Articles

Don’t Call This a War on Drugs

In Academic, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Latin America, Mexico, Politics, U.S. Government on June 22, 2010 by nllsachair

From the Huffington Post:

What War is Mexico Fighting?

While Mexican President Felipe Calderon has received endless plaudits for his strong stance against drug cartels, the United States has been blamed for doing too little to curb the violence, even though it is the biggest market for drugs. As the violence enters its fourth year, many fault American drug users for providing the cash incentive for cartels, and the American gun market for providing the cartels’ firepower. The consensus is that the United States must reform its drug laws and tighten its gun laws for the violence to subside. In fact, Calderon himself recently took the U.S. to task, blaming America for his country’s woes. But Calderon’s much-vaunted crackdown has been terribly misunderstood by both sides…

The real culprit here isn’t America’s addiction to drugs, but rather Mexico’s addiction to criminal impunity. We don’t all need to read Roberto Bolaño novels to discover that in Mexico rapes go unsolved, murders remain a mystery, bribery runs rampant, and yes, drugs move freely. So while it is pretty easy to scapegoat the United States, the main problem is not America’s insatiable thirst for drugs (though that hasn’t helped), but rather Mexico’s ineffective criminal justice system. Indeed, President Calderon’s real motive for cracking down on the drug cartels was to finally put an end to the lawlessness that reigns supreme throughout Mexico.

The conflict that Calderon is waging isn’t so much a “war on drugs,” as much as it is Mexico’s first War on Impunity.

Read the rest of the article here.

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