LEAKING SECRETS, LEAKING BLOOD

Blog Del Narco, the anonymous tracker of Mexico's ultraviolent drug war

Interviewed by Raul Gutierrez for Boing Boing

* * *


PHOTO:REUTERS/Eliana Aponte

The news arrives with disturbing regularity: 72 bodies found, a federal policeman killed, 4 men decapitated and hung from a bridge, 19 corpses found, 33 men executed, a massacre at a La Quinta Inn, Girl Assassin Squad Discovered.

This isn't news from Baghdad, it's a single week of headlines from Blog Del Narco, Mexico's rawest source of news on the ultraviolence engulfing the country. Until recently, the factional chaos was mostly confined to "Lost Cities" like Cuidad Juarez and Tijuana. Now, entire states are spiraling out of control.

Monterrey is Mexico's wealthiest city, its third largest, and until a few years ago, one of its safest. But in the last six months the metropolis has been turned upside-down. Drug gangs have set up scores of roadblocks on major highways, murdered the mayor of a prominent suburb, intimidated the media, and taken control of many neighborhoods. The military, federal police, and local police are everywhere but are almost as feared as the gangs. Systematic police and mayoral assassinations are causing entire towns to go dark. Nearly every day, newspaper editorials beg the government to save the city. All of this is happening just a two-hour drive south of the US border.


PHOTO:REUTERS/Stringer

This hits home for me. I was born in Monterrey and when I call friends and family there, I hear fear in their voices. "Everyone rushes home at sunset," one friend said. "The vampires come out at night."

In this environment, the system of traditional press coverage has broken down. Reporters are often too intimidated or too exhausted to cover the daily bloodletting. Out of this vacuum have emerged a wave of so-called "Narco Blogs," documenting the widening war in graphic detail.

Blog del Narco (@infonarco on Twitter) is the most prominent and widely-read of these blogs, with about 3 million unique visits per month. The work of an anonymous twentysomething computer student, Blog del Narco shows photography and video and tells stories from the front lines of the war. Most of the photographs are images of death. Men being killed in cars, men blindfolded and shot in the desert, drug barons gunned down by government hit squads. The web pages virtually run red.


PHOTO:REUTERS/Stringer

The blog's author agreed to a interview and answered a few questions via email.

Why did you start Blog del Narco?

La idea de crear Blog del Narco surge cuando los medios de comunicación y el gobierno intentan aparentar que en México NO PASA NADA, debido a que los medios están amenazados y el Gobierno aparentemente comprado, fue que decidimos crear un medio de comunicación con el cual podamos dar a conocer a la gente que es lo que pasa, redactar los acontecimientos exactamente tal cual fueron, sin alteraciones o modificaciones a nuestra conveniencia. Su propósito principal es ayudar a la población Mexicana para que tome las medidas necesarias en contra de la inseguridad.

The idea to create the Blog del Narco came because the media and government in Mexico try to pretend that NOTHING IS HAPPENING, because the media is intimidated and the government has apparently been bought. So we decided to tell people what is actually happening and tell the stories exactly as they happen, without alteration or modifications of convenience. The main goal of the blog is to help Mexican people to take all necessary measures against the insecurity.


PHOTO:REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

Blog del Narco has only been around since March 2010. Did you blog before this?

Empezamos subiendo vídeos a Youtube, y comentando las notas desde @infonarco en Twitter, de hay nos me pude percatar que la población mexicana busca un medio que no digiera las noticias antes de publicarlas.

We started uploading videos to YouTube and commenting via @infonarco on Twitter. From there we could see that the population was looking for a medium that didn't pre-digest the news before publishing it.

Once you started posting, how soon was it before you started receiving information from the public, the cartels, and the various police factions?

La información que empece a recibir primero fue muy poca debido a que el publico no tenia confianza, pero en estos días recibimos mucha información.

I relieved very little information in the beginning because we hadn't won public confidence yet, but these days we receive lots of information.


Photo: REUTERS/Eliana Aponte

Do you ever worry that you are being used for propaganda or misinformation?

BlogdelNarco solo es un simple blog; nosotros no investigamos, para eso esta la policía.

Blog del Narco is just a simple blog; we're not investigators, for that there are the police.

How have you been able to break major stories not covered in the traditional press?

México se a convertido en uno de los países mas peligrosos para la libertad de prensa, muchos reporteros han sido ejecutados o secuestrados.

Mexico has become one of the most dangerous countries in the world for freedom of the press. Many reporters have been executed or kidnapped.

Recently, grenades were thrown into television stations in Monterrey as punishment for broadcasting news stories about the drug war. Have you ever been threatened?

No he recibido amenazas, y espero no recibirlas, nosotros no intentamos ofender o incomodar a la sociedad solo publicamos las notas de manera periodística.

We haven't received threats, and I hope we don't receive them. We never intend to offend or inconvenience society, we just publish posts in the manner of other journalists.


REUTERS/Eliana Aponte

How many people know your identity? Can you stay anonymous?

Solo 2 personas muy cercanas. No tengo relación con narcotraficantes (Como muchos lo han dicho).

Only two people who are very close to me. I have no connection to the narcotrafficers (as many have alleged).

Have you ever received photos or video that you thought were too horrific to post?

