On the United States presidential campaign trail, foreign policy is a major issue as many topics were brought up. However, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were silent on Mexico’s drug war. As Election Day on November 6 draws near, one of the biggest debate topics is foreign policy. There are many topics on foreign policy such as Israel, Iran, North Korea, China, parts of Africa, and parts of the Middle East. However, mainstream media outlets are pointing out to one issue that neither President Barack Obama nor his GOP rival former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney haven’t addressed during the campaign trail.
Media outlets such as CNN and MSNBC have recently pointed this out. On a recent MSNBC article, the full-debate on foreign policy is available for viewing between the two candidates as they race for the White House on Tuesday. The issue of Mexico can be connected to the economy, foreign policy, and immigration.
In regards to the economy, one has to consider how much money is being pumped into the program to keep illegal drugs from crossing the United States border. One example is the Merida Initiative which has almost $2 billion in funding. In regards to foreign policy, one has to think about the various drug cartels preying upon the citizens of Mexico and snubbing their noses at law enforcement and military. In terms of immigration, much of the media focus has centered on those that came to the US illegally from Mexico and other parts of Central America. In the MSNBC article, Mexico is four things: the most important bilateral partner according to then-US President George W. Bush, the country where there is the largest number of Americans living abroad, an ally to lose tens of thousands of lives in an initiative to fight violence, and the third largest supplier of foreign oil to the United States.
When debating on foreign policy, neither Obama nor Romney gave mention. Many lives were lost in Mexico since the administration of Mexican President Felipe Calderon decided to wage war against the drug cartels. The drug cartels simply fought back and many lives were lost as collateral damage. Calderon is about to leave office and will be replaced by Enrique Pena Nieto. Plus, you have the drug cartels doing battle against each other. Apparently, this war on drugs is not gaining any ground. According to one college student in Mexico, much is to blame on the United States. The student says there is the need to control the demand on drugs.
According to a CNN special published on October 30, a few days ago, Mexico should have been on the short list of topics to address in foreign policy and national security. It also explains how the violence is spreading throughout Central America and slowly passing the border in the US. In regards to the border, it does bring up the topic of immigration reform. After the elections, will Mexico emerge as a topic again? If so, how will either Obama or Romney handle the situation? There are several cartels to deal with such as the: Caballeros Templarios, Sinaloa, and the Zetas.
Recently, a lieutenant of the Sinaloa cartel was arrested by the Mexican army. The Mexican army believes that Jesus Alfred Salazar Ramirez is responsible for ordering the death of an anti-violence activist. Ramirez is further accused of killing a seafood vendor back in 2011. The LA Times reports that Coahuila, Mexico’s third largest state, is under control of the Zetas cartel. This brings up the issues of foreign policy, national security, and immigration reform. Coahuila is right below the Texas border. Christian Science Monitor reports that the number of beheadings in Mexico continues to increase. A little over 1,300 people have reported to have been beheaded in the span of five years. This issue might not pop up again until after January of 2012, depending if Obama is re-elected or if Romney gets elected into the Oval Office.