Mexican mayors vow to do what they should have been doing

Miguel Tovar

Violent crime in Mexico is a serious problem. No one is about to dispute that. More than that, though, it’s a problem for the United States since that violence can spill over across our borders. The cartels control way too much of northern Mexico and they bring violence with them.

Part of the problem is that Mexican mayors have either allowed this to happen or were complicit in the cartels gaining that control.

Meanwhile, Mexico has blamed the United States for its problems.

I’ve long maintained this was nothing more than a deflection tactic designed to keep Mexican politicians in power for as long as possible. Now, mayors in the Chihuahua region of the country are finally going to do something about it…supposedly.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar signed an agreement with mayors of six cities in Chihuahua, with the goal of preventing violent crime, building citizen trust in Mexican police forces and reducing corruption.

“This can be a historic moment because it can mark a new start in ensuring our people can live without fear,” Salazar said.

The U.S. Agency for International Development will fund the initiative as part of a four-year, $19.4 million Violence Prevention and Reduction Activity program across 32 cities in10 states in Mexico. Details about how the funding will be used to help reduce violent crime in Chihuahua were not part of the presentation and Salazar did not hold a scheduled press conference because he had to catch a flight to Tijuana Friday night right after the signing ceremony

Salazar and Chihuahua Gov. Maria Eugenia Campos Galvan led the signing ceremony Friday night at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez.

“The time has come to think of the border region as a unique binational community,” Campos said. “It’s impossible now to see ourselves, as we have in the past, as a clash of countries or as a divided population. Now is the moment to move forward as one binational community.”

We’re not one binational community, though. Mexico is Mexico and the United States is the United States.

However, problems along the Mexican border have a habit of spilling through onto our soil. Despite that, if they have to tell themselves stuff like this to help them feel better then so be it.

My question is why haven’t they already been working on this?

I mean, $19.4 million is a lot for you or me, sure, but across 32 cities? That’s only about $600,000 per city. I know US currency goes much further in Mexico than it does here, but I don’t see it being that much of a boost all things considered.

And that’s assuming the money actually goes where it’s supposed to, which is never a sure thing in Mexico.

For me, though, despite all this, if it works then it works. The fact that Mexico needs American money should be a source of embarrassment for the Mexican government, but if this does what it’s supposed to, it’s worth it.

Just don’t hold your breath on it working.