No, tratamos de publicar todo, cada ves que recibimos algo que tenga contenido fuerte, advertimos antes de entrar a verlo.

No, we try to publish everything, each time we receive a communication that contains strong content. We tell people before they log on that the images are disturbing.


PHOTO:REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

How do you respond to people who say that by posting images from drug gangs and hit squads, you are spreading fear and that the blog is irresponsibly violent?

Yo describiría como periodismo el echo de publicar las fotos o vídeos. La gente tiene derecho a saber cuales son los motivos de inseguridad que han incrementado notablemente en estos últimos años. La violencia que esta sucediendo en México no se debe a que el BlogdelNarco.com publica lo que pasa, lo que provoca la violencia en México son factores mucho mas importantes, y con un fin económico.

I would describe journalism as the act of publishing the photos or videos. People have a right to know why things have become so insecure in recent years. The violence that is happening in Mexico is not because the public reads about what is happening in BlogdelNarco.com, the factors that provoke violence in Mexico are much more important, and ultimately they are economic.


PHOTO:REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

More Coverage:

LA Times
New Yorker
WSJ
MSN
Time
Ariz. Daily Star
The Monitor

Other narcoblogs:

Borderland Beat
Juarez en la Sombra
Narcotrafico Mexico
Narcosphere
Narcotijuana
El Blog de Narco



PHOTO:REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

ADVISORY
Following below are just a few of the leaked images published by Blog Del Narco. As many show the full horror of gang violence, we have blurred them here. Double-click to view the originals.


The brutal assassination of gubernatorial candidate Rodolfo Torre and six others demonstrated that no-one is above the violence. (Blur this image)


Bodies -- and parts of bodies -- are frequently discovered in Mexico, the victims of drug-related violence. (Blur this image)


An SUV, holed in dozens of places following a gun battle. (Blur this image)


Twenty-one gang members died in a shoot-out just 20 kilometers from the U.S. border. (Blur this image)


Someone identified as a worker for the Zeta Cartel is captured and the video of his interrogation posted to YouTube. (Blur this image)


A fight between prison inmates left 14 dead in August. (Blur this image)


The body of Nacho Coronel, a leader of the Sinaloa cartel. (Blur this image)


The aftermath of a massacre. (Blur this image)


Interrogation (Blur this image)


A leader of the Zeta cartel lies dead in Monterrey. (Blur this image)

Text: Raul Gutierrez
Edits: Xeni Jardin
Design: Rob Beschizza
Headline Font: Pennyzine

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87 Responses to “Leaking secrets, leaking blood”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m curious, does anyone have a dollar-value comparison between American support for the Mexican authorities (police & military aid etc) and American support for the cartels (profits from drug sales within the US funneled back to the cartels in Mexico)? Do the cartels come out ahead?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just legalize marijuana and most of these gangs will go away.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Hanged.” I know it doesn’t matter all that much in the whole scheme of things, but, well, “hanged.”

  4. Fred Bush says:

    Looks like a translation error in one of the paragraphs, misreading publico for publica?

    La violencia que esta sucediendo en México no se debe a que el BlogdelNarco.com publica lo que pasa -> The violence that is happening in Mexico is not because BlogdelNarco.com publishes what happens

    (original: The violence that is happening in Mexico is not because the public reads about what is happening in BlogdelNarco.com)

  5. Anonymous says:

    $113 billion is spent on marijuana every year in the U.S., and because of the federal prohibition *every* dollar of it goes straight into the hands of criminals. Far from preventing people from using marijuana, the prohibition instead creates zero legal supply amid massive and unrelenting demand. The scale of the harm this causes far exceeds any benefit obtained from keeping marijuana illegal.

    According to the ONDCP, at least sixty percent of Mexican drug cartel money comes from selling marijuana in the U.S., they protect this revenue by brutally torturing, murdering and dismembering countless innocent people.

    If we can STOP people using marijuana then we need to do so NOW, but if we can’t then we must legalize the production and sale of marijuana to adults with after-tax prices set too low for the cartels to match. One way or the other, we have to force the cartels out of the marijuana market and eliminate their highly lucrative marijuana incomes – no business can withstand the loss of sixty percent of its revenue!

    To date, the cartels have amassed more than 100,000 “foot soldiers” and operate in 230 U.S. cities, and it’s now believed that the cartels are “morphing into, or making common cause with, what would be considered an insurgency” (Secretary of State Clinton, 09/09/2010). The longer the cartels are allowed to exploit the prohibition the more powerful they’ll get and the more our own personal security will be put in jeopardy.

  6. NeonCat says:

    “Alas, poor Mexico! So far from God, so close to the United States.”

    a) Legalization of cannabis (to some extent) MIGHT happen in the US this decade. Cocaine and meth, I sincerely doubt, so the cartels will still have that trade as a source of income along with human trafficking and (presumably) prostitution, extortion, etc.
    b) Engraving, plating and other ways of personalizing/blinging out your firearms is apparently quite common in Mexico and has been for some time as a way of showing status, power, money, etc. Note that most of the 1911s shown are .38 Super because Mexican law forbids private citizens from owning firearms of military calibers. The gold plated M-16 probably belonged to a scofflaw.
    c)A US invasion/police action of Mexico would probably be one of the worst things the US could do. It would transform the criminals into patriots in the eyes of the people, resisting the Yanqui invaders. Remember Pancho Villa – to the US, a criminal, to many Mexicans a folk hero. Also recall that most Mexicans do not look favorably on our glorious wars for Texas and the southwest. International peacekeepers might be preferable – make sure they aren’t French or Spanish, though. (The field is getting smaller all the time…) Maybe the Germans?

