Friday, February 6, 2009

State Dept. Visits War-Torn U.S.-Mexico Border--But Will It Help?

Photo caption: McGlynn enters auditorium at Chamber of Commerce gathering in downtown El Paso, TX Monday. El Paso Times photo.

When a U.S. State Department official accepted U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) invitation to El Paso, we locals hoped for insight. Could Mexico collapse, as a recent U.S. Joint Forces Command report suggests? Will the U.S. $1.4 Billion Merida Initiative package effectively help Mexico quell the drug cartel war? When will the horrifying violence that plagues Mexico, and especially Ciudad Juarez, end?

William L McGlynn, the State Department official, was touted by Reyes as "pre-eminently qualified to share insights about what is really going on in Mexico, and between the governments of Mexico and the United States." However, the presentation was less than enlightening, according to the El Paso Times report on the Chamber of Commerce gathering of 100 civic and business leaders on Monday.

McGlynn, after arriving an hour late, could neither predict a cessation to the violence nor disclose what portion of the Merida Initiative aid package would be earmarked for U.S. border security. The audience expressed concerned about the negative business image of the border. Nearly 1700 murders in Juarez since January 2008 make it one of the world's most violent cities. They heard little to assuage their concerns.

City Representative Beto O'Rourke, who attracted national attention last month by suggesting the U.S. discuss drug legalization as a way to diminish the cartel's reign of terror, was "disappointed." When Reyes' twice compared the situation to the movie Last Man Standing, O'Rourke felt he implied we should stand back and watch to see who wins. He commented that simply to "let people duke it out is not showing leadership."

Reyes disallowed a local radio station president, who inquired about drug-related kidnappings in El Paso, from asking a second question after she refuted his contention that the kidnapping reports were "urban legends."

McGlynn is the principal deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs at the State Department. He intended to also visit Mexico later in the day, but I don't have any information to share about that part of his itinerary.


mmlindsey said...

You are doing so well in keeping this on the front burner!

Did you happen to read the article that theAmbassador of Mexico, Arturo Sarukhan, posted on the El Paso online news paper?

Would love your thoughts on this.


Vicente Duque said...

Dear Border Explorer :

Thanks for your excellent website that I will continue "exploring" very often. It is Wonderful !

It is good that this article starts with the Chamber of Commerce at El Paso, Texas. Because Commerce is rational, and business can not proceed only with emotions but has to think.

My main interest is not Immigration but Demography and the Kindness and Love of the Human Heart in counterpoint or contrast to Hate and Hatred.

I always avoid big discussions on Immigration ( not my forte ), and prefer the numbers of Demography, Foreign Trade, Commerce, etc ...

I find that many TV and Radio Anchors are crazy with Right Wing talk that negates Reason, the Obliteration of Reason, the Repudiation of Reason.

The Greed to become rich by manipulation of the media.

That is why I also develop a fight for Rationality and Reason and against Right Wing Madness.

The young voters and Youth :

The Rational Prophecy :

Vicente Duque

Border Explorer said...

Hi, Matt, thanks for your comments. I need you to keep me thinking optimistically! I saw that article, and I really hope Mexico is stable. I'm not a good person to opine on that. I hope interested readers will follow that link and read the Ambassador's statement for themselves.

But we need to be in solidarity with Mexico in this time of strife, whatever that means...however we can...I'll be writing you back off this thread, but I did want to give at least a perfunctory response here.

Somewhere I read something like: "of course Mexico is not going to collapse because there is no rival government ready to step in." But that does not reassure me. Couldn't Mexico turn into something akin to the warring tribal bands of Afghanistan, only in this case--warring cartels?

Again, I only ask questions as an appalled spectator from the front row seat we have here in El Paso.

Border Explorer said...

Hello Vincente! Welcome and thank you for your affirming comments. I see we have a lot in common. I also dislike greed and right wing radio commentary (and also most of the left wing radio--too polemic). I look forward to looking at the sites you linked. Make yourself at home here on Border Explorer.

an average patriot said...

The more I read your stuff about this the more troubling it gets because this is our Border. Our money soldiers whatever will only make this worse. We are not going to stop those cartels. Like everything else in the world today as this progresses it gets more convoluted.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

It sounds like they really don't know what to do.

Maithri said...

Fantastic post.

"Will it help?..."

Isnt this the crucial question...

In so many parts of the world, corruption and misinformation from bureaucrats is rife...

A state department visit is great...but if they arent getting the message about the immediacy of the issues... and if they are arent offering real solutions... what use is the visit...

1700 murders in a year is a disgrace... anywhere...

This is why your voice is so important my friend.... why the light that you bring to these issues is creating waves of positive disturbance... to mark a path for change to occur...

Blessings of peace and passion, M

Jamie said...

Wonderful report. It is a shame the State Department rep was so responsive.

Distributorcap said...

it is amazing how this is just not reported up north or even in the national media -- guess it isnt sexy enough like michael phelps