And the war continues

Mexico quietly marks 10 years of drug war

Ten years after Mexican troops were unleashed against drug cartels, the country will mark the anniversary without fanfare on Sunday, with murders rising again and the military eager to return to barracks.

President Enrique Pena Nieto, who inherited the drug war when he took office in December 2012, has promised his countrymen and women a “Mexico in peace.”

So, after 10 years, how is that progressing?

“The war has become much more complex. The level of death has escalated,” Raul Benitez Manaut, a security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, told AFP.


Even Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos agrees that troops do not belong in a law enforcement role.

“We didn’t ask to be here. We don’t like it. We didn’t study how to chase criminals,” Cienfuegos said on Thursday.

He said he would be the first to raise “not one, but two hands” in favor of returning troops to barracks.

“Our function is something else and it’s been made into something unnatural. We are doing things that don’t correspond to our training because there’s no one else to do them,” the minister said.

The only way to win the drug war is to end it.

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14 Responses to And the war continues

  1. jean valjean says:

    Some delusional people are still maintaining that Trump will be good for drug reform. Here’s why that’s a fantasy:

    “There’s little doubt our incoming commander-in-chief is primed to re-launch a new war on drugs that could be worse than anything we’ve seen before. He has not just called for doubling down on draconian drug laws – he has also called for more private prisons, rejected restoring the right to vote for millions of Americans living with a felony conviction, and supported unconstitutional “stop and frisk” policing. He’s even said he’ll deal with opioid addiction by building a magical wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.”

  2. Servetus says:

    Ben Terrel offers a brief history of the political economy of the Mexican Drug War and its association with NAFTA:

    …the modern day drug war, which commenced under George W. Bush’s pal Vincente Fox (president from 2002-2006) and then metastasized under Fox’s successor Felipe Calderon (head of state from 2006-2012), targeted cartel leaders, the arrest or assassination of big players left their underlings scrambling for turf, splintering the large drug organizations into nests of trigger-happy killers. The vast amounts of money to be made attracted grievously underpaid soldiers and police: between 2000 and 2006, two thirds of the Mexican military had deserted. (Though this was nothing new: in 1995 the Mexican Department of the Interior estimated that between 30 and 50 percent of the 100,000 members of the Federal Judicial Police (PJF) were on the payrolls of the cartels’ drug traffickers, who had also bought off hundreds of local municipal police departments.)[…]

    …the U.S. government fanned the flames by continuing to send military assistance to the Mexico; government and military officials often delivered the U.S. weapons to drug traffickers. Then too, the Bush era jettisoning of an assault weapons ban made it easy for narco surrogates to buy heavy artillery from U.S. gun shops. The result: between 75 and 90 percent of cartel arms now come from the U.S.

    The authors also argue that the U.S. shares responsibility for Mexico’s drug quagmire in other ways. The 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allowed U.S. agribusiness to flood Mexico with corn. Two million rural Mexican farmers, unable to compete with U.S. imports, were driven off their land in the six years following NAFTA’s implementation. Increasing impoverishment of formerly self-sufficient Mexicans contributed to a surge in crime (though only partially — one study estimated that police committed 70 percent of kidnappings in 1995) and gave the cartels a new source of foot soldiers. No longer able to make a living growing corn, farmers also began shifting to cultivation of marijuana and poppies. NAFTA imports also required a huge number of freight cars and cargo trucks, which helped transport smuggled drugs into the U.S.[…]

  3. strayan says:

    Headline: Marijuana Is Harder Than Ever for Younger Teens to Find

    Dr. Nora Volkow reponse:

    “I don’t have an explanation. This is somewhat surprising,” says Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which commissions the annual survey.

    “We had predicted based on the changes in legalization, culture in the U.S. as well as decreasing perceptions among teenagers that marijuana was harmful that [accessibility and use] would go up. But it hasn’t gone up,” she says.


    • Tony Aroma says:

      I see that Mr. Sabet has already adapted his pitch to this news. He’s no longer saying that legalization will cause an increase in teen use, but now it’s that legalization is preventing a decrease. Sounds like a man who’s never met data he couldn’t spin.

      • DdC says:

        Kevie the Dude needs a ladder to reach the gutter. So in Sabeteur SAM World of rehabilitation asylum profits. He’s afraid of losing customers. Especially court ordered with pisstasting profits on the side. The 50,000 deaths are of no concern, he can’t profit on them, they’re dead.

