28th September 2010

Posted in

Blog :: Keeping an eye on Mexico

I guess I've blogged about the war on drugs quite a bit lately. Reading police critics like Radley Balko has convinced me that based purely on its effects on our society alone, the drug war is a bad idea. I hadn't considered the effects of America's drug usage on other countries.

That changed for me yesterday when I found Borderland Beat - a blog that covers organized crime on the northern border of Mexico. Did you know that nine reporters have been killed in the last year by narco-gangs? That fifteen Mayors have been killed since Calderon was elected in 2006? That increasingly assassinations are followed by the murders of the police and prosecutors assigned to investigate them? (eg: crime reporter Armando Rodrguez was shot and killed in his driveway while getting ready to take his daughter to school. The two prosecutors assigned to the case were both killed a month later.) That increasingly the clashes between Police and Narcos or worse, between Narco and Narco are large scale involving military hardware and multiple fatalities? One article mentions clashes that involve the death of 19 narcos, another in the same region that resulted in the deaths of 25 narcos, all after the massacre of 72 migrants by narcos, and the list goes on...

I should warn that Borderland Beat isn't for the faint of heart. I've never seen so many severed heads and dead bodies! But it is important to realize what is going on in our neighbor state and come to grips with the reality that it is at least partly a result of our policies. Over the period of about a year the Tucson sector Border Patrol in the US seized 940,000 lbs of marijuana from smugglers. That's three quarters of a billion dollars worth of pot - and it's money flowing to organized crime driven by our demand and our policy of criminalization. I don't know how Mexico can recover from the levels of violence and crime that it experiences but I can't see any argument for the criminalization of drugs that adequately deals with the horrific conditions we are causing elsewhere.

Posted on September 28th 2010, 09:26 AM

blog comments powered by Disqus