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April 2011
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What about the children?

This is depressing as hell…

Mexican drug cartels targeting and killing children

According to U.S. and Mexican experts, competing criminal groups appear to be killing children to terrorize the population or prove to rivals that their savagery is boundless, as they fight over local drug markets and billion-dollar trafficking routes to voracious consumers in the United States.

“It worries us very much, this growth in the attacks on little children. They use them as a vehicle to send a message,” said Juan Martin Perez, director of the Child Rights Network in Mexico. “Decapitations and hanging bodies from bridges send a message. Killing children is an extension of this trend.”

The children’s rights group estimates that 994 people younger than 18 were killed in drug-related violence between late 2006 and late 2010, based on media accounts, which are incomplete because newspapers are often too intimidated to report drug-related crimes. […]

In February, assassins went hunting for a Ciudad Juarez man, but the intended target wasn’t home, so they killed his three daughters instead, ages 12, 14 and 15.

In March, a young woman was bound and gagged, shot and left in a car in Acapulco. Her 4-year-old daughter lay slumped beside her, killed with a single bullet to her chest. She was the fifth child killed in drug violence in the resort city in one bloody week.

“They kill children on purpose,” said Marcela Turati, author of “Crossfire,” a new book on the killings of civilians in Mexico’s drug war. “In Juarez, they told a 7-year-old boy to run, and shot his father. Then they shot the little boy.”

This is sick.

Those who do this should be hunted down like dogs. And make no mistake about it, the blame for killing children falls squarely on those who do the killing and order the killing.

Yet we are not, by any means, blameless. This is a knowable, predictable, and inevitable consequence of the ratcheting up of our drug war.

Take a look at Effect of drug law enforcement on drug market violence: A systematic review – in the International Journal of Drug Policy

The conclusion, while walking a cautious line, is still crystal clear.

Based on the available English language scientific evidence, the results of this systematic review suggest that an increase in drug law enforcement interventions to disrupt drug markets is unlikely to reduce drug market violence. Instead, from an evidence-based public policy perspective and based on several decades of available data, the existing scientific evidence suggests drug law enforcement contributes to gun violence and high homicide rates and that increasingly sophisticated methods of disrupting organizations involved in drug distribution could paradoxically increase violence.

That’s right. The harder we push with the drug war, the more survival benefit there is to those criminals who are ruthless, and are willing to terrorize, bribe and kill wantonly to keep their power (remember we’re not using the carrot and stick which would do the opposite).

This is elementary. Calderone’s war, pushed by the U.S. is unable to actually accomplish anything positive (due to the laws of economics), but is without a doubt resulting in lots of dead children.

This is obvious. Surely this can be a wake-up call to change failed policy.

After all, what kind of sick, soulless creature could possibly look at this and see something positive? Seriously.

Oh. Wait.

U.S. and Mexican officials say the grotesque violence is a symptom the cartels have been wounded by police and soldiers. “It may seem contradictory, but the unfortunate level of violence is a sign of success in the fight against drugs,” said Michele Leonhart, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Success.

For that 7-year-old boy.

Ah, hell.

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26 comments to What about the children?

  • Nick

    First they come for your dogs. When few complain, the children are next.
    It is, after all, collateral damage.

  • C.E.

    I call B.S. I’m not doubting that some children have died because of drug prohibition, but I am doubting that criminal organizations are targeting children to make some sort of point. And any time I see statistics like “The children’s rights group estimates that 994 people younger than 18 were killed in drug-related violence between late 2006 and late 2010, based on media accounts, which are incomplete because newspapers are often too intimidated to report drug-related crimes”, I start to wonder about all the ways the numbers might be fudged. For one thing, this number is an “estimate”. Then we have the term “drug-related”, which could mean anything from children killed by drug dealers to advance their business, to children killed by suspected drug users who happen to kill them for the same disparate, twisted reasons that other people might murder children. Then we’re told that media accounts are incomplete because newspapers are often “too intimidated to report drug-related crimes.” So we learn that the 994 number is a guesstimate based on the lack of information.

    I agree that we should hunt down and punish the murderers of children. But we should not capitalize on the tragedy of child murder to gin up hysteria in support of prohibition.

    • tensity1

      Yeah, all the dead kids in Mexico are just accidentally killed, collateral damage, because narcos who behead several people at a time and hang ’em high off bridges or bury them en masse or just melt them away in vats of lye would NEVER target kids. Narcos just need to go to the shooting range to practice, and the kids were just unlucky or need to juke and jive better.