  7. Anonymous says:

    The most magical drug is your own brain … IMAGINE what you could do with it, readily available and free!

  8. The Feral Mind says:

    Think about it.

    Everyone knows where the drug house is in their neighborhood. It’s the one with all the cars stopping briefly at all hours, usually left with engines running while the occupants run inside the house for a quick “Hello”. Of course, the endless loud parties certainly help show the way.

    Every young person seems to be able to track down a drug supplier.

    Seems like it always takes the police a few years to figure out the same thing. Or does it?

    99% of the police force is cruising the streets issuing tickets for violating the speed limit by a few miles (gasp!) or rolling stops at stop lights (the horror!).

    There is no doubt that we must maintain traffic safety, but where should the most resources be applied?

    I found it very amusing when we were attacking the Mexicans for not stopping the drug flow from the south. Their quite accurate reply was, “Why don’t you stop the flow of money and drugs from the north?”

    Yeah, why don’t we?

  9. Lobster says:

    Great article. America wants to pretend that Mexico has a little drug problem on the level of a dealer on the occasional street corner and kids becoming junkies and ruining their lives. We don’t want to believe there’s a war going on.

  10. magpiekilljoy says:

    Holy crap, the honest-to-god imperialism comes out in the comments section of BoingBoing. We should assimilate Mexico? What?

    • The Feral Mind says:

      I have a friend from Mexico who told me this story:

      When he was in elementary school, the teacher told him the story of the United States annexing Texas after it had won its independence. All of the students were very angry about this.

      NOT because the U.S. annexed Texas, but because they didn’t take the rest of Mexico with it!

      Is it imperialism if the target country begs to be assimilated for its very survival?

      Unfortunately, an imperialist only wants to overtake a country for its resources. At this point, the social problems in Mexico far outweigh the value of its resources. For the time being, that is.

    • Boba Fett Diop says:

      Yeah, I got that too. “Benevolent” intervention in Mexico worked so well in the past, why not do it again?

      Read a book, people!

    • Rayonic says:

      I bet your knee jerked so hard it hit the underside of the desk.

      Voluntary assimilation isn’t a bad thing, and heck it could bring people together.

      But in retrospect it’d never work anyway. The drug cartels would be portrayed as La Resistance by the media, and it’d go downhill from there.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ok, first, The drug cartel known as the Zetas, are the worst of them all. Here in mexico, where I live, there is more deaths here than there is in Iraq. The United States Knows about everything, Thanks to the US The drug cartels posses a high number of military weapons. While Drug trafficers buy guns, from the us, The US buys all the drugs. And the cycle spins.
    Now The whole Govermental Branch, known as the PRI, is one big Lie! They never studied for anything, they got to where they are, thnx to a friend of theirs, or a family member.
    They dont care about Justice, they dont know what that words means, because Mexico is UNJUST! Everyone wants money and they all want it right now! and fast! so they basically steal from the city!. If Mexico could were smarter they would legalize Marijuana. 60% of the money that the drug cartels make, comes from Marijuana. FYI, something your parents never told you: ONE BEER KILLS MORE BRAIN CELLS THAN ONE JOINT!! and it doesnt affect the atmosphere, like cigarretes. I am not some stupid kid from Mexico who gets High, and thinks its cool. I get high to relax and it makes me a more focused person. And one day you all will see me on TV, fightting for a Better Mexico, and for a better world. Dont be stupid and think about it. The US doesnt want to legalize drugs, because then nobody will have money to buy their weapons. People This Is the truth.!! WWAAKKEE UUUPP AAMMEERRIICCAAA AANNNDDD SSSNNNAAAPP OOUUTT OOFFF IITTT MMEEXXXICOOO, WE OUR THE PEOPLE, WE GOVERN THE GOVERNMENT!!!!!!
    QUE VIVA LA REVOLUCION!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    What happens when Mexico completely collapses as a state? Does anyone think that violence will remain contained? I had no idea things had gotten so bad down there.

  13. billstewart says:

    It’s time to end the drug war. All this violence and corruption is the result of a policy that’s supposed to be intended to improve public health and morality, and it’s Not Working.

  14. Brainspore says:

    It’s all well and good to argue for universal legalization as long as you don’t let that get in the way of bona-fide incremental improvements like California’s pending Prop. 19. Many people seem to have an “all or nothing” attitude that values taking a principled stand over actually getting anything accomplished.

    • nutbastard says:

      “Many people seem to have an “all or nothing” attitude that values taking a principled stand over actually getting anything accomplished.”

      Right, compromise on principles in the hopes that you’ll get some consolatory scraps from the table. That’s the way to live life. Just forgo reason in the name of lessening the pressure of the boot on your neck. Awesome. Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be just like Brainspore.

      /sar

      • Brainspore says:

        Please explain how your opposition to Prop. 19 (one of the “half assed fixes” you lament) is helping to reduce drug violence. With a minimum of personal insults, if possible.

