The Drug War’s Invisible Victims: Women and Children

The Drug War’s Invisible Victims | Truthout.

by: Laura Carlsen, Foreign Policy in Focus | News Analysis

There are many kinds of war. The classic image of a uniformed soldier kissing mom good-bye to risk his life on the battlefield has changed dramatically. In today’s wars, it’s more likely that mom will be the one killed.

UNIFEM states that by the mid-1990s, 90% of war casualties were civilians– mostly women and children.

Mexico’s drug war is a good example of the new wars on civilian populations that blur the lines between combatants and place entire societies in the line of fire. Of the more than 50,000 people killed in drug war-related violence, the vast majority are civilians. President Felipe Calderón claims that 90% of the victims were linked to drug cartels. But how does he know? In a country where only 2% of crimes are investigated, tried, and sentenced, the government pulled this figure out of its sleeve.

There is no official information on why these thousands were killed. When their bodies are found in unmarked mass graves, no one even knows who they were. With violence the norm, executions can—and do–target grassroots leaders, human rights defenders, indigenous peoples, and rebellious youth under the cloak of the drug war.

Not Just Homicide

There are also war tolls beyond the body counts. The homicide number misses the disappeared, the thousands whose bodies–dead or alive–are never found to be counted. And it hides the mutilation of lives caused by “collateral damage”: the loss of loved ones, families forced from their homes, permanent injury, orphans and widows, sexual abuse, lives lived in fear.

These costs fall primarily on the shoulders of women–the mothers, daughters, and sisters who are left with the nearly impossible task of seeking answers and redress in a justice system outpaced by the violence and overrun by the corruption. They are often re-victimized by government agencies that ignore, reject, or stifle their pleas for justice.

“Families that demand that our children be found face all kinds of threats… the loss of our property, isolation, rejection by our own families,” said Araceli Rodríguez, a mother whose son, a young policeman, was disappeared on the job. His police unit refuses to give information on his disappearance.  “I wake up and find that it’s not a nightmare, that his absense is real and the impunity is also real.”

It’s rare to hear the voices of the women who bear the brunt of the drug war. Their pain doesn’t make headlines. Some need anonymity to remain alive. Many have been granted protective measures by the government or international human rights organizations because of the extreme threats they face.

Telling Stories

Despite all these difficulties, some 70 women told their stories amid tears and despite fear for their lives in Mexico City on January 22. The meeting called by the Nobel Women’s Initiative brought an international delegation led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams together with Mexican women victims of the violence and women human rights defenders.

From the sketchy statistics available, women make up a relatively small proportion of the murdered in Mexico, but they are the majority of citizens who denounce disappearances, murders, and human rights violations in the drug war. They work on the front lines of defending communities and human rights. For their efforts, they become targets themselves. In Mexico, six prominent women human rights defenders have been murdered in the past two years.

The last report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders recognized that threats and especially “explicit death threats against women human rights defenders are one of the main forms of violence in the region, with more than half coming from Latin America, most of those (27) from Mexico.”

Sometimes it’s the drug cartels that seek to silence women activists. But a recent survey  of Mexican women human rights defenders revealed that they cite the government (national, state, and local) and its security forces as responsible in 55% of cases of violence and threats of violence to women defenders. Among government officials charged with public saftey and justice, they encounter at best indifference and at worst death threats and attacks. A human rights defender from the state of Coahuila explained that searching for a disappeared loved one implies “always having to be in the hell of the institutions, which are often infiltrated by crime.”

Gender-based violence including femicide has skyrocketed in the context of the overall violence. The number of femicides in Chihuahua since sending the army in has risen to 837 for the period 2008-2011 June—nearly double the total femicides in 1993-2007. Women rights defenders report that the vast majority of threats and acts of violence against them include gender-based violence.

