Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mexico Drug Violence Spurs Worry In U.S.

NPR | U.S. intelligence officials say a collapse in Mexico is one of their nightmare scenarios, and several new studies have been raising anxiety levels further in the United States.

Mexico's ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan, brushed off some of the more dire warnings, which he said are promoted by people seeking "juicy deals" with contractors in Mexico.

Shannon, with the U.S. State Department, says he does not believe that Mexico will become a failed state, as some have warned. However, he says "the struggle is real" and the ability of the Mexican state to continue political and economic reforms is "at risk."

"Organized crime and trafficking cartels are trying to hobble the state and weaken it so that it can't interfere with their activities," he says.

A former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Jeffrey Davidow, says the U.S. shouldn't fool itself into thinking it can solve all of Mexico's problems.

"We cannot deny the responsibility of the United States in terms of a market for drugs and a sales point for guns," Davidow says. "But the fact of the matter is not much of what the United States is going to do, in the short term, is going to have an impact on this horrendous growth of insecurity."