        • nutbastard says:

          apologies for being a dick yesterday.

          and i do support prop 19 because it is better than nothing. i just feel it’s important to maintain the position that full legalization is an actual solution and marijuana legalization is a half assed measure. an appeasement of sorts, to placate the masses.

  15. Anonymous says:

    TRANSLATION LINK TO THE SPANISH ARTICLE MENTIONED ABOVE by anon#75
    on the drug wars and the U.S. side of the problem.
    very very interesting read, this should be read NATIONWIDE on both countries:
    http://bit.ly/cwCj8p
    note: expect a bit of delay while the article translates realtime.
    Also, the first few paragraphs aren’t being translated for some reason so scroll down a bit.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The United States could always send in the Marine Corps to assist the Mexican Military under the guise of a “training exercise”. The US Military unlike the Mexican Military isn’t so easy to corrupt.

  17. Anonymous says:

    So many people say all this is the fault of our “war on drugs” and all this could be solved with legalization etc. Sorry, when someone kidnaps, beheads, mutilates…It’s their fault. Stop making excuses for them. They’re not victims. What? The “war on drugs” has left them no choice but to hang people off bridges with their genitals in their mouths?

    • nutbastard says:

      “when someone kidnaps, beheads, mutilates…It’s their fault. Stop making excuses for them. They’re not victims.”

      It’s our (governments) fault for making such practices wildly profitable. People don’t cut other peoples heads off unless there’s something in it for them. When a pound of marijuana that cost $30 to grow sells for $3000 the stakes are raised pretty high. Even worse for coke, which is sold on the street for about $30-50 a gram, yet costs the cartels about $50 a kilo.

      “The “war on drugs” has left them no choice but to hang people off bridges with their genitals in their mouths?”

      In a sense, yes. The profit margins are so ridiculous and the options for mexicans in terms of career opportunities are so few (and so dreary) that the market is flooded with suppliers all wanting the biggest chunk of the American Demand as possible. That means killing the other guys before they kill you, which also means killing a lot of innocent people in the cross fire.

      There is a difference between “making an excuse” and providing an explanation of motivation. No one is saying they are justified, we’re saying, “This is why they do it”.

      You need to look at all those unblurred pictures for another hour. It’s kill or be killed, everyone is vying for the privilege of supplying AMERICANS with delicious cocaine. It’s our drug policy that inflates the price of drugs – 10% of the cost of any illegal drug is for the drug itself, and the other 90% is for the risk – and what a risk it is. Just like any black market.

      If drugs were sold for a white market mark up, say, 20%, marijuana would be about $100 a pound instead of $3,000. Coke would be about $1 per gram.

      When you can risk your life moving a few keys of coke into the US in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars (in a country where most people make what, less than $6k a year?) you’re going to have a lot of takers, especially when one doesn’t have much to live for in the first place. But to take the same risk of smuggling for a few hundred dollars? In the hopes of pawning off inferior product in a market where the quality of commonly available drugs is at the pharmaceutical level? It makes as much sense as trying to smuggle cocaine INTO Mexico.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m not buying your argument. Civilized human being don’t cut peoples’ heads off for any amount of money. Whether it’s an excuse or a reason why they do it is irrelevant. If you torture and kill someone you are a profoundly vicious murderer. The idea is that poor people have no choice but to turn to violent crime is nonsense. Also, if coke were $1 per gram and legal, I bet you’d have a lot more deaths here from it. Have you ever done coke? Have you ever known anyone who was addicted to it? Legal or not, doing blow all day is not a healthy lifestyle for you or anyone around you. What about heroin? Make that legal too? Where I live I see junkies- they’re all missing teeth and look like skeletons. “We’ll put the revenue into treatment centers” is what you people always say. Well with $1 a gram legal coke you’ll need a lot of treatment centers.

        • nutbastard says:

          “I’m not buying your argument. Civilized human being don’t cut peoples’ heads off for any amount of money. Whether it’s an excuse or a reason why they do it is irrelevant. If you torture and kill someone you are a profoundly vicious murderer. The idea is that poor people have no choice but to turn to violent crime is nonsense.”

          You aren’t buying my argument because you don’t understand it. This much is obvious in your responses. You are misinterpreting what I am saying.

        • nutbastard says:

          “Have you ever done coke?”

          Yes. Half a dozen times. Dreadful shit on the comedown. I’d much rather have some ketamine or good molly.

          “Have you ever known anyone who was addicted to it?”

          Yep, a buddy of mine spent a year with a pretty bad daily habit. Pulled himself out of it, thankfully, and doesn’t want anything to do with it any more. But I suppose you think it would have been better for him to go to Federal prison. I’m sure that really would have helped him deal, being deprived of those who love and support him, thrown in a cage with actual criminals. Awesome plan.

          “What about heroin? Make that legal too? Where I live I see junkies- they’re all missing teeth and look like skeletons.”

          Never touched the stuff, never will. And those people? They need help, not punishment.

          People are going to do drugs – period.

          The drugs that are available right now, ie heroin and meth and coke, are horrible, shitty, fucked up drugs.

          Solution: develop recreational drugs that are nonaddictive and nontoxic.

          The bad part about coke/heroin/meth isn’t the part where you feel like a million bucks – it’s the addiction and destruction of your body. So lets develop drugs that don’t have those undesirable properties.

