The U.S. bears some responsibility for Mexico’s violent drug wars, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday. She cited an insatiable US market for narcotics, the failure to stop weapons smuggling southward and a three-decade “war” on drugs that “has not worked,” reports McClatchy Newspapers. “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians,” Mrs. Clinton said. “How could anyone conclude any differently? . . . I feel very strongly we have co-responsibility.”
Clinton’s blunt remarks as she flew to Mexico Wednesday were the clearest by any senior US official in recent memory that American habits and government policies have stoked the drug trade and a spreading epidemic of criminal violence in northern Mexico. They are likely to be well received by top officials in the government of Mexican President Felipe Calderón, with whom she will be meeting. Clinton’s remarks continue the more humble tone toward the rest of the world that President Barack Obama has adopted, in contrast with the Bush administration, which often was seen as hectoring friends and adversaries alike.