Miguel Angel Ferrer
Many years ago, the governments of the United States and Mexico established a cooperation agreement to combat and prosecute drug trafficking. Then, without any prior warning to its Mexican counterpart, the sinister DEA, on the basis of years of data, decided to capture Cienfuegos during a trip to U.S. territory.
The gringo agency thus violated the agreement. And it is obvious that it did not calculate the consequences. With the agency being accustomed to the docility of many governments in Latin America, Mexico’s insubordinate response to Yankee arbitrariness was unexpected.
Mexico protested and declared that the non-compliance with the agreement implied the breaking of the commitment on behalf of the United States. It was clear -and is clear- that whoever violates a pact, in fact is breaking it.
Thus, the question arises: of the two parties that signed the collaboration agreement, which of them had and still has the greatest interest in maintaining the pact? And the answer arrived swiftly: Washington yielded and proceeded to undo the DEA’s mess: Cienfuegos was released.
The decision to release the military man certainly did not come from the DEA. It was made by the Attorney General, the Department of Justice. And it had to be approved by a court, namely the Judiciary. The release of Cienfuegos, in other words, was a decision of the executive and judicial branches of the U.S. government.
The size of the decision reflects the size of the problem. For the United States, it was essential to maintain the anti-narcotics collaboration agreement with Mexico. And Washington acted accordingly with its primary interest.
As long as they did not release the general, there would be no agreement. Neither the anti-narco collaboration agreement nor any other. Because whoever breaks a pact will break all the others.
That was the card that President López Obrador played: the pacts are either fulfilled or there are no pacts. Take it or leave it. Response without threats, without defamation. And he demanded respect for the word pledged. And respect to the counterpart. Mexico is not a gringo colony. Nor is it a semi-colony as it was during the neoliberal period that ended on December 1, 2018.