Friday, August 8, 2008
Mexico's Misplaced Anger
Recommended by Time.com
Mexico's Anger is Misplaced
by Gary Fouse
Does the Mexican Government know their names?Jennifer Ertman (14 years old at the time of her death in 1993)Elizabeth Pena (16 years old at the time of her death in 1993)Those are two names that mean nothing in Mexico. They are unknown to the Mexican Government officials who protested the execution of Jose Medellin in Texas this past week. Their names are not known and mean nothing to the International Court in The Hague that "ordered" the US Government to have the case of Jose Medellin reopened and reviewed because, at the time of Medellin's arrest in 1993, Mexican Consular officials were not notified. Their names mean nothing to the ACLU. Sorry to say, I'm not even sure their names are known to anyone in the Bush Administration that asked Texas to reopen and review the case.
In 1993, Elizabeth Pena and Jennifer Ertman were attacked by several gang members including Jose Medellin in a Texas park. They were raped and murdered. Medellin, a Mexican national, who was in the country illegally, was eventually convicted for the crime-and finally, thankfully executed.The Mexican Government is outraged. Yet, apparently, the average Mexican citizen is too concerned about rampant violent crime south of the border to worry about the execution of a vicious murderer north of the border. Indeed, many in Mexico are calling for the death penalty in their own country.
What the Mexican Government chooses to ignore is its own failures. Failures such as failing to provide any decent education to its masses, which leads to lack of jobs and opportunities for the Mexican people. It is not surprising that millions of Mexicans choose to enter the US to find work. Unfortunately, we also get many thousands of Mexico's criminal element.
One of the great myths is that Mexico is a poor country. Not true. In fact, Mexico is a very wealthy country inhabited by millions of poor people. Consider this: The nation of Mexico has historically been rich in natural resources; gold, silver, tin, copper, petroleum and 4 beautiful coastlines that draw in millions of tourists. The problem is that all the wealth stays in the hands of the ruling oligarchy and corrupt government officials. Nothing is left for the average Mexican. In addition, Mexico possesses what is probably the most corrupt and brutal police force in the world-both at the national and local level. When DEA Agent, Enrique Camarena was kidnapped in Mexico by drug dealers and tortured to death in 1985, it was discovered that Mexican police officers were themselves involved.
As a US Customs and later DEA agent, I had a few "opportunities" to work cases with Mexican police. In my last years before retirement in 1995, I participated in two training seminars for new federal police agents at the Mexican National Police Academy in Mexico City. I also taught in another Mexican police training course in the Washington DC area after my retirement. It was an exercise in futility. No matter how many times Mexico introduced us to the so-called "new breed" of federal agents, the result has always been the same. Sadly, the whole system in Mexico is incurably corrupt. I am afraid the only thing that might change it would be a revolution. I also think that the wave of millions of poor Mexicans who are in the US, had they been in Mexico, might have revolted by now. Mexico's outrage against http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1830649,00.html?xid=feed-yahoo-worldthe US is misdirected. That nation and its leaders need to look themselves in the mirror. They should ask themselves why people like Jose Medellin are so important to them while people like Elizabeth Pena and Jennifer Ertman are not. Mexico owes a formal apology to the US and to the Pena and Ertman families for the outrages committed by some of their citizens who are in our country.
Gary Fouse is a former DEA agent, and is presently teaching at UC Irvine. He is regular contributor to Radarsite with his popular and explosive The Fouse Report.