Oye, Felipe: A Letter to the President of Mexico
Dear President Calderón,
You have to do something. Your country is coming apart at the seams and your fellow paisanos, if they have not already done so, are close to giving up.
To you I will seem like just an average American or Norteamericano. But let me explain. I love Mexico. It has become my adopted country, a place that occupies my mind daily and where I spend almost half of my life.
I have visited many of the top tourist locations in your great nation, but I have also seen it from the inside. Sitting and talking with people in small villages where most people from my country will never see. Places like San Martin Hidalgo, Cholula, Huahuapan de León, and Contepec, where I met Arturo Echieverria, the man who taught you many years ago how to ride a horse.
You see, I work in your country. I give people from around the United States opportunities to help some of the poorest people in Mexico. And I make sure they get a chance to learn about and experience the rich culture and history that is part of Mexico.
But Mr. President, you are losing your country. And your people. To drugs, violence, corruption, and perhaps indifference to you and your government. The common man in Mexico does not believe you can deal with these issues. They are giving up.
Everyday brings us new headlines. Gun battles in Tijuana. Journalists becoming targets for trying to report on the drug wars. Decapitated bodies in the Yucatán. And border area police chiefs in more danger every day.
These headlines are becoming the norm in every corner of your country and all seemingly under the nose of the various levels of the Mexican government and law enforcement.
Your citizens do not have confidence in your government to end the violence, let alone stop the corruption that is threatening the very fabric of your great country.
Using the army has not worked. The violence has increased. Over 4000 deaths in the drug war this year alone. It is time for new thinking.
It seems, with the recent revelations about your former drug czar making a cool half million to look the other way, that the real battle is not against the narcos, it is really against the perception of your own citizens that these battles are pointless.
Because the real criminals are firmly entrenched in all levels of the Mexican government and law enforcement.
So Mr. President, what are you going to do?