The late February assassination of the police chief of Tijuana, the Mexican city of three million that borders San Diego, California, was assumed by the press to be the work of a drug trafficking cartel. Little investigation. Lots of assumptions. Case closed before it even was opened. Who needs censorship in a country like the United States where the press corps fears asking a suspicious question?
But Fausto Fernández Ponte, a nationally syndicated columnist in Mexico who often writes thoughtfully on drug related issues, raised a more disturbing scenario: was the Tijuana police chief murdered on the eve of the US certification of Mexico in the drug war as an act of "counter-intelligence"? Was he executed to confirm before the world Ambassador Davidow's claim that Mexico is the international seat of drug trafficking?
Some US readers may find that kind of inquiry overly conspiratorial. And yet throughout the latter half of the 20th century US intelligence agents have been caught red-handed in illicit activity throughout the world, especially in Latin America, including the murderous geo-political crime of political assassination. Narco News reserves judgement until the facts are in. But when bizarre events occur in the drug war, like the assassination of Tijuana's top cop, the list of suspects ought to include the dark forces that have done that kind of dirty work before. Widespread suspicion of US government illicit activity south of the border is based on the true history of the hemisphere. And yet, for example, when the Los Angeles Times published on March 24th a summary of theories about the Tijuana assassination, the possibility of US involvement was not considered. It was outside the realm of what they still call, with a straight face, in the US, "journalism." Which suggests that the crime, although it cannot be proven, can neither be disproven, like every other possibility mentioned by the press as to who shot the sheriff?
La Crisis, a Mexican newsweekly with a sister paper out of Los Angeles, asks the inconvenient question, like any good journalists would....
Translated from La Crisis, March
4 - 10
"En Tijuana, el matadero: En EU, los capos mayores"
By Fausto Fernández Ponte
"There is no lack of observers who have suspicions about this execution: as an operation of counter-intelligence by the US to confirm precisely that Mexico hosts the headquarters, the owners and administrators, of the most powerful businesses dedicated to drug trafficking. This column asks whether someone in Washington - or, better said, in Langley, Virginia - ordered this operation (the assassination of Tijuana's police chief) to demonstrate to the world (and to the skeptics) that our Mexico really is the world capital of drug trafficking.
"This brings us to ask ourselves about who really controls Tijuana as the capital of drug trafficking. Are they really those sad, perversely celebrated celebrities, the Arellano Felix brothers? Or are they, truthfully, the market forces, the demand that comes from the other side of the border?
" Who controls who? The salesman? Or the organized consumer?
" He who controls the demand controls the sale . The true owners and directors of drug trafficking don't live in Mexico; in our country they merely execute. Mexico - as Tijuana testifies - is only the hit-man."
But how does a narco-state -- the 21st century word for "colony" -- form: where was the laboratory? How did Mexico get into this position of being so unfairly picked on by its neighbor to the north? There are Mexicans who say that the model of the modern narco-state most attractive to US foreign policy chiefs was refined, indeed, re-invented, between 1986 and 1992 in the Northern Pacific Mexican state of Sinaloa. And the man who was governor of that state for those six years may well be the next president of Mexico for the next six.
Click here and try to understand what The Narco News Bulletin is also trying to understand about how the Mexican narco state developed with the approval of Washington...