As Mexico struggles to contain ever-more-powerful drug traffickers, analysts tell the Christian Science Monitor it could adopt lessons from Colombia. No one claims Colombia has vanquished its drug cartels or stopped them from corrupting government officials. But its practices may provide a useful guide to Mexico’s own battles.
Edgardo Buscaglia, an organized-crime expert at Mexico’s Autonomous Institute of Technology, says Colombia has gone after the drug lords – and their assets. “Regardless of how many thousands of organized crime members you detain, the end result will always be determined by how much of the economic structure of organized crime you destroy,” he says. “This is exactly what you’ve seen in Colombia in the past five years.  In Mexico, nothing like that has even started.” Colombia revamped its anticorruption office in 2003, and President Álvaro Uribe named an anticorruption czar. In the past four years, $11 billion in assets has been confiscated in Colombia. That dwarfs efforts in Mexico, which passed a similar but weaker law.