Great piece in FP on the subject.
Revelations like these, combined with the failure of the Mexican government to capture Chapo and El Mayo, lead people like Bojórquez to the same conclusion: The Sinaloa cartel cut a deal with Calderón when he came into office, whereby it would help Mexico City go after other cartels, such as the Zetas, in exchange for some amount of immunity. Calderón could only have done this, the argument goes, with high-level approval from Washington — and Fast and Furious, a way to help Chapo, is evidence of that devil’s bargain. (When one points out that many members of the Sinaloa cartel, including some alleged favorites of Chapo, have been captured recently, a common answer is that Chapo simply gave them up like pawns. His mastery knows no limits.)
The holes in this line of reasoning are numerous, but there’s history behind it. As former DEA chief Robert Bonner wrote in Foreign Affairsrecently, this resembles the approach his agency took against Colombia’s Medellín cartel in the 1990s. And Bonner recommends it for Mexico.
I’m sure that the so called experts will say that Mexicans are far too uneducated to truly understand American foreign policy when it comes to nose candy from Mexico. This is typical American behavior when it comes to what we damn well deserve, which is a foreign policy that asks no questions. In any case, I don’t think it’s important whether Mexicans are right or wrong about US collusion with certain cartels. The point is that this is a general feeling in Mexico, and there are certainly consequences to that kind of popular opinion, just as there are consequences to Yemenis feeling that their most recent elections were rigged by the US (which is a pretty obvious conclusion to come to). I think the Medellin example speaks volumes about what we’re willing to do to Central America.
What costs have not been measured here? What will the blowback be for our repeated intervention in this country?