Thursday, October 6, 2011

Global Post piece on US military assistance to Mexico

Global Post has an interesting story on US military assistance to Mexico. (Link in title of post).

The headline: US troops aid Mexico in drug war... The US doesn't need to invade — it's already there.

The piece, by Ioan Grillo (admittedly a very good foreign correspondent in Mexico), is decent, and outlines the ways in which the U.S. is offering assistance to Mexico in the drug war.

Then, however, Grillo proceeds to write: "But few in the U.S. are aware how entrenched their military machine has already become south of the Rio Grande. The rising American presence has caused consternation in Mexico, a strongly nationalist country that annually celebrates the ninos heroes, child soldiers who died fighting the U.S. in 1847.
Some commentators here say new American involvement violates Mexico’s constitution."

True, some commentators have indeed noted their offense to US assistance on the ground; they have also expressed unease at the amount of US agents (DEA, FBI, ICE) on their soil.

"Some commentators."

This is important; over the past few years, there's been a notable shift in US-Mexican relations, one that few media have dared report. The shift is this: there has been very little public outcry (even from the traditionally anti-gringo Left) over US assistance in the drug war. Even La Jornada has refrained from outright gringo-bashing, because, well, they realize Mexico needs all the help it can get. "Consternation?" Not to much.

So what's the point of this statement in the Global Post article? In my mind, it's simply an attempt to rile people up, to try and throw a spanner in the works by harkening back to bygone eras of nationalist fervor – rather than a real effort at serious reporting of a serious issue.

I welcome thoughts on this subject. Sovereignty is obviously an important issue in this drug war, and it's important to put Rick Perry's comments in proper context. But as reporters, I think it's equally important to look for the facts and then make the point, rather than the other way around.

No comments:

Post a Comment