HomeNewsBriefAmidst Mexico President’s Struggles, Advice from Italy
BRIEF

Amidst Mexico President’s Struggles, Advice from Italy

MEXICO / 8 DEC 2014 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

As Mexico’s president struggles to claw back approval ratings through new security measures announced in the epicenter of his current woes — the state of Guerrero — he may do better heeding advice offered by one of Italy’s leading mafia experts.

Speaking during his first visit to Guerrero since the disappearance of 43 student teachers in Iguala over two months ago, President Enrique Peña Nieto announced a series of economic reforms to complement a new security deployment.  He is seeking to get a grip on the state’s security breakdown.

His proposal is based on 11 points, among them plans for a special fund for vulnerable small businesses, temporary employment projects and measures to try and encourage the return of tourism, reported El Universal.

However, the new announcements show little sign of stemming the popular outrage over the disappearances, which has seen Peña Nieto’s popularity at home and reputation abroad nose dive as details of the role of corrupt state institutions in the case have emerged. Protests continue around the country, while parents of the missing youths have even launched their own hunt for their children after complaining bitterly about the failures of the official investigation, reported Proceso. The remains of one of the missing students have been identified charred beyond recognition by the killers.

Among the hail of criticism, the embattled president has received advice from Roberto Saviano, an expert on Italian organized crime and author of the acclaimed mafia book Gomorrah.

Writing in a blog for Reuters, Saviano makes three suggestions: (1) designing better mafia laws that make belonging or contributing to an organized crime structure a criminal offense; (2) setting up a specialized anti-mafia body to help prosecutors join the dots between what often appear to be disparate crimes but which are really related; (3) improving procedures for confiscating assets owned by mafia members or their frontmen.

InSight Crime Analysis

The political crisis sparked by the disappearances has already permanently stained Peña Nieto’s administration. Although he has now launched both local and national reforms in response, these are unlikely to restore his savaged reputation, which was likely damaged further by the fact it took him over two months to even visit the area at the heart of the problems.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

With the national security reforms proposed by Peña Nieto in response to the security crisis receiving at best a lukewarm reception, the president could certainly do worse than listening to the advice of Saviano and study lessons from Italy, where mafia related murders dropped 80 percent between 1992 and 2012, according to the United Nations (pdf).

The key difference between Saviano’s suggestions and Peña Nieto’s proposals is the that the former focuses on long term changes that require a sustained commitment to deep structural reforms to both the legal system and state institutions, exactly what Peña Nieto and his predecessors have consistently failed to deliver.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Related Content

MEXICO / 13 OCT 2011

After the U.S. government’s announcement of an alleged Iranian plot to hire Mexican drug traffickers to kill the Saudi ambassador,…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 23 AUG 2016

Mexico's foreign minister has blamed lax US gun control laws for the flood of illegal weapons into the country, in…

HUMAN TRAFFICKING / 12 SEP 2011

A Mexican judge handed out lengthy prison sentences to a couple at the head of a human trafficking network that…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…