Mexico gets results from its drug war

… if by results you mean massive corruption, gunfights in the streets, people afraid, and an economy dependent on criminals.
Reuters is reporting Tourists desert town in Mexico drug war

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico (Reuters) – A brutal drug war that has claimed scores of lives and left this Mexican city on the Texas border without a police force is scaring away U.S. visitors, local traders said.

Mexican troops and federal police took over Nuevo Laredo, a city just across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas, to curb a drug war that has killed 45 people and set off an armed clash between police.

Heavily armed troops rumbled through the city for a second day on Tuesday. Tourist bars and craft markets are nearly empty as the usually steady flow of U.S. day-trippers seeking a T-shirt and a margarita has slowed to a trickle.

That’s the situation today, but for a better look at the historical background, check out Big sweeps have yielded few benefits: Long-term effect on drug trade has been virtually nil, experts say by Tracey Eaton in the Dallas Morning News.

Since the 1970s, Mexican authorities have periodically launched splashy anti-drug operations like the one now being carried out in Nuevo Laredo and 13 other cities.

But these high-profile raids — often involving hundreds of federal agents and soldiers — have had virtually no long-term impact, drug-trade specialists say.

“The whole history of anti-drug sweeps in Mexico is that eventually the sweepers get converted,” said Charles Bowden, author of Down by the River and other acclaimed books about the drug business. “They join the traffickers. Nothing changes except there are more drugs — and they’re cheaper.” […]

Don Henry Ford, author of Contrabando: Confessions of a Drug-Smuggling Texas Cowboy, said Mexico’s drug economy has multiplied since the 1980s, when he smuggled marijuana.

“The money is just too big now,” he said. “There’s no way the government’s going to stop it. And they can’t afford to. If all that money were to dry up, it would literally cause a wave of people trying to get out of there. It would break the nation.”

Complicating matters: Many of those in law enforcement are corrupt, he said.
After the Mexican army raided his marijuana plantation in the 1980s, he said, soldiers forced the field workers to finish packaging the drugs so they’d have an easier time reselling it later.

It’s a depressing and realistic picture of what prohibition really looks like.
Said Celerino “Cele” Castillo, a former 12-year veteran of the Drug Enforcement Administration: “We are more addicted to drug money than we are to drugs.”

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