Former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, who led a controversial military crackdown on drug cartels, is moving to the United States to take an academic fellowship with Harvard University. But protesters, both Mexican and American, say that given Calderón’s political past, he shouldn’t be offered this prestigious position or even allowed to work here.
“It’s a total disgrace to the families of Mexican citizens who lost their lives because of the drug war,” says John Randolph, who worked for the US Border Patrol for 26 years before retiring, and has posted a petition on Change.org asking Harvard to rescind Calderón’s fellowship.
Randolph’s petition, which has received more than 6,700 signatures, cites evidence similar to that presented in a 2009 Mother Jones article on the drug war by investigative journalist Charles Bowden. In his story, Bowden details how after taking power in 2006, Calderón failed to protect persecuted journalists and used the Mexican Army (and over a billion dollars in American aid money) to fight the drug cartels, a strategy that has resulted in more than 60,000 deaths and the disappearance of thousands.
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