Mexico, obama’s new residence for excuses

Last Sunday, the Mexican government fired 1,100 customs officials in a move to wipe out rampant corruption in the agency charged with securing the transport of goods and people across the U.S.-Mexican border. Army troops temporarily took control of the ports of entry (POE’s) along the 2,000-mile border.

Using more than 36,00 Mexican Army troops, President Felipe Calderon continues his war on the barbaric drug cartels that control and ravage much of Mexico. Last year, 5,600 people died at the hands of the cartels. The focus on the POE’s is not just the interdiction of human and drug smuggling but also of the flow of firearms into Mexico where they are tightly controlled. Calderon has complained frequently that guns from the United States provide the cartels with most of their firepower, though we have noted the dubious nature of this claim on more than one occasion.

During his visit to Mexico last week, Barack Obama praised Calderon’s efforts, but the Apologizer in Chief also readily blamed his own country for the violence. He pledged to dry up the flow of weapons into Mexico as well as to cut American demand for drugs. His strategy to stop the movement of guns includes reinstating (and, no doubt, enhancing) the 1994 ban on so-called “assault weapons” that expired in 2004. In addition, he promised an additional $1.6 billion for the Merida Initiative, a joint effort to fight against drug trafficking, money laundering and other crimes in Mexico and Central America.

But according to recent reports by the National Drug Intelligence Center, the Mexican cartels have been regulating “traffic” into and out of Mexico for some time, both at the POE’s and the virtually uncontrolled borderlands from San Ysidro, California to Brownsville, Texas. The problem always comes back to our wide-open border that four successive administrations have made little attempt to control. Calderon’s willingness to wage war on the cartels is truly admirable, but all things considered, it could end up as tilting at windmills.

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