      You know, even if all the deaths of minors were accidental (is gunning for a teen in a rival gang not sending a message?), it’s still a tragic situation, but what’s even more tragic is dipshit apologists trying to somehow make the worst of human nature seem . . . what, a matter of course, that we shouldn’t get hysterical about it? Is the killing of so many people–kids and adults–not sending a message to all, citizenry and government, that the narcos are dead serious about their turf? How many people, kids or adults, need to die before we get ginned up?

      Well, all I read was an article stating the best known facts by organizations and experts who care about the subject. Didn’t see hysteria, but I’m sure many parents in Mexico have felt hysteria. Fuck ’em though–they don’t have ALL the facts PERFECTLY straight. Shit, it might be drug ABUSERS more than the narcos who are killing all these kids. Hell, this organization might have an agenda, staffed by non-expert kindergarteners who might be fudging things (because they MIGHT want to live past their sixth birthday)!

      Are you even aware how absurdly tragic and violent things have gotten in Mexico because of our prohibition of (some) drugs. Your point at the end is off-base, and all the crap you wrote before it doesn’t even directly support your point. Generously, it’s simply fear of some sort; at worst just dissembling and prevaricating chaff. Are you sure your initials aren’t M.L.? I call D.S.

  • notahypocrit

    Even one child killed is to much in light of the drug war, they are the innocent victims here, and yes we need to “gin up hysteria in support of prohibition” because this is happening!

    • Leonard Junior

      Prohibition causes an escalation in violence. Instead of supporting prohibition, we should support legal regulation, because legitimate businesses use their lawyers with briefcases and not 1000 men with guns.

      Support prohibition when it’s already failing. That’s ludicrous.

  • US citizens shouldn’t deceived themselves. It is not just Michele Leonhart, DEA supremo who utters such opinions unashamelessly. On the contrary, the idea that the more brutal the level of violence the greater the success of the war on drugs, permeate the US government from top to bottom — remember that Hillary Clinton and Gil Kerlikowske themselves have expressed similar opinions in the past. One can only assume that being the chief of chiefs, these opinions have the approval of President Obama.

    It makes me wonder: who is the sick here?

    Gart Valenc
    http://www.stopthewarondrugs.org

  • DdC

    According to U.S. and Mexican experts… causing it.

    Think of the message being sent to the kids?

    When its convenient and doesn’t interfere with profits.

    a few articles at the cybrary…
    its all so disgusting and unecessary.

    Marijuana” Can prevent Cancer in kids
    Treating Behavioral Disorders in Children with Ritalin or safer Ganja.
    A war that keeps hurting sick kids
    The Murder of Peter McWilliams
    Toxic Drift: Monsanto and the Drug War in Colombia
    Child Protection Racket (raw)
    Columbian schoolchildren sprayed from above
    Judges Caging Kids for Cash
    Slick PDFA Lies to kids
    Mothers Against the Drug Czar’s War on Kids
    The Babykillers! 01/30/01
    Why Promoting Prohibition is Babykilling
    Mexican drug cartels hire teens, children for smuggling
    Mexican police arrest alleged child gunman
    Drug Cartels Are Terrified of Marijuana Legalization
    Mexican Drug Cartels Hire Children: 14-Year-Old Mexican Assassin
    STOP THE MEXICAN DRUG WAR
    THATS KILLING INNOCENT MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN
    One of the most shocking aspects of Mexico’s war on drugs is the use of drug cartels heinous use of teens and young children for smuggling, thievery – even murder.

    Every utterance of the drug worriers is describing prohibition,
    not drug use and especially not Ganja. This is not even a successful operation but the patient died scenario or collateral damage or by any stretch a moral worthy cause. Its baby-killing for dollars. Paid by taxes. GodLessAmerica!

    Calvina Fay Prohibition Inc
    Drug Free America Foundation,
    formerly known as Straight, Inc.

    It is currently led by Betty Sembler and Professor Calvina Fay.
    At least 10 children have lost their lives as a result of their participation in a wilderness therapy program (AKA “Brat Camps”) who failed them in the worst way imaginable. These are their stories as told through media reports, opinion and commentary.

    Anti-Drug Campaigns Dumb Down Vital Message
    Kids Helping Kids began as Straight-Midwest and over time was incorporated into Pathway Family Center (owns/owned 4 known programs). Pathway Family Center was founded by Terri Nissley, a “satisfied” Straight, Inc. cult parent who wants to continue in the torturing and brainwashing kids for profit industry.

