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May 2008
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Celebrating death

I’m sure they’ll be pleased to know that they died because the drug war is a success.

The result has been mayhem: a street war in which no target has been too big, no attack too brazen.
Opposition politicians and even some police officials have begun to question whether the president’s ambition has exceeded his grasp, with dangerous and destabilizing consequences for a country that shares a 2,000-mile border with the United States.
The president has vowed to stay the course, portraying the violence among gangs and attacks on the police as a sign of success rather than failure.

Success? Even if you assume that the escalated war is destabilizing the cartels, it’s not like that would mean you would run out of those willing to use extreme measures to traffic drugs. As long as drugs are highly profitable black-market commodities, there will be people willing to step up to attempt to make their fortunes, no matter how many you destabilize or kill.
So there are two ways to actually make real change rather than just coming up with a new crop of dead bodies all the time.

  1. Convince everyone to stop using drugs. That’s what commenter pfmpm at the article naively suggests. And yes, and such an idea is seductive to many, because it would work, if it were possible. I’d be open to hearing ideas on how you could accomplish it, but I think that the entirety of human existence serves as proof that it ain’t gonna happen.
  2. Remove the distribution of drugs from the black market. This can be done — we’ve done it before.

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