Silent No More

Olga Esparza, whose daughter Monica disappeared in Ciudad Juarez in 2009, explains through her tears that the government simply doesn’t care. “We’re the ones who have to carry out the investigations, with our own resources.” She adds that government officials often add insult to injury, “They say she’s probably just gone off with her boyfriend or she’s a prostitute or drug addict.” In her case, as with so many others, there’s no investigation, no results, no justice.

Another woman described how her work with indigenous communities led to her rape and torture by police agents. She continues to live in terror due to threats against her life and her family.

Alma Gomez of the Center for the Human Rights of Women in Chihuahua summed up what she sees in the center, “Women are the invisible victims, we are always at risk in this military and police occupation. We know of gang rapes by security forces that the women don’t even report; arbitary arrests; women who make the rounds between army barracks and city morgues searching for their sons, fathers, or husbands… We are the spoils of war in a war we didn’t ask for and we don’t want.”

“Victim” is really the wrong word for these women. The mother whose son disappeared more than two years ago said, “In the struggle to find my son, I joined the peace movement. I learned that I can transform my pain into a collective force and together we can help more people to have a voice and to now be empowered to defend their rights.”

Valentina Rosendo, a Me’phaa indigenous woman from the State of Guerrero, was raped by soldiers and took her case all the way up to the Interamerican Court of Human Right. She sums up the reason for participating in the Nobel Women’s forum, “It’s really hard to speak out, but it’s more painful to keep quiet.”

War on drugs kills 47,500 in Mexico

PressTV – War on drugs kills 47,500 in Mexico.

Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:9PM GMT

Members of a forensic team and police officers stand at a crime scene where two decapitated bodies had been found inside a car in the country’s capital Mexico City on October 3, 2011.
Mexican officials say nearly 13,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in the first nine months of 2011, raising the death toll to over 47,500 in a five-year-long drug war.

The Attorney General’s Office said in a statement on Wednesday that 47,515 drug-related killings had occurred from December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a military crackdown against drug cartels, to September 2011.

The office said the death toll rose by 11 percent in the first nine months of 2011 when 12,903 people died, compared to 11,583 in the same period in 2010.

Also on Wednesday, two more decapitated bodies were found inside a burning SUV near the entrance to one of the capital Mexico City’s most luxurious shopping malls at the heart of the Santa Fe district.

The Latin American country has been plagued with violence amid fighting between drug mafias over profitable methamphetamine trafficking routes and marijuana fields across western Mexico.

The government used to occasionally release the number of the people killed in drug-related violence, but it stopped the process a year ago when the death toll reached 35,000.

GJH/HN

More On War on Drugs: Mexican authorities disband Veracruz police force in bid to stem corruption

Mexican authorities disband Veracruz police force in bid to stem corruption | World news | The Guardian.

“Veracruz is the first state to completely disband a large police department and use marines as law enforcers. There are about 2,400 marines in the state of Veracruz.”

All 800 police officers and 300 administrative employees laid off, and navy deployed to patrol Gulf coast city

Veracruz police walk past Mexican navy marines

Veracruz police walk past Mexican navy marines after the entire police force was disbanded. Photograph: Felix Marquez/AP

The entire police force in the Mexican port of Veracruz was dissolved on Wednesday in an effort to root out corruption, and armed marines were sent in to patrol.

A state spokeswoman, Gina Dominguez, said 800 police officers and 300 administrative staff had been laid off. They can re-apply for jobs, but must meet stricter standards with officers “who are better trained and more committed and who can deliver under our current security circumstances,” she said.

Armed marines barricaded police headquarters and navy helicopters flew over the city where 35 bodies were dumped in September in one of the worst gang attacks of Mexico‘s drug war.

The change was agreed on Monday by the governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte, and the federal interior secretary Alejandro Poiré.

Mexico’s army has taken over police operations several times before, , notably in the border city of Ciudad Juarez and the border state of Tamaulipas. But Veracruz is the first state to completely disband a large police department and use marines as law enforcers. There are about 2,400 marines in the state of Veracruz.