          This is why LSD is such a wonderful drug – high as a kite, non addictive, no hangover, nontoxic, nothing.

          • Anonymous says:

            You’re putting words in my mouth. I never said your coke addict buddy should go to jail. I’m just arguing that legalizing everything is a nonsensical solution. It would result in more cokeheads, more junkies, more ODs, more ruined marriages etc. It’s just the nature of the drugs.

            But yeah I agree with you, we should work on magical drugs that have no side effects.

            And as far as LSD goes…if you like self-induced schizophrenia, LSD is great.

          • ab5tract says:

            “You’re putting words in my mouth. I never said your coke addict buddy should go to jail. I’m just arguing that legalizing everything is a nonsensical solution. It would result in more cokeheads, more junkies, more ODs, more ruined marriages etc. It’s just the nature of the drugs.”

            Sorry, but it is your position that is nonsensical. If coke is illegal, he goes to jail or otherwise comes face to face with the profit-driven prison industrial complex.

            You have zero data to support your legalization results in more addiction argument. Why? Because it has never been done. Where it has come closest, you will observe that drug use statistics are significantly less in a more tolerant society. Observe these statistics between the Netherlands and the United States.

            In a country where one can buy cannabis over the counter, only 22.6% of the Dutch have even tried it in their lifetimes. Compare that to 41% of US citizens! (Disclosure: the years of comparison are a bit off, 2005 for the Dutch statistics and 2008 for the US ones.)

            And in a society where the penalty for missing a bikelight (a fine) is significantly higher than possession of personal use amounts of drugs (they hand them back to you, or perhaps take them away), the hard drugs are universally less problematic.

            “And as far as LSD goes…if you like self-induced schizophrenia, LSD is great.”

            The proportion of people who have used LSD and survived–or even benefitted–mentally is exponentially larger than those it has affected negatively. The overly-large doses of the middle-20th century are a thing of the past (150 micrograms would have been considered weak in the 60s, whereas today that is between 3-10 times the general dosage found on blotter paper), so the chances of anyone taking a single hit and disappearing forever (that all-too common story of the lost uncle in the 60s) is basically nonexistent.

            LSD has the potential to not only create a better psychological space for terminally ill patients, it is even implicated in 48-72 hours of pain relief that leaves the patient lucid. Compared to the nods of morphine, administered as often as every 2-4 hours, that’s a huge deal.

            Basically your (lack of knowledge) of drugs precludes you from making sensible arguments on these lines. Everyone has a particular affinity. There are people who like to take acid day after day, but they are in a very small minority of the population. You will notice that they are problem cases because, well, they are problem cases. They have an affinity for abusing LSD, so of course they are going to end up abusing LSD! The same goes for coke: some people are just going to get addicted, no matter what. Others can take it or leave it: it is a psychologically addictive substance, not physically addictive other than the fact that doing more makes you feel less like shit during the comedown.

            That cocaine is illegal negatively affects societies all over the world, especially in the south where currently-weak economies would be flooded with legitimate income were their already existing trade allowed to go above ground and not simply in the hull of CIA planes. Likewise with heroin: Afghanistan would be flooded with government revenues, money which now goes to the Taliban and/or Karzai’s corrupt friends and family.

            Opposing legalization is the nonsensical argument.

          • Anonymous says:

            i believe in legalization but fighting for it why?
            so people can benefit from self induced schizophrenia, omg.
            i know all kinds of people who have benefited from drugs,… they suck.

            as far as marijuana it is not a medicine. it is a temporary relief not good for you, nor the rest of society.

    • Brainspore says:

      Please don’t confuse “recognizing a major source of the problem” with “making excuses for violent criminals.” Al Capone belonged in prison. That doesn’t mean prohibition was a good idea.

  18. nutbastard says:

    re: availability increases addiction rate:

    the free availability of alcohol means that there are many alcoholics, but for fucks sake, at least nobody is shooting other people over it.

    as far as coke goes and its addictiveness, I can tell you from experience that the least addictive coke is the purest coke. most shit has been stepped on more than once with crappy biker meth and all kinds of other garbage. pure, fluffy, delicious cocaine is much less addictive. therefor the availability of pure cocaine ought to reduce addiction – right now it’s exceedingly rare to get coke that isn’t tainted.

  19. knoxblox says:

    I think the problem goes deeper than than drug smuggling. Sure, the whole “drug war” thing was a terrible idea. However, it also spawned a way of life that many criminals won’t give up just because we quit fighting or because marijuana has been legalized. They’ll simply turn to other things, and the situation will be just as brutal as ever.

    I really think Calderon should ask for some military assistance from the U.S., and give the cartels a force to reckon with. Although most military want to be done with the war in Iraq, there might be a few soldiers who want to continue fighting somewhere (not that they really have a choice in where they get to go). They’d do a much better job than a corrupt police force or a few gun-toting Minutemen.

    • knoxblox says:

      Just to add a point, military assistance would actually give the soldiers something “honest” to fight for. Not a war on drugs, but a war on out-of-control cartels.

  20. Tim says:

    It’s almost sad that the US calls what we deal with a “War on Drugs” when Mexico has an actual War going on over drugs.

    Yes, there is the supply/demand argument. Yes, legalization could help quench the demand, but then that raises the question of what will the Cartels do then? They won’t just go away. They won’t become businessmen and start paying taxes.

