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| 7/30/2010 12:00:00 AM

Colombia Can Win Mexico’s Drug War

July 30--Both the United States and Mexico have approached the war on Mexican drug cartels with Colombia in mind.

Washington’s Merida Initiative, loosely modeled on its Plan Colombia antidrug campaign from a decade ago, provides Mexico with money for helicopters, police training and command-and-control technology. The Mexican government, meanwhile, has taken steps to modernize its judicial system, purge the police of corruption and improve intelligence services.

But according to a Government Accountability Office report released this summer, the billions of dollars spent by Mexico and the United States over the last four years have done little to thwart Mexico’s cartels.

The problem is that the two countries have ignored a fundamental lesson from the Colombian experience: foreign aid, security cooperation and judicial reform were necessary but not sufficient conditions for reducing violence. Plan Colombia succeeded because, at the same time that it stepped up its antidrug efforts, Colombia aggressively reformed its tax system and greatly improved government accountability. Unless Mexico can do the same, antidrug efforts there will fail.
 
 
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EDICIÓN 1829

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Gran encuesta presidencial

Vargas Lleras arranca fuerte, Petro está estancado, Fajardo tiene cómo crecer y los partidos tradicionales andan rezagados. Entre los uribistas, Ramos se ve fuerte. Y Santos tiene 35 por ciento de aceptación. Gran encuesta de Invamer para Caracol Televisión, Blu Radio y SEMANA.