    School of the Americas: School of Assassins
    Inside the dark legacy of the US ‘School of Assassins’ dedicated to teaching torture, to educating soldiers on how to rape and murder American nuns and assassinate Salvadoran priests.
    School of Assassins by Mary Turck
    And what do Panama’s Manuel Noriega, Argentina’s Leopoldo Galtiere, Peru’s Juan Velasco Alvarado, Ecuador’s Guillermo Rodriguez, and Bolivia’s Hugo Banzer have in common? They have all been dictators in their countries, and they were all trained at the School of the Americas.

    And This Is What History Looks Like in Mexico 01/30/01
    Yesterday’s Mass Marches to End the Drug War and Send the Army Back to Its Barracks.

    ”Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men, we didn’t have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents. Without a prison, there can be no delinquents. We had no locks nor keys and therefore among us there were no thieves. When someone was so poor that he couldn’t afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift. We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property. We didn’t know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth. We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another. We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived and I don’t know how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society.
    John Lame Deer, Native American holy man

    The Ganjawar Comes to the The Rez – 12/19/03

    How many kids have died in Poverty while Unk;s Korpses steal their minerals and foul their water kids drink. Then bust them for growing a way out of welfare. Tight Budget?! Close the SOA!

  • Emma

    Here is a video of Leonhart saying this:
    Youtube: inserto michele leonhart 1 2a

    She is speaking at the 28th International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC) in Cancun April 7, 2011.

    “It may seem counterintuitive, but the level of violence we are seeing here is unfortunately a signpost of success in fighting against those cartels. They are caged animals. And they are acting like animals, lashing out at one another. And we are putting more pressure on them. Our goal is to work with our Mexican counterparts to transform the cartels from a danger to national security to a manageable law enforcement issue that no longer threatens the rule of law in Mexico or stability.”

    Could someone make a video combining Leonhart’s speech with the points from Pete’s blog post?

  • Drug Warrior

    Not only is the rising violence evidence that prohibition is working… but when there is a lull in the violence that is also a sign that prohibition is working. See it’s always working! And we are always on the verge of winning. Any day now… a drug free paradise is around the corner…

  • kaptinemo

    As has been pointed out, just as power corrupts absolutely, maintenance of that power requires a corruption of the soul to the degree where killing children to make a point becomes as ‘natural’ as breathing…and about as unconsciously performed.

    And as for the DEA…several years ago, shortly after Ashley Villareal was killed, I recall reading a post that some wag at DEAWatch wrote. Said wag stated that Mex children ‘grow up faster’ and at age 14 are about at the same level as an American 18 year old, implying the Mex child was an adult, and as such was fair game. I sh*t you not. That was the ‘justification’ supplied.

    Leonhart rides herd on some really sick people…

  • Servetus

    It may seem counterintuitive (to Michele Leonhart), but the drug war creates what it claims to prevent.

    Stories of murdered and maimed children usually precede U.S. military interventions into foreign countries. Just prior to the Viet Nam War, stories circulated of the Viet Cong chopping the arms off all the children of an entire village. Perhaps the current reports are a similar attempt to introduce Plan Colombia into Mexico, or to justify intervening directly with the U.S. military.

    Ms. Leonhart believes anyone involved in the drug trade is automatically evil and deserving of death. She has no empathy for the Mexican people and the economic conditions in Mexico that create desperation and despair among many otherwise peaceful citizens, people who also happen to see the drug laws as a joke, as many intelligent people do. Far from being a war on poverty, the drug war is a war on the impoverished. The prohibitionist mindset of the Michele Leonharts of the world makes such a war inevitable.

  • Malcolm Kyle

    “It may seem counterintuitive, but the level of violence we are seeing here is unfortunately a signpost of success in fighting against those cartels” – Michele Leonhart

    This Ought to Start Working Any Day Now

    I want a front seat at her trial!

  • […] Let me back up for a second. I was reading Pete Guther’s drugwarrant blog and came across this article on drug war currently  unfolding in Mexico. Pete does a great job spreading the word on how […]

  • divadab

    @Malcolm Kyle – authoritarian scum like Michele Leonhart are already living in Hell and projecting their sick world on whomever we give them authority to inflict it on. Take away their authority, and they can only descend deeper into their own private hell. This will be reward enough for me! (Thankfully, since the likelihood of a trial is slim to nil).