        Cannabis is assisting Americans in avoiding overdoses with opioids. Now Ganja’s taking his new bass boat money? Seems even the PDFK’s get it. So either Kevin Abraham Sabet-Sharghi is completely daft or he mindfucks himself into believing the American lives he is wasting for greed and selfish ignorance is somehow, some where moral and justified.

        More than 50,000 overdose deaths: A grim tally soars to all-time U.S.
        The disastrous tally has been pushed to new heights by soaring abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers, a class of drugs known as opioids.

        Partnership for Drug-Free Kids October 7th, 2015

        Hundreds of people in Massachusetts who are addicted to opioids are being treated with medical marijuana, according to the Boston Herald.

        Opioid Addiction Being Treated With Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts

        “We have a statewide epidemic of opioid deaths,” said Dr. Gary Witman of Canna Care Docs, a network of facilities that qualifies patients into medical marijuana programs in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Delaware and the District of Columbia. “As soon as we can get people off opioids to a nonaddicting substance — and medicinal marijuana is nonaddicting — I think it would dramatically impact the amount of opioid deaths.”

        Check out some of the comments.

  4. Mouth says:

    In 2004, I went to PV and asked my wife to marry me. In 2010, we did our honeymoon there. The small naval station had sandbags with a 50 facing the street, unlike 2004. The Newspapers were filled with colorful pictures of dead bodies and lots of police holding AKs rode on the back of pickups and on the sides of city buses. Six years later, El Chapo’s kid was kidnapped from one of my wife and I’s favorite restaurants. A few years after 2010, we took a trip to Roatan, Honduras where the local taxi driver told us that half of all the ships, boats and small fishing boats contained drugs and showed us the large house of the local drug lord whom everyone loved because he brought hospitals and schools. A day or two later, we went to Belize and were told that the place was crawling with makeshift landing zones for planes carrying drugs. Cozumel is the only place in Mexico I know that seems unaffected by the war, though Progresso had a few ‘checkpoints’ maintained by the Marines as you went to or from the pyramids.

  5. Analyze This says:

    Mexican authorities have ordered all troops fighting drug cartels across the violence-ravaged country to return to their military bases.

    The United Nation argued Wednesday that the militarization of public security in Mexico is a “mistake” as the country marks 10 years since the government began to deploy troops in a drug war that has killed and disappeared tens of thousands of people.

    • jean valjean says:

      ‘”And (I’d) go around Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble also. I was really looking for an encounter so I could kill.”‘

      Duterte is seriously mentally ill.

      • DC Reade says:

        Another part worth quoting:

        “…Speaking at the same forum, Duterte told business leaders he had been using the painkiller fentanyl to relieve severe pain after a “bad slip.”
        “I have this migraine every day. I had a bad slip … I hit my head on the cement. I have a lot of issues with my spine,” he said on Monday.
        Duterte said he had been using more than the recommended dose of fentanyl until his doctor stopped him.
        “I was only given a fourth of (the whole patch), but no more, because of course my doctor learned that I was using the whole patch because I felt better,” he said.
        “When he knew it, he made me stop and he said, ‘The first thing you would lose is your cognitive ability.'”…”

    • DdC says:

      The scary part about Duterte, The “Trump” of the Philippines. Is his approval rating by the people is at 91%. Looks like a good place to Boycott.

      • DC Reade says:

        There’s a persistent tendency in human societies to seek out a scapegoat population in their midst that they can single out as the focus of all social Evil, and sacrifice in a purge. As a common mission and a shared goal.

        Creepy doesn’t begin to describe it. It’s a spiral into the abyss of pre-conscious pack primate xenophobia.

  6. DC Reade says:

    Then there’s this item from Dec. 8, 2016, which is not an article found in the Washington Post proper, but in Radley Balko’s blog, the Watch:

    “…In some ways, Trump’s friendliness to Duterte is yet another example of his habit of making the implicit explicit. Although President Obama has offered tepid criticism of Duterte’s atrocities, Philippine police stations behind the killings continue to receive millions of dollars in aid from the United States. If Trump did tell Duterte that this was the “right way,” he would, in a sense, only be verbalizing what U.S. dollars flowing into the Philippines suggest.

    That doesn’t make it any less disturbing, particularly as Trump continues to fill his Cabinet with generals and anti-drug crusaders like presumptive attorney general Jeff Sessions. For all the problems with America’s own disastrous drug war, this is not the Philippines. But we’ve seen just this week that some Americans are willing to excuse what amounts to an extrajudicial killing if it involves the right sort of people. It would bring some measure of relief if the president-elect didn’t strike up friendships with leaders who see such killings as a best practice…”

    The most disturbing thing in that article are the comments, mostly from Americans.

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