Pubdate: Sun, 22 Jun 2008
Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX)
Copyright: 2008 San Antonio Express-News
Bookmark: (Corruption)


Mexican President Felipe Calderon is waging a battle on two

Unfortunately, one of the enemies is on his side -- corrupt law
enforcement officials.

In Mexico, the war on drugs is also a war on the cops who aid the
cartels, and Calderon deserves credit for recognizing that both
enemies must be vanquished.

As enemies, the dirty cops are more insidious than the drug lords,
because they use their badges as shields, abetting the criminals they
are supposed to be fighting.

Recently signing legislation to alter the justice system, Calderon
took a big step toward ferreting out corrupt officials in law
enforcement agencies throughout the country.

The legislation will allow for open trials in which testimony is
conducted orally, doing away with the closed trials in which cases
were conducted almost exclusively in written briefs, allowing corrupt
judges to make decisions without transparency.

The bill also contains measures that require state and local police to
"purify" departments with corrupt officers, the Washington Post reported.

"What is at stake is not the liberty, security or integrity of the
government, but above all the security and integrity of the governed,"
the president said during a ceremony in Mexico City.

Calderon has deployed thousands of troops to fight the cartels along
the U.S.-Mexico border, but he is showing a similar determination to
confront the scoundrels in government. His predecessors talked about
doing just that. But Calderon is acting on the goals that other
officials merely discussed.

The problem was years in the making, and it may be years in the
resolving. But Calderon is taking his country in a direction that
bodes well for its future. That makes him a good public official -- and
a good friend of the United States
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MAP posted-by: Steve Heath