CANNABIS CULTURE – The open war of Felipe Calderón’s Mexican government against organized crime and drug trafficking has reached nearly 18,000 victims, according to the judicial authorities of Mexico.
However, many believe the number is above 20,000 dead. Calderon has recently deployed more than 5,000 soldiers of the Mexican army to all parts of the country, 600 of them to the state of Chihuahua where lays Ciudad Juarez, the most violent city in the world today. Official information states there are 45,000 elements of the army on active duty against drug traffickers whose elements are rotated every 40 days to prevent corruption.
In this first part of the year, there are already more than three thousand dead that include civilians, journalists, army and of course, members of the organized crime. Last year there were 7,700 murders linked to the war drug.
Shocking statistics from a western democracy that Canada regards as a safe country when it receives refugees from Mexico, but at the same time issues travel warnings to Canadians travelling there.
Comparing these statistics with those of Canada’s current war in Afghanistan is dumbfounding. Canada has more than 140 casualties in Afghanistan and it has created a debate that will not end until the soldiers leave that country.
One can only ask: Is violence a new normality in Mexico? Is it normal to have violence scattered all over the territory? Is it that life is not worth anything any more? Who benefits from this?
The suffering of the civil society of Mexico has been tremendous. To this war we have to add the kidnappings and the violence generated by petty crime because of the large amount of poverty. The result is a unprecedented chaos.
We can find most of the responsibility of this war on the other side of the border, in the United States of America. The US government and the civil society are responsible through the sale of weapons and the market for drugs.
It is a curious fact that the weapons that are used in both sides of the Mexican drug war are all acquired in the United States. The Mexican government weaponry includes American helicopters and the cartels arsenals include high caliber arms. Millions in business for the weapons industry.
We can conclude without mistake that the US is a great culprit of this debacle. In reality, this war against narcotrafficking is just another USA-financed war being waged outside the US’s territory.
The US has supported these kind of conflicts in the past because, in fact, it is not interested in public health or security, but business and geopolitics.
Through the Mérida Initiative, the US gives monetary and military assistance to the Mexican government to fight organized crime with the excuse that Mexican drug cartels are a threat to their national security.
They claim that the violence could be exported. They seed fear in their citizens, who become paranoid, producing an exacerbation of racism and stereotypes. There are more than 40 million Latin Americans living in the USA.
On December 15th of last year, the USA government handed out 5 Bell-412 helicopters and promised help of 1350 millions of dollars in kind, in the form of staff, consultants and equipment. This aid is a great business for the decision makers in the US, as many of these military companies have ties to members of congress and other high-ranking politicians.
The Pentagon is one of the winners because they sell weapons, they send their men and they can intervene in the internal affairs of Mexico to ensure security of the zone. NAFTA is the biggest free-trading market in the world, so they want their products there. Mexico is an important territory for them, even though they consider it their backyard. The aid which will be services, consultants, equipment and technology will benefit the providers in the USA. In the meantime they opened a bi-national anti-drug bureau with 45 American agents who are working inside the country.
The war against drugs waged by the USA government has been useless and very expensive. The failure is more obvious than their defeat in Vietnam. They have been fighting against drugs and spending billions of dollars for more than a 100 years without any results. The criminal organizations have become more powerful because the government allows them to profit with illegal goods. Drug consumption rises instead of diminishing, offering products that give a 100% of utilities in easy and quick cash. As long as drugs remain illegal there will always be criminal mafias profiting from this hen of golden eggs. There will always be demand that could wane if we legalize the substances and educate the population.
In their own country, concerned US citizens are pushing for legalization of marijuana in states like California and Colorado. Mexico’s decriminalization of small amounts of drugs for personal use has not stopped the violence, and makes little sense without similar reforms for laws dealing with producers and distributors.
According to reports from the Office of National Drug Control of the USA, in 2008, 2,000 Americans consumed cocaine daily. 12.6 millions said they have consumed Methamphetamine at least once in their lives, 8.4 millions have tasted crack and a staggering 102 million have smoked a toke at least once in their existence. More than 100 millions! It is 41% of the population. So according to the policies of these office half of the USA population are criminals.
Their study showed that more than 15 million people use marijuana regularly or chronically and 26 million used it every year. In addition, 2.2 million tried it last year for their first time in their lives – that is six thousand every day.
Do you want more statistics from a government source? 38% of students said they consume it in 2008 and half of them have tried it at least once in their lives, some of them since they were twelve years old. In total, more than 30 million of smokers live in the USA.
We have to add more than a million smokers in Canada and the millions of addicts that live in Mexico. Mexico became a consumer after being a route for the drugs.
It is all a great market that is handed over exclusively to illegal drug dealers.
Calls for change can be heard in the distance, but is anybody in the Obama Administration listening?