Drug Lord arrest as a demonstration of government competence?

I recently read an article (the link for the article I have attached below) in which the author describes how the Mexican government has captured Juarez Cartel boss Vicente Carrillo Fuentes. According to the article, the Mexican state captured him while he and a bodyguard where enacting a “discreet operation.” The arrest was nonviolent and occurred when Fuentes, attempting to use a fake driver’s license to pass a check point in the northern city of Torreon, was identified by the authorities at the check point. Fuentes, who is one of Mexico’s most wanted criminals, admitted to his identity and was arrested.

What is interesting about the article is that it goes on to refer to the recent murdering of students by cartel organizations in Mexico. The article states that the Mexican government has been ordering local police forces to lay down their arms. Apparently, the Mexican government has started using federal, rather than local, forces to police areas and investigate crimes. The article states that thirty four people, including twenty four local police officers, have been detained in an investigation concerning a mass grave of unidentified bodies.

This article is compelling because it implies that the local police forces, and possibly even government officials, are corrupted by crime and operate with criminal organizations or tolerate gruesome crimes committed by these organizations. This is highlighted in how the article discusses the recent killing of students. Furthermore, the article highlights the fact that the people are aware of the local governments’ inefficiency and incompetence. While the Mexican state surely attempts to arrest its most wanted criminals regardless of current issues in the state, it does not seem a mere coincidence that this arrest, along with a few other recent arrests of crime lords, has occurred after the murder of protesting students by drug cartels. It can be argued that the Mexican government, in an attempt to regain some trust among the people, have mobilized federal forces, temporarily suspended local police, and spent a lot of time and resources attempting to arrest high profile leaders of the drug cartel. While it is obvious that the arrest of these individuals will not result in the end of those organized crime groups, the actions by the Mexican state indicate that it is possibly acting in a public manner to display that the government is powerful and capable of defending its citizens and taking down cartels. Whether the state is attempting to solve the roots of the violence and corruption or not is not clear, but it appears that the state is utilizing its resources and efforts in a public manner in order to demonstrate government competence, and thus create a public image of effective governance.

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2 thoughts on “Drug Lord arrest as a demonstration of government competence?

  1. It’s very interesting how the federal government is using it’s own police force to investigate crimes, as you mentioned. It seems that the Mexican public is not incorrect for distrusting their local police. At least the federal government has some form of accountability and central processing of investigations, while the local jurisdictions can probably get away with more. It will be interesting to see if this continues or if some real reforms are put in place.

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  2. This is really interesting and seems now that the Mexican Government is cracking down on getting the leaders of these cartels. As well the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel El Guzman was captured and 2 more others as well. Maybe this is a step in the right direction.

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