President Barack Obama sought on Thursday to tamp down a potential rift with Mexico over a dramatic shift in the cross-border fight against drug trafficking and organized crime, acceding that Mexicans had the right to determine how best to tackle the violence that has plagued their country.
Since taking office in December, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has moved to end the widespread access that U.S. security agencies have had in Mexico to tackle the violence that affects both sides of the border. It’s a departure from the strategy employed by his predecessor, Felipe Calderon, which was praised by the U.S. but reviled by many Mexicans.
Obama said the shifting security relationship would not hurt cooperation between the neighboring nations.
Of course is won’t hurt cooperation. The mutual hugfest between American (from either party) and Mexican presidents has been going on for so long that the two in charge at the time are always the power couple of porous border immigration problems. The arguments about which side should have access to what really boils down to who has the most hooked up clown car at that point. Leaving it up to Mexican security forces is about as comforting as trusting ICE to enforce the laws here.
Until the US demands that Mexico do something tangible and long term this will all remain just really bad theater.