Dominguez said the navy operations will last only until the state can train more of its own police. Duarte already had disbanded a police force in the state’s capital of Xalapa, but in that case state agents immediately replaced city police.

Militares del Ejército Mexicano a su llegada a...

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President Felipe Calderon has pushed an ambitious process for vetting all of Mexico’s 460,000 police officers. His administration allocated $331m for 200 cities to train and re-equip municipal police forces.

Governors have complained they lack the resources to ensure their police forces are clean.

Veracruz is a common route for drugs and migrants coming from the south. It was first dominated by the Gulf Cartel, and then its former armed wing, the Zetas, took over after the two split. The state saw a rise in crime this spring after a government offensive in neighboring Tamaulipas scared drug criminals away to Veracruz.

But the dumping of the 35 bodies shocked Mexico as it turned the port into a battleground between the Zetas and a gang aligned with the Sinaloa Cartel, led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Want to end Mexican drug gang violence? Legalize drugs and the cartels will collapse

 

(NaturalNews) Rather than curb their prolific use and propagation around the world, the global “war on drugs” has actually made the drug problem worse. According to the latest statistics, drug use around the world is on the rise in almost every category, despite the numerous anti-drug policies in place to supposedly curb their use. Heightened government crackdowns on drug trafficking in many countries have actually led to more, not less, drug-related gang violence.

Irrespective of where they are enacted, anti-drug policies everywhere have had the unintended consequence of actually leading to more violence and criminal activity, while doing little or nothing to actually lower drug use rates. In other words, enforcing anti-drug policies is a monumental waste of taxpayer dollars that seems to only be making the situation worse rather than better.

Mexico is a perfect example of the failed war on drugs. In 2006, Mexican President Felipe Calderon summoned a military crusade of 50,000 troops to crack down on the nation’s drug cartels, which are a main source of drug flow into the US, one of the world’s largest consumers of illicit drugs. But rather than contain the violence, these new enforcements have resulted in more than 45,000 deaths, as drug gangs have resorted to fighting each other for the best remaining smuggling routes.

In the US, the situation is not much different. While there might be less overall gang violence associated with the drug trade than there is in Mexico, an incredible amount of taxpayer funding is spent on targeting users of marijuana, for instance, which largely pose little or no threat to society. Meanwhile, domestic drug rings profit big time from the high prices they are able to fetch for these drugs on the black market.

Back in June, the Global Commission on Drug Policy published a report highlighting the failures of the global war on drugs. That report called for an end to “the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but do no harm to others.” This is particularly true of the many people who use marijuana for legitimate medicinal purposes, as it is far safer and more effective than many legalized pharmaceutical drugs.

In the end, all the war on drugs has accomplished is to further the success of drug cartels, which are wreaking violence and havoc around the world. If many of the drugs that are restricted today were to become legalized, the drug cartels that currently thrive would quickly collapse, leading to a much safer world for everybody.

via Want to end Mexican drug gang violence? Legalize drugs and the cartels will collapse.

Activists accuse Mexican president of war crimes in drug crackdown

Activists accuse Mexican president of war crimes in drug crackdown | World news | guardian.co.uk.

International criminal court asked to investigate Felipe Caldéron over killing, torture and kidnap of civilians by army and police

Felipe Calderon

Mexican president Felipe Caldéron is accused of war crimes in the counry’s battle against drug gangs. Photograph: Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

Mexican human rights activists have asked the international criminal court to investigate President Felipe Caldéron, as well as top officials and the country’s most-wanted drug trafficker, accusing them of allowing subordinates to kill, torture and kidnap civilians.

Netzai Sandoval, a Mexican human rights lawyer, filed a complaint with the ICC in The Hague on Friday, requesting an investigation of the deaths of hundreds of civilians at the hands of the military and traffickers.

More than 45,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since 2006 as powerful cartels fight security forces and each other for control of smuggling routes into the neighbouring United States and other countries.

