Critics of the Merida Initiative (including yours truly) warned that lax oversight would lead to inevitable plundering of the money by corrupt Mexican government officials and more unabated bloodshed. Calderon cried "racist!" and demanded that the aid be forked over with no strings attached: "Give it to me. And give it to me without conditions," he told Congress.
Well, who's watching over the program now? Who's measuring its success or failure? Judging from the endless pile of corpses and horrific headlines, the Merida Initiative has turned out to be a boon and a boondoggle for the Mexican thugocracy. The civilian police force is notoriously under the thumb of the drug networks across the country. Infiltrators have penetrated at all levels.
The Brookings Institution warned two years ago: "Multiple Federal agencies have earned a reputation for ineffectiveness and corruption; among them, the Attorney General's Federal Investigative Agency, the Ministry of Public Security's Federal Preventive Police Force, the Ministry of Government's Center for Investigation and National Security and the Ministry of Finance's Customs Administration. … State security agencies and the courts have not protected the citizenry effectively. According to surveys carried out by Transparencia Mexicana, the police and justice system are perceived as having worse problems of corruption and inefficiency than other public agencies."
Yet, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the lesson of this weekend's killing spree is that the U.S. needs to work even closer with the Calderon administration -- and at least one House Democrat in Texas, Henry Cuellar, is calling for a second Merida Initiative package. This is a recipe for an even bloodier Mexican Drug Cartel Stimulus Package.
If you subsidize it, you'll get more of it. Loco.
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