'Rapido y Furioso'

Here I am in Mexico City where "Fast and Furious" (Rapido y Furioso") is not just the title of a recent thriller, but the name given to an arms delivery scheme that has sparked wild conjectures about the source of the deadly cache. The prime suspect is the US military industry sector which, along with food processing, remains the most stable and profitable business north of the Rio Grande.

According to a local newspaper (La Jornada), "Rapido y Furioso" was designed, negotiated, and approved in Washington, and that the Mexican Chief Executive, buckling down, agreed to enforce it here in Mexico. So, the deal is clothed with a mantle of legality but because it came to public knowledge through Wikileaks, it has an element of mystery.

Two thousand pieces of sophisticated high-powered weapons were introduced into Mexican territory through its border with the USA and these went straight to the private arsenals of notorious drug lords and their respective cartels. The official excuse from both sides is that the "Rapido y Furioso" arms delivery scheme is a time-tested irrefutable strategy to locate and monitor the whereabouts and activities of these powerful "narcotraficantes" (drug lords).

However, Mexican legislators are not buying that excuse and are demanding a credible explanation from the government of President Felipe Calderon as to why he has allowed the USA to meddle in an internal security matter like Mexico's war against orgnized crime, in Mexican territory.

The Labour Party (PT) attacked the President for his utter submission and boot-licking while the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) declared that since current administration's foreign policy has gone awry, the Senate will have to take charge.

This should give us a hint of what might be going on in our own backyard. The Philippine Senate has been conducting inquiries about scandalous corruption in the upper echelons of the military after the sons of a general were caught smuggling dollars, tucked in their back pack and footwear, into the United States. One has to ask, where does all that money come from? Do we have our version of "Rapido y Furioso?" The wife of that general admitted that her husband received goodwill money for services he rendered suppliers, but she did not say of what. More have been uncovered since then, involving other generals and their families.

Mexicans believe there is more than meets the eye in the arms deal. That is why they are absolutely "furioso" and they want to get to the bottom of this very "rapido"! (gemma601@yahoo.com)

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