“The violence in Mexico is bigger than the violence in Afghanistan, the violence in Mexico is bigger than in Colombia,” Sandoval said.

“We want the prosecutor to tell us if war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Mexico, and if the president and other top officials are responsible.”

Signed by 23,000 Mexican citizens, the complaint names the Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, who has a $5m bounty on his head, as well as the public security minister, Genaro Garcia Luna, and the commanders of the army and navy.

A decision by ICC prosecutors on whether to investigate could take months or years, legal experts said.

The Mexican government has denied it is “at war” and said the use of the military in its battle against drug gangs is a temporary measure taken at the request of state governments. “The established security policy in no way constitutes an international crime. On the contrary, all its actions are focused on stopping criminal organisations and protecting all citizens,” said an interior ministry statement.

The office of the ICC prosecutor said in a statement it had the request, which it would study and “make a decision in due course”.

Richard Dicker, an international justice expert with Human Rights Watch, said: “There are a large number of boxes that the prosecutor would need to check off before he could actually open an investigation.

“It’s possible … but I think you want to be clear on what the challenges and obstacles are.”

In considering the case, ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo will have to decide if the crimes presented in the activists’ complaint, such as the torture of criminal suspects, qualify as crimes against humanity. “The crimes would have to be widespread or systematic, carried out by a state or organisation in attacks on a civilian population,” Dicker said.

“It’s certainly very arguable,” said William Schabas, professor of international law at Middlesex University. “The prosecutor has been very focused on Africa. The pattern is he stays within the comfort zone of the United States. Going after Mexicans for the war on drugs falls outside that comfort zone.”

Activists say Caldéron has systematically allowed Mexican troops to commit abuses against civilians since the military was deployed to fight drug traffickers in 2006. More than 50,000 soldiers are battling cartels around the country, while the ranks of federal police have swelled from 6,000 to 35,000 under Caldéron’s watch.

A Human Rights Watch report said there was evidence Mexican police and soldiers were involved in 170 cases of torture, 24 murders and 39 forced disappearances in five Mexican states. “We have known for five years that the Mexican army is committing sexual abuse, executing people, torturing people and kidnapping, and there have been no sanctions,” Sandoval said.

Mexico’s national human rights commission received more than 4,000 complaints of abuses by the army from 2006 to 2010. In the same period it issued detailed reports on 65 cases involving army abuse, according to Human Rights Watch.

Mexico drug war: 32 bodies found in Veracruz

Mexico drug war: 32 bodies found in Veracruz | World news | guardian.co.uk.Mexico drug war

Mexico drug war: more than 44,000 have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched a campaign to crush the drug cartels in 2006. Photograph: Bernandino Hernandez/AP

Mexican security forces have found 32 bodies at several locations around the eastern city of Veracruz, according to the authorities, only two weeks after 35 corpses were dumped on a busy street in the Atlantic port.

Just two days after the Mexican government unveiled a plan to lay down the law in the state of the same name, police and marines found the bodies in three different areas of the city, the navy said in a statement on Thursday.

The bodies were discovered in homes around the port as the military conducted operations under the ‘Safe Veracruz’ programme, the statement said. Twenty bodies were found in one house that was searched following a tip from naval intelligence.

More than 44,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched a military campaign to crush Mexico‘s powerful drug cartels in late 2006.

The killings have damaged support for Calderon’s ruling conservatives, who face a major struggle to hold on to power in presidential elections due next July.

However, Calderon said there could be no turning back from the fight against the gangs. “Part of the problem is that we didn’t fight (gangs) before like we should have done,” he said in a speech.

On September 20, 35 bodies were dumped in broad daylight in the Boca del Rio area of Veracruz. A vigilante-style group later claimed responsibility for the deaths.

Calling themselves the Zeta Killers, the group said it was targeting one of the most notorious of Mexico’s drug gangs, which has stirred fears of the emergence of paramilitary violence.

