Tag Archives: united states

Mexico’s drug war

Mex­i­co’s drug war — The Big Pic­ture — Boston​.com

In Decem­ber of 2006, Mex­i­co’s new Pres­i­dent Felipe Calderón declared war on the drug car­tels, revers­ing ear­li­er gov­ern­ment pas­sive­ness. Since then, the gov­ern­ment has made some gains, but at a heavy price — gun bat­tles, assas­si­na­tions, kid­nap­pings, fights between rival car­tels, and reprisals have result­ed in over 9,500 deaths since Decem­ber 2006 — over 5,300 killed last year alone. Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma recent­ly announced extra agents were being deployed to the bor­der and Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Clin­ton heads to Mex­i­co today to pur­sue a broad diplo­mat­ic agen­da — over­shad­owed now by spi­ral­ing drug vio­lence and fears of greater cross-bor­der spillover. Offi­cials on both sides of the bor­der are com­mit­ted to stop­ping the vio­lence, and stem­ming the flow of drugs head­ing north and guns and cash head­ing south.

2 Baja California state police stand guard at a captured marijuana greenhouse in the basement of a ranch in Tecate, Mexico on March 12, 2009. (REUTERS/Jorge Duenes)
2 Baja Cal­i­for­nia state police stand guard at a cap­tured mar­i­jua­na green­house in the base­ment of a ranch in Tecate, Mex­i­co. (REUTERS/Jorge Duenes)

I know it may sound naïve, but I have to won­der if a lot of the resid­ual vio­lence would be quelled if mar­i­jua­na were made legal.1 I know drugs aren’t the only rea­son for bor­der con­trol, but I also won­der if the bor­der sit­u­a­tion would be dif­fer­ent too. I believe enough in the pow­er of the free mar­ket that it could reg­u­late the — shall we say — more col­or­ful char­ac­ters in the indus­try.

Or maybe  I’ve just been watch­ing too much Weeds. Seri­ous­ly, that show is fun­ny, but I’m left after watch­ing sea­son 4 with a vague uneasi­ness. I think it got to me, that there are actu­al­ly peo­ple out there whose lives become whol­ly con­sumed by the drug pro­fes­sion.

  1. I’m cer­tain­ly not eager to try it out, for the record. []