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Mexican Drug War

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  • Mexican Drug War

    It is seems terrible that not many people are talking about or trying to do anything about the awful drugs wars in Mexico at the momment. 16, 000 murders in the past three years. I think that if this terrorist related their would be uproar.

    This is a link to a documentary by the BBC about the subject.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP37OZAM07Q

    It would seem that since most US enforcement funding is focused around Anti-terror then less is spent on preventing drug crime - the mexican government seems crippled in solving the problem and I think it needs international cooperation. The crimes will spread I think.

    We must remember all the lives that have been needlessly lost.
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  • #2
    Interesting that I'm writing this so close to the anniversary of 9/11...

    Pre 9/11, W's tough cowboy act was completely centered on "border security," which is really aimed at Mexico, of course. Much of the rhetoric involved jobs (and that ridiculous wall), but much of the US government action on border issues was really work by the DEA and Border Patrol. Of course, 9/11 changed everything. And people forgot about drugs, drug mules, drug wars, criminal empires, and especially drug-related deaths. We had a new baddie, of course.

    Demand for illegal drugs creates a market for drugs that criminals, by definition, control. We get surprised that criminals kill? Or even have wars? I'm not making light of the issue Magnum Opus raises. I'm just saying that we get reminded of the issue over and over, which means we also forget how important it is over and over.

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    • #3
      Re-legalizing marijuana in the US would go a long, long way to taking the violence out of it all. Former Mexican President Felipe Fox recently again called for just such a thing, acknowledging that the current "war" is a waste of lives, money and countless other precious things.

      "When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained."
      - Mark Twain, notebook entry, 1898.

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      • #4
        I preface this by saying I'm not one who wants to legalize marijuana because I like to smoke dope...

        I agree with Lucid Sirius. Violence because of marijuana is needless and senseless. The history of marijuana becoming illegal in the US has roots in racism and class discrimination. Compared to many drugs the US government regulates happily, marijuana is not terrible on the body in the short or the long term.

        I know the following opens a whole set of doors on a whole set of long-standing debates, but I have to say it: if the US government regulated and taxed marijuana, the black market for it would be hard pressed to survive. Even if the enterprise lost a great deal of money, I'm guessing the expenditures, in the long run, would be less than presently being spent on preventing it from coming in illegally. More importantly, it would help end the violence that stems from the people presently controlling its black market. That might be a good use of federal money...

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        • #5
          One has to wonder how serious Mexico itself is about cleaning up the drug trade. Let's face it, it is a major source of US dollars in to that country's economy. When it comes to that kind of money you always have to go hmmmm.

          I myself favor a move towards forgetting about a war and moving towards legalization. I have never worried about protecting fools from themselves and if people wish to snort or inject foreign substances in to their bodies, hey, it's their body. Of course there will be those who worry about those who misuse drugs but I feel that those who want to will usually do so anyway. My concern is for those who could be considered the collateral damage. Just think if drugs were legal. No more billions spent on trying to hold back an ocean with a teaspoon. No more drive by shootings as drug gangs fight over turf. Children no longer having to decide between school or standing on the corner making money selling drugs. Hell, even the users benefit because it becomes big business and the quality of the product improves. No more worrying, not that they do anyway, if the next dose was cut with rat poison or is over strength leading to an OD.

          Yes, it's a cynical outlook but if those that use drugs don't worry about themselves why should I? I'm more worried about helping those who are caught in situations not of their own making not those trapped by their own stupidity.
          herb

          Man spends his time on devising a more idiot proof computer. The universe spends its time devising bigger idiots. So far the universe is winning.

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          • #6
            Drug war is marginally about marijuana.

            True matter is coke ......

            Incidentally, since dutchs created new varieties, marijuana is a dangerous drug, not as the stuff, sutends smoked in the 70th ....

            It is addicitive.

            Smoked by young people, it can create mental disorders

            When you pass in some places where scores of young people are under marihjuan, you can get afraid as they are unable to do anything except to smoke ...

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            • #7
              The drug war in Mexico is of big interest in US border states. A lot of people here have roots S of the border, so one can hear a lot of the stories they get from their families down in Mexico.

              While the vast profits generated by the US drug trade are a lot of what the gangs are fighting over, there's a certain amount of spill over into other forms of criminality. I've had a couple of friends mention that relatives back in Mexico were kidnapped. Kidnapping for profit is lucrative.

              There's also fear that the gangsters will target young women, either to extort money from their families or just because they like victimizing women. The casino arson seems to have been to instill fear and extort pay-offs to the cartels.

              Sometimes folks are just afraid of being in the cross-fire. There are lots of shootings in public places. One friend related how a relative had a sack full of severed heads dumped in his yard.

              So even if we radically change our approach to drugs (long overdue IMO) both in the US and in Mexico (and Colombia for that matter), the cartels are probably here to stay for a long time yet.
              Dave Hardy
              http://fireandsword.blogspot.com/

              My books: Crazy Greta, Tales of Phalerus the Achaean, and Palmetto Empire.

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              • #8
                Unfortunately, I'm betting on expansions and extensions of the US government's drug war against it's citizens and Mexican neighbors as I get older for a number of reasons:

                1. Unemployment is likely to remain high for years to come. People have to eat and pay rent. Ergo, the number of people who participate in black-marketeering of all kinds (weed, coke, cigarettes, human body parts, child prostitution) will increase.