Founded by renegade special forces soldiers, the Zetas have made a name for themselves as one of the bloodiest gangs in the country with countless killings and kidnappings.

Mexican mass grave toll rises to 116

Police find 28 more bodies near Texas border in one of the worst mass killings in Mexico‘s drug wars

Mexico mass grave victims

Most of the dead are being held in a refrigerated meat truck in the Matamoros morgue’s car park.

Mexican detectives investigating a mass grave near the US border have found 28 more bodies, bringing to 116 the total number of victims in one of the worst mass killings in the country’s drug wars.

The number of bodies taken to the city of Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas, has overwhelmed local forensic services. Most of the dead are being held in a refrigerated meat truck in the morgue’s car park.

Mexico‘s attorney general, Marisela Morales, said 17 suspects with ties to the Zetas drug cartel had been arrested in connection with the murders.

The Zetas, who are fighting their erstwhile allies in the Gulf cartel for control of Tamaulipas state, were also blamed for killing 72 Central and South American migrants in the same municipality in August last year. Survivors said that massacre followed an attempt to recruit the migrants as gunmen or drug mules.

The number of graves and the quantity of bodies in them suggests that kidnapping in the area has reached near industrial proportions.

Human rights groups calculate that 10,000 mostly Central American migrants were kidnapped as they crossed Mexico on their way to the United States during a recent six month period, mostly in order to demand ransoms from their families, with Tamaulipas the most dangerous part of their traditional routes. There is no estimate for the number killed.

The authorities have said clothing and the relative lack of tattoos suggests that the victims pulled from the latest pits appear to be mostly Mexicans.

The first bodies in the latest mass grave were discovered last week, after reports armed groups were pulling young male passengers off buses passing through the municipality of San Fernando.

Drug violence has killed more than 34,000 people since the president, Felipe Calderón, launched a military-led crackdown on the cartels in December 2006.

The latest discovery challenges the government’s insistence that the majority of the killings are the result of inter-cartel conflict. It also underlines how ineffective the federal presence in Tamaulipas has been at stopping the carnage.

The interior minister, Francisco Blake Mora, said more troops and federal police had been sent to patrol the roads in the state. “Organised crime, in its desperation, resorts to committing extraordinary atrocities that we cannot and should not tolerate as a government and as a society,” he said. “Those responsible for this massacre will be punished for it.”

People from around Mexico looking for relatives who recently disappeared in the state have converged on Matamoros hoping and fearing that their search may be nearly over. Some expressed anger at the slow pace of the identification process and the inadequate support they feel they have received from the authorities, which so far has been limited to taking DNA samples.

“There isn’t anybody to even offer us a glass of water,” a woman looking for her brother said in an interview broadcast on W Radio. “The people in this country should understand that life is not worth anything here.”

Bus companies continued to offer services but said they were taking security measures such as only driving during the day and changing timetables. Last week the US government warned American citizens not to travel along roads in Tamaulipas.

Mexican mass grave toll rises to 116 | World news | The Guardian.

Drug war leaves 18 dead in Mexican town

The dead are latest victims of turf war between Gulf cartel and Zetas in Tamaulipas state, where 72 migrants were found shot last year
    Northern Mexico shootings View of the building of the municipal presidency that was attacked by alleged gunmen in Padilla, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Photograph: Str/EPA
    A series of shootings has left 18 people dead in a town in northern Mexico where a turf war has raged between two drug cartels.

     

    The violence damaged the city hall, a court and the police headquarters in Padilla, a town north of the Tamaulipas state capital of Ciudad Victoria, the state government said.

    Seven bodies were dumped in Padilla’s main square on Monday, a further five people were shot to death inside their car, and another person was killed in an attack on a passenger bus. Five other inhabitants of the town were also killed.

    Tamaulipas, a state bordering Texas, has seen some of the worst atrocities in Mexico’s drug war since fighting broke out last year between the Gulf cartel and a gang of its former enforcers known as the Zetas.

