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US: Obama In Mexico Gives Cartels Short Shrift – Investors.com

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President Obama is winning cheers in Mexico this week on the feel-good issues of trade and immigration. Unaddressed is a more urgent issue — Mexico’s lack of coop eration with the U.S. in its war on cartels.

This deserves far greater attention than it’s getting, given that Mexico, beneath the happy handshakes, is pretty much kicking critical U.S. forces out of the country.

According to a report in Sunday’s New York Times, Mexico has stopped sending its high-ranking officers to the U.S. to be polygraphed, a key way to weed out corrupted officials from high office.

It’s also thrown out U.S security officials from a major intelligence center in Monterrey, where they had worked side by side with Mexican officials to analyze tips on cartel activity. Now the data won’t be shared.

Drones flown over cartel-kingpin hideouts in the Mexican badlands have also been scrapped.

U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigators also were evicted from an investigation into a major gas explosion at the Pemex state oil company headquarters in Mexico City last January, after they asked to probe whether the inferno may have been caused by a bomb.

If Mexico’s war were won, it would be no problem, the U.S. would be as happy to leave as the Mexicans would be to see the U.S. go. But the war hasn’t been won not by a long shot. In fact, there is evidence it may be getting worse.

Killings average about 50 a day and the death toll is approaching 100,000. The private intelligence forecasting firm Stratfor reports that in the northern Chihuahua state, a surge in violence is afflicting its central region as the Los Zetas-linked La Linea gang shoots it out with the Sinaloa Cartel.

There have been new grotesque cartel killings in Veracruz and Acapulco, including one incident where several headless bodies were placed on plastic chairs in a public place.

Such problems won’t go away by ignoring them.

Yet Enrique Pena Nieto, who was elected by a war-weary Mexican public apparently to just make the cartel war go away — and whose party is widely known for appeasing rather than destroying drug cartels — seems to be prioritizing headline control instead of criminal control as his means of dealing with the issue.

All this calls for U.S. leadership. But the U.S. president is going right along with the ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away approach, leading again from behind.

Source: Investors.com

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