                2. State budgets and state/local unions will continue to shrink. There will be fewer cops on the beat and what cops there are will be receiving smaller salaries and little to no benefit incentives. Police corruption will increase, because the cops, too, have to pay rent, and why would you want to put your life on the line for $18K when your job is made easier with an additional untaxed $30K kept in shoeboxes in the closet?

                3. State budgets and state/local unions will continue to shrink. There will be fewer public prisons and the number of private prisons will increase, thus increasing the reach and wealth of the already large and wealthy handful of private prison corporations, who employ flotillas of lobbyists to shape state and federal criminal laws. The boards of directors of such corporations, after all, are under legal duties (replete with liabilities) to increase profit returns to the corporate investors. It's not in the interest of such entities for there to be a retreat in the "War on Drugs". Example news link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42197813...m-behind-bars/ and link to largest prison inc. in the USA: http://www.cca.com/

                4. As federal matching funds dry up or are cut off as the USA faces austerity measures to come, federal, state and local policing agencies will rely more often upon civil and criminal asset forfeiture as sources of agency income (for, e.g., equipment, salaries, bonuses, etc.). Again, there's no reason to kill the goose laying the golden egg. Better to fatten her up instead. What's asset forfeiture? See http://www.justice.gov/jmd/afp/ and http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Forfeiture

                I'll stop there. Sorry if I've bored or bummed y'all out, but this shit war seems to have no end.

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                • #9
                  Dave,

                  I agree that legalization isn't going to stop the crime south of the border. My view is more towards urban crime in this country. it will have to have some effect tho as one wonders if the cartels can afford to finance all the payoffs to government officials, and you know there is a lot of it going on, without the main source of funds, drugs. I would think things would get downsized just because they won't be able to afford the protection umbrella without those bucks.
                  herb

                  Man spends his time on devising a more idiot proof computer. The universe spends its time devising bigger idiots. So far the universe is winning.

                  http://www.wolfshead.net/wolfshowl


                  http://www.wolfshead.net/books

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                  • #10
                    It's one thing to fight an evil that is way over there and doesn't share a physical border with us; it's another thing to fight one that does. Besides, border wars went out with the 90's.

                    As for the legalizing marijuana issue, I do hope you all are more in-favor of decriminalizing marijuana rather than flat out lawlessness. I may be in favor of the fact that nearly 3 out of 5 Americans smoke marijuana and therefor majority rule should win for now. However I'd feel a lot safer if it were regulated like alcohol.

                    Capitalism runs America and businesses are businesses and whatever works best for businesses will be the methods employed. So like Guzzlecrank points out, this is a great financial opportunity. Although one of our country's greatest economist pointed out, even considering what we spend on the war on drugs, we would could make substantial money by decriminalizing marijuana alone (and leave crack, coke, heroin, etc. on the table for war).

                    And this is just a silly little bit, but I'm suspicious of the world's richest man. He's Mexican, lives in Mexico and yet his last name is Slim. Who the heck has the legitimate last name Slim and doesn't come from criminal backgrounds? Slim's not a typical Mexican (or any country as far as I know of) last name. Who isn't instantly suspicious of a person who says, "Hello, my name is Mr. Slim", I ask you?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dave Hardy View Post
                      So even if we radically change our approach to drugs (long overdue IMO) both in the US and in Mexico (and Colombia for that matter), the cartels are probably here to stay for a long time yet.
                      Sad but true. Of course, many of the crime organizations in the US have pretty clear connections to bootlegging alcohol during prohibition. I think they've moved on from that...

                      Criminal organizations are often pretty nimble-more so than many corporate ones. They are very effective at turning their organizations to multiple purposes, and some seem to be able to eliminate and replace particular criminal enterprises pretty easily.

                      Scary to think of the things that they might do if their eyes turned to something other than drugs.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wolfshead View Post
                        Dave,

                        I agree that legalization isn't going to stop the crime south of the border. My view is more towards urban crime in this country. it will have to have some effect tho as one wonders if the cartels can afford to finance all the payoffs to government officials, and you know there is a lot of it going on, without the main source of funds, drugs. I would think things would get downsized just because they won't be able to afford the protection umbrella without those bucks.
                        I'd like to think this is the case, but I'm not sure that the governments are actually bigger or more powerful than the cartels in some of the nations south of the US border. Also scary.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Guzzlecrank View Post
                          I'll stop there. Sorry if I've bored or bummed y'all out, but this shit war seems to have no end.
                          Don't stop! What bums me out is what you say last. This shit war seems to have no end.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry to completely hijack this thread with my responses. But...

                            This issue came up in conversation this weekend. Kevin pointed out how the drug war is a much bigger issue in border states than other places. I have to agree. When I lived in Texas, the issue seemed really proximate to people's lives. I'm now in my second port city after living in Texas, both with military presences. Port security seems to be what concerns people in both places, and the idea that supply begins before the product gets on ships is lost a little on people. The "war on drugs," as well as its casualties is remarkably distant from people.

                            Maybe we need a PR war to show people that this isn't a border issue, or a border state issue?

                            Sorry for the random thoughts.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Doc View Post
                              Scary to think of the things that they might do if their eyes turned to something other than drugs.
                              Unhappyly they have moved a long time ago to other activites ..... Real estate, refuse handling ..... turism .....

                              And politics ..... .

                              A good example is Italy.

                              But the difference between some major companies and organised crime can be very slim .....

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