    Nearly all inhabitants fled one small town in the Rio Grande Valley after months of gang battles. In the worst massacre, 72 Central and South American migrants were found bound and shot to death in Tamaulipas ranch in August. Authorities say the Zetas killed the migrants for refusing to work for the gang.

    The Tamaulipas government said innocent bystanders were among the dead in Padilla, but it did not specify how many. The statement expressed “solidarity with the families of the innocent victims”.

    In neighbouring Nuevo Leon state, meanwhile, gunmen killed a top intelligence officer, then torched his car, the state government said.

    Homero Salcido Treviño’s body was found in a smoldering car abandoned in downtown Monterrey, Mexico‘s once-peaceful third-largest city that has also been plagued by the Gulf-Zetas fighting.

    Salcido Treviño was the director of the state’s intelligence and security centre, a job he had taken in August. He was shot at least five times, said the state government.

    The attack had some of the hallmarks of a drug cartel hit, but the governor of Nuevo Leon, Rodrigo Medina, said investigators had not confirmed that. “It is still premature to tell you it was organised crime,” he said.

    Local news media reported that Salcido Treviño, who was the nephew of former state public safety secretary Luis Carlos Treviño Berchelmann, had been kidnapped hours earlier as he left his home.

    Gang members have attacked police and soldiers trying to restore order across Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. Police, mayors and even the leading gubernatorial candidate in Tamaulipas have been assassinated in more than a year of violence.

    Killings soared in Nuevo Leon state last year to 620 from 112 in 2009.

    “What is evident is that we have a vicious fight between the cartels of organised crime, which have provoked this violence and has obligated us to redouble our efforts,” Medina said.

    Medina said security officials know the risks they face. He vowed attacks will not “force us to back down or stand aside in this fight”.

    The defence department, meanwhile, announced the capture of a top Zetas suspect.

    Juan Carlos Olivera, allegedly the top Zetas operator in five towns around Monterrey, was arrested with two accomplices and four guns, the department said.

    Nationwide, almost 35,000 people have been killed in drug violence since President Felipe Calderón launched a military crackdown against drug trafficking shortly after taking office in December 2006.

Drug war leaves 18 dead in Mexican town | World news | guardian.co.uk.

Why can’t the US legalize drugs? There’s ‘too much money in it,’ Clinton says

In what will likely be seen as something of a Freudian slip by the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said recently in a Mexican news interview that the United States cannot legalize drugs as a means of fighting the black market because “there is just too much money in it.”

Asked by Denise Maerker of Televisa what she thought of drug legalization, Clinton said it was unlikely to work.

“There is just too much money in it,” Clinton said. “You can legalize small amounts for possession, but those who are making so much money selling, they have to be stopped. They can’t be given an even easier road to take, because they will then find it in their interest to addict even more young people.”

The comments drew criticism from legalization advocates who argued her position was a misunderstanding of the situation.

“Clinton’s response illustrates not only the intellectual bankruptcy of the prohibitionist position but the economic ignorance of a woman who would be president,” Jacob Sullum argued at Reason.com.

Clinton evidently does not understand that there is so much money to be made by selling illegal drugs precisely because they are illegal. Prohibition not only enables traffickers to earn a “risk premium” that makes drug prices much higher than they would otherwise be; it delivers this highly lucrative business into the hands of criminals who, having no legal recourse, resolve disputes by spilling blood.

At the Drug War Chronicle, Scott Morgan called Clinton’s argument “perfectly incoherent” and argued it flew in the face of economic theory.

I can’t help but wonder what everyone on the left would say if this preposterous analysis came from Sarah Palin, rather than Hillary Clinton. It’s the sort of profound nonsense that ought to get you skewered by Jon Stewart, yet our Secretary of State will almost certainly get a free pass on misunderstanding literally everything about the escalating violence below our border.