    The only quick solution I can think of to help Mexico would be a full deployment of US Military Troops to aid in combatting the Cartels, comparable to what was done in Iraq and Afghanistan. Standing by and watching or just offering a little aid isn’t going to solve the problem.

    This is a war. There’s no other term for it. And it needs to be treated as such. Until the US figures that out, things don’t look good for Mexico.

    • Brainspore says:

      Yes, legalization could help quench the demand, but then that raises the question of what will the Cartels do then?

      The monster we helped create won’t disappear if we legalize drugs but that will go a long way toward cutting down the violence, just as ending alcohol prohibition in the U.S. reduced the violence surrounding liquor-smuggling cartels and helped slow the explosive growth of the Mafia.

      The only quick solution I can think of to help Mexico would be a full deployment of US Military Troops to aid in combatting the Cartels, comparable to what was done in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      Because those worked out so well? Not every social problem has a military solution. How do you “win” a war on drugs? Do the drugs sign a peace treaty and everybody goes home? If we send troops into Mexico we’ll not only alienate the world even more than we have already, we’ll be entangled in the internal affairs of another sovereign nation for generations to come.

      • Tim says:

        Those are good points made. I didn’t mean to imply sending in US Troops would be a GOOD idea, simply that it’s the only thing I can think of to help stem the violence that is growing exponentially.

        Honestly, military action is my last resort for anything. But when the violence is growing this bad it is something to consider. Again, I don’t mean it as a GOOD option, but it may be one of the only options left. Legalizing drugs won’t end the violence quickly; over time it would help, but it won’t make a difference next month (if it were to be passed today).

        The reason I question if legalizing all drugs would lead to this ending is that I can easily see the cartels pushing harder into extortion, racketeering, ransom, and, far worse into human trafficking. You are probably right that these markets are less lucrative and overtime would lower the power of the cartels. After all, the mob and organized crime in the US went down drastically after prohibition was repealed. (To be fair, the FBI and law enforcement cracking down on them helped, too.)

        I do see the issue of the US being seen as the Imperialistic Nation trying to takeover Mexico and turning the cartels into patriots. I’m just glad I’m not in a position where I have to make a call about what to do about this.

        • turn_self_off says:

          So how about doing both? Send in the police and military to strike down on the violence while legalizing the drugs to cut of the primary funding of the cartels activities? That is, legalize in the sense of setting standardized tests and markings so that the stuff sold is as medically safe as it can be.

    • Guillaume Filion says:

      If *all* drugs were to be legalized then the cartels would turn to other forms of criminal acts like stealing and kidnapping. These other criminal acts are *much* less lucrative than drugs. Since they’d make less money, over time, the cartels would become less powerful. Money = Power

      But for this to work, all drugs need to be legalized, that means legal cocaine, heroin and meth. Even I don’t think that I’m going to see this in my lifetime… :(

      • Brainspore says:

        There are fewer Americans who use Cocaine, Heroin or Meth than Americans who use Marijuana, just as there are fewer who use Marijuana than alcohol. Legalizing weed alone isn’t enough to end the violence but it’s enough to make a difference.

      • Trent Hawkins says:

        But they wouldn’t get the absurd amounts of money that they do from selling drugs.

        Let’s put it this way: Imagine if Blizzard stopped all the World of Warcraft servers and instead started making … I dunno… Zunes

        Even with all their resources they wouldn’t be able to make a quarter of their normal income because their old market was more or less cornered and was guaranteed to make absurd profits with minimum effort while doing anything else will be costly and have a tiny market in comparison.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, the cartels aren’t going to suddenly become legitimate businessmen, but they exist because of the huge amount of profit that can be made working in the black market. If drugs were legalized, their sale and production would be taken up by companies that ran a legitimate business, and drugs would be sold at lower prices than those offered on the black market. The cartels’ funds would dry up. They would be still be a violent gang, but would eventually shrink into nothingness since they’d have to switch to other black markets (guns and weapons, etc) that have far less demand than the drug market.

      However, the US would have to also legalize drugs, not just Mexico. If Mexico legalized drugs, it will help immensely, but as long as there is a huge demand for drugs coming from across the border in the US, the cartels will be alive and well.

  21. Itsumishi says:

    A very interesting article with some very interesting (mostly civil) discussion following.

    I’m based in Australia, way on the other side of the world but today I read an article on how Mexican Cartels now supplied roughly 50% of the cocaine used in Australia…

    This is how well funded and organised these cartels are. Not only are they smuggling absurd quantities of drugs across a border that you can still walk across (albeit an often dangerous walk), but they’ve got connections, funding and enough organisational structure to allow them to ship high enough quantities of certain drugs to supply 50% of demand on the other side of the world.

    Legalisation of Marijuana in the US isn’t going to suddenly end this violence. I’d bet that it would even escalate for a short while afterwards (there would no doubt be fighting for other revenue streams to make up for lost revenue). However what it would do as others have pointed out is take a huge portion of income out of these cartels pockets, which in turn would diminish their level of power.

    It would also pave way for a lot of the western world to follow suit, which of course wouldn’t just lower the Mexican cartels trade, but would adversely affect the business of many black market traders world wide. In the longer term it might also cause a re-think for other illegal drugs.

