Mexico, the US and other countries have little choice but be on the lookout for a new “lamparas” (drugs) problem.
And the US faces one of the most formidable threats yet, says the Wall Street Journa l articleMexico is a top priority for the Trump administration, with a top drug lord as its top national security adviser and a number of US allies and partners eager to help.
The Trump administration has announced it has been eyeing drug-related security challenges, including the drug cartels in Central America and the US-Mexico border, for months.
But for the US, Mexico’s role is more complex than just a “drug threat,” said Michael O’Hanlon, an analyst with the Atlantic Council think tank.
Mexico has been a US ally for decades and its political elites have a strong record of cooperating with the US.
“Mexico is not a new security threat, it’s been there for decades,” O’Hanlon said.
O’Hanlons comments echo those of US ambassador to Mexico David Otero, who told reporters last week that Mexico was not a threat to the US but that the US was “ready to make Mexico pay.”
Otero and the administration have also sought to reassure allies in Central and South America, who fear a repeat of the bloody drug wars that devastated Mexico’s southern border.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has called the border a “territorial problem” that has become a “war” and has been “a major obstacle to the implementation of the United Nations drug control agenda.”
Mexico is the third largest US market for US goods after the United States and Canada, and has helped finance the fight against drug trafficking, including through the construction of new roads and highways.
US officials have argued that Mexico has been an important partner and ally, particularly in the fight to stem the flow of cocaine into the US from Central America.
Last month, Pena Nuevo, Mexico, agreed to a $3 billion pact to help US companies fight drugs in its north, the first time the country has done so with a Western ally.