Drug War Casualties

Very interesting column about two young men who have been subjected to the risk of kidnapping in Mexico because the parents are law enforcement.

CN BC: Column: The Drug War Has Many Casualties

The Globe and Mail reports that since 2005, the number of Mexican refugee claimants has tripled: from about 3,400 to 9,400 in 2008. This year to date there have been 5,500 claims received up to June 30, compared with 3,700 in the same period last year. The acceptance rate has been running at 11 per cent, well below the national average of 40 per cent.

Of course the number of claimants has gone up. There is a serious war against the drug trade ( drugs that are being shipped north to the United States and Canada ) in Mexico, and both the number of homicides and kidnappings has increased dramatically. Honest police and politicians are killed frequently by drug gangs. It isn’t a coincidence that our refugee applicants increase. It’s because they, our neighbours and NAFTA partners, need us now.

The young men stated what they are willing to do for Canada if they are allowed safe haven. They say they do not want to be any “drawbacks” on Canada and are willing to “provide our military service in Canada.”

They also say that they love Mexico and once the war of drugs is won they would be willing to return to their homeland if that was what Canada wanted. “I am willing to obey the laws, regulations of the government of Canada.”

The author criticizes Canada for its recent decision to restrict Mexicans from entering Canada by imposing visa requirements. The author, however, fails to criticize the policy that actually puts the young men at risk: drug prohibition.

The young men, for their parts, demonstrate an incredible level of naivete when suggesting that they would be fully prepared to return to Mexico once the war on drugs is won. That war was lost a long time ago and will only be over once a ceasefire is declared and drugs are no longer lucrative cash cows for cartels.