mexico will result in more American cops being wounded or killed by a criminal element accustomed to murdering their own police officials.

Although Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the White House to mutual security and economic issues, many observers were disappointed that the President spent an inordinate amount of time discussing environmental or "green" issues such as climate change .

The meeting between the two presidents came a mere two weeks after the murder of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, who was ambushed by drug cartel members as he drove with his partner from Mexico City to Monterey. The second ICE agent was shot and wounded by the gunmen, who are believed to be part of Los Zetas.

According to a former drug enforcement officer, the Mexican government is incapable of protecting American officers. He added that members of the Mexican government who are "on the pad" of the drug cartels could pass along information about the Americans — including their identities and itineraries — which adds to the likelihood they would be ambushed.

Obama asked Calderon during their White House meeting to extradite anyone arrested in the murder of Agent Zapata. Calderon had claimed that several of Zapata's attackers were rounded up including a to member of Los Zetas.

Calderon said he would consider allowing the suspects to be extradited for trials in the United States if the procedure complies with Mexican law. But Mexico's extradition treaty with the U.S. makes it difficult to get Mexico to turn over murderers since the U.S. continues to execute those guilty of premeditated murder and federal law makes killing a law enforcement officer a capital offense.

Obama also said his administration plans to spend $500 million on helping the Mexicans fight the cartels and cross-border criminal activity this year. Include in that half-billion dollar package would be military helicopters for the Mexican army or federal police (Federales).

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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