It was almost Santa Claus in February: President Calderon brought with him 40 day care centers, 15 public gathering places, 5 new high schools, 200,000 square feet of new pavement, and health care (Seguro Popular) for 300,000 juarenses without coverage.
Security? Of course! Another 2600 federal police, two more helicopters to add to the two already here, one more purge of local police, one new operational intel unit for the federal police, the establishment of well patrolled safety corridors, and new units to combat extortion and kidnapping. Plus, a plan to revise procedures by which citizens can complain about abuses by the armed forces
And, of course, a partridge in a pear tree.
But when the President apologized for being an hour late at the Cibeles Convention Center, Dr. Arturo Valenzuela told him, "yes, there was a delay, I'm not sure how much, perhaps two years."
And when the President announced the new security changes people in the audience shouted out it was more of the same. One man asked the secretary of federal public security, Genaro Garcia Luna, who was with the President, "who should we complain to about extortion when the people doing the extortion are the federal agents themselves?"
It must have been a long day for the president, who listened to the cries of the mothers of the high school victims, listened to the complaints of federal, state, and local police forces, listened to the insults hurled in anger from the crowd at Cibeles. He cannot have left Juarez yesterday without being far more aware than he was the day before about the anguish, anger, and frustration about the seeming inability of local, state, and federal law enforcement to control the violence, the homicides, the extortion, kidnapping, and overall unprecedented wave of crime that hangs over the fourth largest city in Mexico.
More on the President's visit later
Compiled from stories (here and here) in Diario