    Peace and truth!

    divadab

  • Ned

    See you folks don’t understand. This will all have been well worth it once we are able to win the drug war. The abusive use of certain drugs is so abhorrent, so immoral, and so destructive that it is absolutely inconceivable to consider ANY other approach. This may seem a high price to pay but think of the alternative. Surrender on the part of those who are defenders of the moral high ground? When you are right, you do not surrender! Collateral damage is regrettable, but after all most of the death is among noncitizen, nonvoting, nonwhites who are of low socioeconomic status. It’s basically understood in DC that such people are expendable when more immediate and higher stakes are in play for career politicians and officials. Cmon now. 😉

    The fact is that normal law enforcement in a free society is much too inefficient to ever succeed in imposing a blanket total prohibition. They simply can’t be everywhere. Most production, distribution, sales and use go on daily uninterrupted. With that being the case, you’d hope they’d think of a different approach to handling the downsides of drug use.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Until you hit “It’s basically understood in DC…” your screed could have been written by a prohibitionist who was seriously expressing an anti-drug point of view. I often mention how this drug war is killing the art of parody and sarcasm and your post is just another example. There has to be things that are outrageously ridiculous to support the arts of parody and sarcasm, and with the Know Nothing prohibitionists nothing is too absurd for them to consider applicable. Recently I’ve tried using ‘addicks cook babies and eat them for supper’ but god help me I can see them actually doing this. If cooking babies for supper isn’t beyond the pale, then nothing is.

      • It’s like it’s a corollary of Poe’s Law (which states: “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.”)

  • Try substitutiong the word ‘foods’ for ‘drugs’ everytime you hear one of these sloganeering sociopaths, substituting a blurred and distorted view of reality that disregards pharmokinectics – promoting drug abuse via ultra rapidly absorbed and potent white powder forms of cocaine, opiates and other drugs of varying potency — for the sake of protecting what started and continues to this day as a scheme of market control:

    http://freedomofmedicineanddiet.blogspot.com/2008/03/drug-warriors-ignore-pharmacokinetics.html

    http://freedomofmedicineanddiet.blogspot.com/2011/03/drug-war-tobacco-pharma-agricultural.html

  • Cliff

    Let’s see, according to the prohibitionist establishment, when the cartels are killing each other in attempts to monopolize smuggling trafficking routes, the US claims winning the war on drugs.

    When the cartels gun down a CBP agent in Mexico City, with weapons smuggled from the US, by ATFE, the US claims winning the war on drugs.

    When mass graves and headless bodies are all over Mexico, the US claims winning the war on drugs.

    When prices of street drugs go up, the supply is down, the US claims victory in the war on drugs.

    When the prices go down, the cartels are selling the product at a loss, so we are WINNING.

    Now when children are murdered in the most heinous of ways, “It may seem contradictory, but the unfortunate level of violence is a sign of success in the fight against drugs.” Got it, the needs of the relatively few prohibitionists outweigh the needs of the many who are being killed indiscrimanately and stacked like so much cord-wood.

  • tensity1

    “It may seem counterintuitive, but the level of violence we are seeing here is unfortunately a signpost of success in fighting against those cartels” – Michele Leonhart

    As others have pointed out, the US seems to be always winning this war in some way, no matter the contradictory signs (no, no, never contradictory; it just SEEMS that way, unless that becomes inconvenient, requiring another spin). Can we hurry up and get to the victory celebration then? What the fuck is taking us so long? It’s been about 40 years in the modern drug war. I’m tired of war–get it done already you worthless pieces of government shite.

    Of course, this “war” was never winnable to begin with, not in the way our government has defined it and how they’ve decided to tackle it.

    WINNING my ass. I say make Charlie “Sheenius” Sheen the new Drug Czar or head of the DEA. Charlie knows WINNING and would probably be more effective.

    SHEENIUS FOR DEA, BECAUSE HE IS ALWAYS WINNING!

  • strayan

    You have to be sick in the head to think that more extreme violence is sign of success.

    The DEA must be purged.

  • antifascist

    The vampires and vultures that run the world don’t care about the problems of the majority of little people. They reap their life-blood and rip the flesh from their bones in war-profits that make them bigger and stronger. Why should they care how many innocent people die so long as they profit off those deaths?

  • Dante

    “What about the children?”

    I cringe whenever I hear the police or federal government thugs say that, because in just the last year or two those two groups have killed/emotionally damaged more kids simply by “doing their jobs” than the worst drug hitman.

    So, if killing innocent children makes you a bad guy, then our police departments and federal government are FILLED with bad guys.

    So, how can we convince those guys that THEY are the bad guys who are endangering our children, and get them to raid themselves?

    I just hope they don’t get excited and shoot their own dogs. I love dogs, even the K9 variety.

  • […] in the drug war. “It may seem contradictory, but the unfortunate level of violence is a sign of success in […]

  • James

    Ron Paul 2012, baby. The only candidate to come out openly in support of legalizing drugs at the federal level.