    I whole heartedly agree that legalising (and sensibly regulating agriculture and manufacturing) of all drugs would greatly reduce the crimes associated, as well as the risks in taking them, but that doesn’t mean any Government should do this in one large sweeping reform. Better to take it a step at a time, starting with Marijuana to see what works and what doesn’t.

    Supply will always exist where there is demand and there is always demand to alter your state of mind, better governments world wide control this supply than the sorts of people who wish for nothing more than profit no matter the cost to society.

    Also, hung is perfectly acceptable as a synonym for hanged.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Guerra contra las drogas: ¿EE.UU jala parejo?

    Guerra contra las drogas: ¿EE.UU jala parejo?
    ¿Podría ser cierto que las acciones anti-drogas del gobierno de México estén beneficiando sólo a EE.UU?
    Publicado: Miércoles, 8 de Septiembre del 2010, a las 15:00 hrs.
    Por: Jorge Eduardo Jiménez
    Villahermosa, Tabasco
    Reducir/Ampliar
    ¿Se ha preguntado el lector por qué las consecuencias de la “guerra contra las drogas” son muy diferentes para México y para Estados Unidos?

    El resultado que todos vemos de dicha “guerra” revela un contraste brutal para los dos países, que pocos han señalado.

    México se encuentra en medio en una situación de enfrentamientos armados intensos (Ver Nota 1) en diversas zonas de su territorio, entre fuerzas del gobierno federal y grupos del crimen organizado (y entre facciones rivales de estos grupos), que han dejado ya más de 28 mil muertes violentas, desde diciembre de 2006 (casi una “ejecución” cada hora), que han golpeado su imagen ante el mundo, que llenan de miedo a muchos de sus habitantes, y que quitan las ganas de venir a los posibles visitantes.

    Por otro lado, las ciudades estadounidenses, incluidas las de la zona fronteriza, y el país en general, viven una reducción sin precedentes en sus niveles de violencia y criminalidad, y más aun los hechos violentos relacionados con el tráfico de drogas que ocurren allí son considerados aislados y de importancia local, y no de resonancia nacional, como en México.

    Esto detona varias preguntas: ¿Por qué las ciudades mexicanas en general son cada vez más violentas e inseguras , según los datos duros y según la percepción de sus habitantes, mientras las ciudades de Estados Unidos son cada vez más seguras? ¿Por qué la lucha contra el tráfico de drogas y el crimen organizado sólo tiene consecuencias violentas del lado mexicano?

    ¿Qué no el problema del tráfico de drogas es el mismo para Estados Unidos que para México? Aun más, ¿qué no es Estados Unidos un mayor consumidor de drogas que México? ¿Que no es verdad obvia y conocida que los estupefacientes que son traficados por México, tienen, en su mayoría, como destino Estados Unidos, el mayor mercado de drogas el mundo? Luego ¿Por qué tanta diferencia en la repercusión en términos de violencia? ¿Qué explica esa diferencia?

    Estados Unidos, también, como México, le ha declarado la “guerra” al tráfico y consumo de drogas, desde hace mucho más tiempo, entonces ¿Por qué hay efectos tan dispares, en términos de violencia, relativa al crimen organizado en uno y otro país?

    No parece que haya muchas personas tratando de responder estas preguntas. Pero en este artículo, nos ha parecido de interés e importancia el tratar de esclarecerlas:

    Primero, expongamos varios hechos relativos a la zona fronteriza:

    JUÁREZ-EL PASO

    Ciudad Juárez ha sido nombrada como la localidad en el mundo con mayor número de asesinatos violentos fuera de las zonas de guerra declarada. En cambio, El Paso, Texas, justo enfrente, nada más pasar la línea divisora internacional, ostenta el título de la segunda ciudad de Estados Unidos más segura para vivir. Sí, parece increíble.

    Los paseños (habitantes de El Paso) están preocupados por la enfermedad de violencia general y relativa al crimen organizado que afecta a su “ciudad hermana”, Juárez. Pero a la vez que están temerosos y dolidos por los juarenses, están orgullosos , de que su localidad haya alcanzado el título de una de las ciudades más seguras de su nación.

    Criminólogos, periodistas y los propios paseños señalan que parte de la explicación del bajo índice criminal de su ciudad es que está poblada por gran cantidad inmigrantes mexicanos (se calcula de tres cuartas partes de su población es hispana). Parece ser que los migrantes son personas que se cuidan mucho de no violar la ley, ya que su situación legal es especialmente vulnerable y lo que desean, con sus excepciones, es trabajar y prosperar en paz.

    Este es un fenómeno que se repite en otras ciudades fronterizas de EU, como San Diego, California (frente a Tijuana, Baja California); Laredo, Texas (frente a Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas) o Bronsville, Texas (frente a Matamoros, Tamaulipas). Sí, contrario a lo que los antiinmigrantes conservadores en Estados Unidos piensan, los indocumentados y migrantes en general no son causa de violencia y crimen, sino que precisamente evitan estas situaciones. Esto por supuesto echa por tierra los argumentos de quienes señalan a la inmigración ilegal en Estados Unidos como la fuente de todos los problemas, incluido el de la violencia.

