Echo Sierra

Thoughts on Conflicts, Peace and Defence policies

Posted by Echo Sierra On January - 24 - 2013 2 Comments

Mexico Supreme Court voted yesterday the decision to free French citizen Florence Cassez. The woman had been sentenced to a 60-year prison sentence on the charges of kidnapping.

No one seems to really know what led to her arrest, trial and detention  and the judges of the Mexican Supreme Court did not rule on her innocence or guilt (at the time of her arrest – 2005 – she was dating Israel Vallarta, a Mexican who still waiting to be trialed for ten abductions and a murder he confessed, but she has always claimed she did not know about Vallarta’s criminal activities). However, they recognized the procedure had suffered so serious infringements that her release was decided.

Federal police officers take a suspect into custody in connection with a shooting in Tijuana March 9, 2009. (©Nadav Neuhaus)

Federal police officers take a suspect into custody in connection with a shooting in Tijuana March 9, 2009. (©Nadav Neuhaus)

Behind this story (conclusions of which rest in a Mexican court of appeals to re-examine the case), is the question of rule of law in Mexico, as the case is typical of the security sector in this country. 

Mexican administration may have completed the construction of a memorial to honor the victims (*) of the drug & gang war in Mexico, yet the country still experiences high levels of violence, as the New York Times reports:

A year ago, Mr. Calderón’s government released its last count of presumed drug-war dead — 47,515 since the end of 2006 — and then refused to release any further data [...] Most recently, the government released statistics for all homicides, drug-related or not, putting the figure at 102,705 in the past six years

Not to mention several signs that illustrate a states-within-a-state situation, and the poor efficiency of the police and legal system (“nearly 60 percent of the homicides remain unsolved, the Mexican census bureau said recently“), which often leads Mexican citizen to take their own initiatives to increase their security.

Increase in violence in Mexico can be, partly, explained by former President Felipe Calderon’s strategy against drug trafficking. The aim of the police and the army was then to target leaders of cartels. The idea seemed good to disorganize cartels, but such a strategy ended up in splitting these organizations into a constellation of small gangs even less controllable. President Enrique Peña Nieto’s policy is believed to focus on street gangs and criminal employed by the cartels.  However, this new approach is far from being shared by experts, as Julian Aguilar writes.


*: althought, as Karla Zabludovsky reports, the “victims” are innocents, as well as criminals killed by “competitors”…

2 Responses so far.

  1. Guillaume PayreNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for this excellent summary

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