Wednesday, October 3, 2012



Comment: As of 3 Oct. 2012, the Mexico segment of the U.N. Register
of Conventional Arms (
has not yet been updated for 2011. Nine months. Your correspondent
has personally witnessed presence of computers in Mexican government
facilities. The question is, not what information they are hiding or
suppressing, but how much? Previous years the Mexican government
has imported tens of thousand of small arms by way of the U.S. and
European governments. These arms exports, especially from the U.S
and western European countries have a extensive paper trail.

If, as Mr Calderon claims, that 120,000 firearms came from U.S. gun
stores, let him back it up.
Show us the make, model and serial number of each one. We know the
Mexican Army and government has the information. Or did many of them
come directly from Mexican government stocks?

The information is held by the governments involved. Believe it will
take congressional, industry, pro rights groups, and media to take
the necessary investigative and legal actions to bring all that to

Calderón puts his lame-duck time to good use
This editorial appeared in Monday's Washington Post:

Among the world's democratic politicians, the lamest of lame ducks
may be Mexico's outgoing president. Felipe Calderón watched the
election of his successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, in July, but
Calderón's term does not end until Dec. 1.

His government hasn't shut down: The president is using new
constitutional powers to force Mexico's Congress to vote on a major
labor-market reform. On Thursday, security forces captured a drug-
trafficking kingpin, one of three to be arrested last month.

But Calderón's most important function during the interregnum might
be to talk frankly about the biggest challenges Mexico faces, both at
home and in its relations with the United States. That the president
did last week during an address to the United Nations General
Assembly and in several public appearances in Washington. The
straight talk offers a useful guide to the problems that Peña Nieto
and the winner of the Nov. 6 U.S. election ought to tackle, singly
and together.

Inside Mexico, Calderón said in an appearance at the Mexican cultural
center in Washington, "the most important challenge" for Peña Nieto
will be structural reform of the energy industry. Mexico's weakening
oil production is controlled by a constitutionally established state
monopoly, Pemex; Calderón's attempt to allow foreign investment was
watered down by populists in Congress. "I went for a touchdown and
got a first-and-10," Calderón said. "Now it's time to do the touchdown."

Not surprisingly, Calderón's agenda for U.S.-Mexican relations begins
with comprehensive U.S. immigration reform - even if, as he pointed
out, net Mexican migration to the United States fell to zero in
2010-11. There is also work to be done along the border, including
new bridges and crossing points.

But Calderón's toughest talk concerned the fateful war Mexico is
fighting against narcotics traffickers, which has cost more than
50,000 lives in the past six years. At home, he said, the task is to
"make Mexico a rule-of-law state" where the police and judiciary are
effective and incorruptible.

Yet that is unlikely to happen as long as cash and assault weapons
continue to flow from the United States: Calderón says 80 percent of
the 150,000 weapons confiscated by Mexican authorities were purchased
in U.S. gun shops.

Calderón says a renewal of the U.S. ban on assault weapons is
essential, and he is hinting that a new approach to managing drug
consumption by Americans is needed, too. If demand for drugs cannot
be reduced, he said, then the flow of money to the drug cartels must
be interdicted; and if this cannot be done, "it's time to explore
different alternatives when it comes to reducing consumption." While
the president did not spell out what he had in mind, he mentioned
"regulatory and market alternatives," by which he likely means some
form of legalization.

This is a message many in Washington will reject. But Calderón is
raising issues that lawmakers in both countries have ducked for too
long. If his parting message prompts a serious debate, his lame-duck
time will have been worthwhile.

Arizona Daily Star

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