Made in the USA: Rule of Law in Mexico

by June 15, 2013

As Dawn Paley reports, the Rule of U.S. Law in Mexico is changing Mexican jurisprudence from an inquisitive to an accusative criminal process. Designed to mesh with the U.S.-sponsored drug war, the legal forms imposed by USAID on Mexico have little to do with justice and everything to do with control. Funded by USAID, the World Bank, the United Nations and the Inter-American Development Bank, the U.S.-backed programs are part of the U.S. foreign aid package launched in 2008 to militarize the drug war. As noted in Paley’s article, “Rule of Law programs are a centerpiece of the U.S. Army’s counterinsurgency manual.”

The militarization of the drug war, as reported by Lisa Sullivan, has been costly. Last year alone, the U.S. spent $18 billion on aircraft, helicopters, surveillance, walls and guards. Thousands of Mexicans have died as a result.

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Many Mexicans are now in private US prisons for crossing the border without inspection. While this is an unavoidable consequence of NAFTA — which destroyed the livelihood of small farmers in Mexico to benefit US agro business — some Mexican Special Forces trained by the U.S. Army are now deserting to become hired assassins for the drug cartels, as well as human smugglers. Ironically, this is what reform looks like when it is “Made in the USA.”