Drug-takers and principled libertarians have welcomed the news that Mexico is to decriminalise drugs and close down the country's equivalent of the FBI. But behind it there may be more than the desire to reduce the horrifying death toll from gang wars.
There are disquieting rumours about newly-elected President Enrique Peña Nieto's personal life. His alleged gay lover, Agustín Humberto Estrada Negrete, claimed that Peña Nieto murdered his wife Monica Pretelini; her two bodyguards were subsequently killed while escorting the family, who were left unhurt; Negrete claims later to have been threatened, near-fatally assaulted and then fled to San Diego in California, from where he has continued to denounce his alleged former bedmate, as recently as last April.
There are also allegations of Peña Nieto's dealings with organised crime syndicates. It is even claimed that the latter helped fund his election campaign.
The winding-up of Mexico's "FBI" may not be merely a consequence of the drugs decision. Established in 2001, the Agencia Federal de Investigación (AFI) was tasked to fight not only organised crime but corruption. Reorganised in 2009 and renamed the Policía Federal Ministerial (PFM), it is said to have been penetrated by the gangs. But this is a danger for all intelligence organisations and not in itself sufficient reason for dispensing with them.
Is the President closing the PFM because it will no longer be needed, or because its own security is irredeemably compromised, or because if left in place it could eventually mount a full investigation into his own alleged activities?
As to the drug cabals, it remains to be seen whether legalisation stops the violence or instead steps it up as crime syndicates vie for control of the hugely lucrative industry prior to reincarnation as legitimate businesses.