Here is my translation of sections of the report of the statement to the press of Patricia Espinosa, Mexico's foreign secretary. These quotes come from an article by Pablo Ordaz in ElPais.com on January 17, 2009.
"Violence is not generalized. I don't want to minimize the problem. We are the first to be worried. But to speak of a failed state is to speak of generalized violence and of a generalized loss of control of the territory and this is not the case in mexico. It is true that there are certain places wehre violence has been exacerbated. WE've detained the bosses, weakened their organizations, and their hatchet men are trying to regain control. of every ten assessination, nine are people tied to narcotrafico gangs. It is not the civilian population that is dying in Me
Espinosa explained that much of the present violence is a consecuence of decades of neglect. "When President Calderón took office, he found a very deteriorated situation. No government had done what we are doing now. In the past, they had opted to agree to tolerate the situation and the criminal organizations managed to acquire a great amount of economic power, a great capacity to corrupt. They were acquiring greater control of areas in the country. So President Calderón decided that the policy of tolerance was not an option for Mexico. In a country where there is poverty, where there are people who live marginalilzed lives, where there is so much need, to think in agreeing to tolerate the situation was to avoid the fact that the violence would mean that many Mexican young people would be condemned to fall into drugs and to become criminals themselves. All of this is very clear in the statistics describing those who are assassinated. The greater part of them are younger than thirty, young people who were taken in when they left school, they were offered money, they were told they were going to be very rich, kings among their friends...."
On the Secretary's desk was a series of charts to support her argument that "except in some states where the streets continue to be fields of battle, the government is winning the
More than 4000 tons of drugs, more than 30000 weapons, sufficient bullets to arm an army for months, more than 13000 vehicules and 338 planes. Lots of money in big billls....And the arms we've seized are not just revolvers. They include 50 caliber weapons which can perforate armored cares, including missile launchers, weapons capable of bringing down helicopters...."
And where do these arms come from? "When we spoke with Obama, President Calderón was very clear: It is important to the US that they have a secure border; to us it is as well. We have a very important objective in strengthening our joint capacity to control the border. Not only to stop illegals who come and go, but also to facilitate that which is legal. But you must not forget, for the length of the 3000 km frontier, on the US side, there are more than 1000 gun stores plus the arms fairs which take place with great frequency. And we in this regard have insisted that these stores comply with US law which prohibits the exportation of arms to countries where they are illegal."
She gave an example of illegal weapons seized in Mexico: "Just a few days ago, we had one of our biggest weapons seizures_ half a million weapns including Barret 50s, AK-47s and missile launchers. We have proved that more than 90% of them came from the US. The US department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)...came to Mexico and certified that this was true. the arms came from the US. So we said to Obama. There's much to be done, and we must do it together."