María Corina Machado says she can bring down crime in six months. “We have the will, the knowledge, the resources, and the experience,” to launch an all-out assault on small-time drug trafficking to achieve this, she says.
Really, María Corina? You really think you can train more cops, train more prosecutors, train more judges, train more prison guards, train more probation officers, hire the cops, hire the prosecutors, hire the judges, hire the prison guards, hire the probation officers, build more police stations and crime labs, build new courtroom capacity, build more jail capacity, build more prison capacity, build a probation service to reinsert into society criminals after release, equip the police stations and crime labs, equip the courtrooms, equip the jails, equip the prisons, equip the probation officers, and create new mechanisms to prevent corruption from siphoning off the multi-billion dollar investment involved in all of that…in six months?
Um, no. In six months what you can do is a series of splashed together redadas that harass people in poor neighborhoods and land in jail a bunch found with guns or drugs on them at the wrong place and the wrong time, jails where they’ll just harden into longterm criminal careers, while doing nothing to address the real institutional bottlenecks that prevent the state from setting out a serious, sustained, long-term strategy with a real chance for success.
When Chávez proposes efectista short-term sops to structural long-term social problems, we roll our eyes and call it populism. When you do it, we call it…what again?
Now, really, given that you’re 40 points behind in the polls, that you’re really not going to win, that your one calling card for a place in the cabinet is your reputation for intelligence and honesty and avoiding shrill, populist promises, do you really think you’re serving your interests, or the nation’s, with this kind of Alfredo Peña-esque pap?
I’m sorry, but it’s just disappointing.