Clinton’s interview focused mainly on Mexico’s drug war, which was launched in 2006 by President Felipe Calderon and has cost an estimated 34,000 lives, including more than 1,000 minors.

The toll’s severity prompted former Mexican President Vicente Fox to come out in favor of legalizing drugs as a way of taking the steam out of organized crime.

President Calderon has not gone as far himself, but did approve legislation decriminalizing possession of small amounts of most recreational drugs, and has called for a debate on new approaches to dealing with drugs.

With additional reporting by Stephen C. Webster

Why can’t the US legalize drugs? There’s ‘too much money in it,’ Clinton says | Raw Story.

30,000 dead in Mexico drug war

Mexico

Image by aziritt via Flickr

 

“The death toll we have up until November 30 is 30,196 since the beginning of the government (of President Felipe Calderón),” said Attorney General Arturo Chavez, noting that violence has especially flared in 2010.

Mr Calderón launched a massive military crackdown on the cartels in December 2006, and since then there has been an escalating cycle of violence both between gangs fighting each other – largely for drug trafficking routes into the United States – and security forces attempting to battle them.

At least 10 of the 24 most wanted cartel leaders have reportedly been killed or captured in 2010.

The new figures however show a 6.8-per cent rise in murders in the last four months, since authorities in August reported a total toll of over 28,000.

There are almost daily incidents of beheadings, tales of torture and kidnap-murders in many northern Mexican towns.

In record violence, official figures showed on Wednesday that Mexico’s bloody border city of Cuidad Juarez had recorded 3,010 killings in 2010, including 140 policemen, in unrest linked to the drug trade.

The city of 1.3 million people opposite El Paso in the US state of Texas is a major hub for the cocaine trade. The state prosecutor’s office said the toll from fighting has skyrocketed in recent years, hitting 1,656 in 2008 and 2,754 last year.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/8208029/30000-dead-in-Mexico-drug-war.html

Video: 30,000 dead in Mexico drug war – Telegraph.

Partners in Crime: The U.S. Secret State and Mexico’s “War on Drugs”

Felipe Calderón, president of Mexico (left) an...

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For decades, investigative journalists, researchers and analysts have noted the symbiotic relationships forged amongst international drug syndicates, neofascists and U.S. intelligence agencies, documenting the long and bloody history of U.S. complicity in the global drugs trade.

While the United States has pumped billions of dollars into failed drug eradication schemes in target countries through ill-conceived programs such as Plan Colombia and the Mérida Initiative, in the bizarro world of the “War on Drugs,” corporate interests and geopolitics always trump law enforcement efforts to fight organized crime, particularly when the criminals are partners in crimes perpetrated by the secret state.

Since 2006, when Mexican President Felipe Calderón turned the Army loose, allegedly to “dismantle” the drug cartels slowly transforming Mexico into a killing field some 28,000 people, primarily along Mexico’s northern border with the U.S., have lost their lives. Countless others have been wounded, forced to flee or simply “disappeared.”

Writing in The Guardian, journalist Simon Jenkins tells us that “cocaine supplies routed through Mexico have made that country the drugs equivalent of a Gulf oil state.”

“Rather than try to stem its own voracious appetite for drugs,” Jenkins writes, “rich America shifts guilt on to poor supplier countries. Never was the law of economics–demand always evokes supply–so traduced as in Washington’s drugs policy. America spends $40bn a year on narcotics policy, imprisoning a staggering 1.5m of its citizens under it.”

Judging the results, one might even think the drug war solely exists as the principle means through which wealthy elites organize crime.

via Partners in Crime: The U.S. Secret State and Mexico’s “War on Drugs”.

President Calderon blames Americans for ‘not taking responsibility’ for drugs war – Telegraph

Collection of the war on drugs pictures that h...

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President Calderon blames Americans for ‘not taking responsibility’ for drugs war – Telegraph.

When will the madness and the lies generated by it end ?