The Narco News Bulletin
Name of Our Country is América"
III of The Mexican Transition
to December 1, 2000:
Appoints Drug Reformer Gertz as Public Safety Czar
Top Cop Takes National Helm
"It is indispensable to rescue
the fundamental idea of ending the economic interest in drug
Alejandro Gertz Manero
more significant, perhaps, to drug policy
than Mexican President-elect Vicente
Fox's appointment of drug legalization advocate Jorge Castañeda
as Secretary of State was his nomination, tonight, of Mexico
City Police Chief Alejandro Gertz Manero as the nation's Secretary
of Public Safety.
Gertz Manero will be responsible for overseeing
all Mexican law enforcement agencies, consolidating them, implementing
Fox's plan to abolish the PGR (Attorney General's office) and
developing the coherent national strategy against crime.
Abolishing the PGR takes on a new urgency
now that Fox has, tonight, named military prosecutor Rafael Macedo
de la Concha as Attorney General. Macedo's appointment has been
criticized universally by human rights organizations for his
persecution of General José Francisco Gallardo (whose
crime was to write a report calling for the designation of a
public ombudsman for the armed forces) and brutal treatment of
other dissenting voices. (General Gallardo, interviewed on Macedo's
appointment from his military prison, told El Universal,
"If Fox wants to bring about the end the PGR, then his decision
was the right one.")
Gertz Manero, a long-respected Mexican
intellectual who was appointed Police Chief in 1998 by Mexico
City's first elected mayor, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas,
fast developed a reputation as tough on crime, tough on corruption,
and as a realist and a humanist when dealing with the victims
of crime, including addicts.
Last May, The Narco News Bulletin
translated Gertz Manero's Mothers Day column from El Universal,
in which he called for "a Holland-style drug policy"
Gertz Manero called for "A Third
Path" to combatting the harm associated with the abuse and
trafficking of some drugs, modeled on the humanist policy of
"The production and
transit countries for drugs, like Cambodia, Colombia and Mexico,
live with their own hell, while their institutions are infiltrated
by drug traffickers and suffer a constant decay, their social
structures brutally erode without finding answers or viable solutions.
"The third path has
worked for countries like Holland that try to end the economic
pressures of drug trafficking and recognize that drug addicts
are ill, taking charge to allow the free use of drugs by those
addicts inside of a therapeutic project, so that those who have
irredeemably fallen into this vice do not become instruments
of the economic interests of crime."
Gertz Manero, president (on leave) of
the University of the Americas in Mexico City, added:
"From the third option,
it is indispensable to rescue the fundamental idea of ending
the economic interest in drug trafficking, recognizing that addicts
are sick and they require a controlled dose of drugs, that lessens
over time, and medical assistance so they can recover.
"The common denominator
in this fight must be to end the economic interest of drug trafficking
while creating conscience in the entire community about the damages
of these addictions so that the youth are protected to prevent
them from falling into into this evil."
The Narco News Bulletin, which has not hesitated to criticize Fox for
his errors, congratulates Mexico's president-elect on this historic
appointment. The eyes of the world will be upon Alejandro Gertz
Manero. May he have the same authority and ability to shake up
the system that he had while working for Cárdenas in Mexico
City. If Fox lets him do his job, not only Mexico will be better
off for his labor, but all América as well.
Mexican Transition: Immediate History
Covering the Immediate
History of Our América