Castaneda for president?

In his latest piece for Newsweek (link above, in title) about Mexico’s new direction, former foreign minister Jorge Castaneda not only plugs one of his books but also takes a fair bit of credit for the shift in perception of the drug war.

“Through public debates with declared presidential candidates, meetings with students, and discussions with businessmen and political activists in many corners of Mexico, Aguilar Camín and I have begun to move the country away from the body- and head-count of the country’s bloody drug war, and its understandable obsession with violence and organized crime.”

Castaneda is one of hundreds of academics who have been trying to shift the perception. Fair enough, well done for pushing a new view. But…

“Little by little, attention is focusing on how to revive the country’s economy, how to create a relevant social safety net, how to construct institutions that allow Mexico to make decisions, whether it should focus on North America or Latin America, and what it should do about security and law enforcement.”

And so on. There’s not much substance in the rest of the article either. Castaneda lays out a few points, which seem well-intentioned, but also mimic what every campaigning president has said before. Which leads me to believe that yet again, Castaneda will be running for president in 2012.

If he really wants to fix Mexico’s problems, he’s going to have to a lot better than the platform he’s laid out in this article.