    Quizá esa sea parte de la causa de por qué El Paso y otras ciudades fronterizas con gran porcentaje de migrantes son seguras. ¿Pero es toda la explicación? Dicho argumento no alcanzaría a explicar el tremendo contraste entre la situación de El Paso, con lo que está pasando en Ciudad Juárez respecto a las acciones del crimen organizado, puesto que el problema del narcotráfico afecta a ambas sociedades y el consumo es mucho mayor en la sociedad estadounidense.

    Así, continúa sin responderse la pregunta ¿Por qué hay tanta violencia relacionada al crimen organizado del lado mexicano y del otro lado hay tan poca? Otro ejemplo:

    TIJUANA-SAN DIEGO

    Tijuana sigue siendo una de las ciudades más violentas de México, aunque en los últimos meses, incluso ésta ha sido opacada por los más cruentos sucesos de Ciudad Juárez. Tijuana es una de las metrópolis con mayor índice de secuestros , y asesinatos comunes o relacionados con el crimen organizado. ¿Y qué ocurre del otro lado de la frontera? Bueno, pues ahí está San Diego, una de las urbes más prósperas de Estados Unidos, que también ha sido declarada como de los mejores lugares para vivir en ese país., y que, por lo mismo, ostenta el sexto menor, índice de criminalidad de todo Estados Unidos. Vaya contraste ¿Verdad?.

    Veamos un ejemplo más:

    NUEVO LAREDO-LAREDO

    Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, es una ciudad con mayor población (350,000 habitantes) que su “hermana”, Laredo, Texas (230 mil habitantes), pero la diferencia no es tanta como para que ese factor justifique la disparidad en el nivel de violencia.

    Nuevo Laredo es escenario de constantes enfrentamientos entre soldados y marinos mexicanos con narcotraficantes, y de enfrentamientos entre bandas rivales: los “Zetas” contra el “Cartel del Golfo”.

    Recientemente, la revista mexicana Proceso realizó una entrevista con el alcalde de Laredo, Texas, de nombre Raúl Salinas. La revista le pregunta al alcalde: “¿Qué marca la diferencia entre Laredo y Nuevo Laredo en materia de seguridad?”. El alcalde Salinas responde que la diferencia se debe a que en Laredo hay un departamento de policía capacitado que colabora con las autoridades mexicanas en materia de narcotráfico.

    No se duda que la policía de Nuevo Laredo sea eficiente, pero ¿es más temible para los narcos que el ejército mexicano? ¿De verdad esa es la razón que marca diferencia? Un segundo argumento del alcalde laderense es que la diferencia la hacen la corrupción de las policías mexicanas. Dice que si los agentes mexicanos ganaran sueldos decorosos, no se venderían a los narcotraficantes, y en cambio, se decicarían a combatirlos. Este segundo punto es más convicente, pero ¿es toda la explicación? La revista también le pregunta al alcalde Salinas si cree probable que la narcoviolencia de Nuevo Laredo cruce la frontera. A esto, el funcionario estadounidense responde que no, porque en su ciudad “están las oficinas regionales del FBI y el DEA, dedicadas a colaborar con México en la lucha contra el narcotráfico”.

    Una respuesta sorprendente. Es decir que la sola presencia de la DEA y el FBI mantienen a raya a los sicarios del narco ¿Será? Las respuestas del alcalde de Laredo pueden ser acertadas o no, pero en lo que sí es acertado es en ufanarse de que su ciudad está entre las 10 localidades de más de 100 mil habitantes más seguras de Estados Unidos, si bien el espectáculo de violencia que tienen enfrente –cruzando la frontera– seguramente es una molestia para los pacíficos laredenses.

    Raúl Salinas dice que es poco probable que la narcoviolencia de enfrente le llegue a sus conciudadanos, y lo dice con mucha seguridad.

    ¿QUIÉN RESPONDE POR QUÉ?

    Desde que la violencia del crimen organizado se recrudeció en México, alrededor de diciembre de 2006, e incluso antes, en lo que se ha dado en llamar una “guerra” contra el narcotráfico y contra los criminales, han corrido ríos y ríos de tinta en los periódicos y de bits en el internet sobre el tema.

    En México, la mayoría de los análisis sobre la violencia del narcotráfico se han enfocado a ver el problema de “puertas adentro”. Han sido muy pocos los estudios o las voces que tratan de explicar el problema del combate al tráfico de drogas como un problema de dos países, tanto de México, como de su vecino Estados Unidos, el gran consumidor de drogas. Y últimadamente, el problema del tráfico de drogas debe estudiarse en un nivel global, o al menos continental, puesto que tal es el negocio de los traficantes.

    Los libros que han aparecido en México desde diciembre de 2006 sobre el tema del combate al tráfico de drogas y al crimen organizado, se enfocan en su mayoría en hacer la crítica a la política del gobierno federal de Felipe Calderón, o bien analizan el problema enfocado en las mafias, y su confabulación con todo tipo de autoridades mexicanas. Si bien estos aspectos del problema son importantes, se echa en falta el estudio del fenómeno del tráfico de drogas en Estados Unidos, desde la perspectiva del público mexicano.

    Es decir, en general, ni periodistas, escritores e investigadores mexicanos (con sus excepciones) han hecho un estudio sistemático y a fondo del fenómeno del tráfico de drogas y la violencia que afecta a México en relación con las acciones que está emprendiendo Estados Unidos de su propio territorio. Es decir, los opinadores mexicanos evalúan, critican y estudian o se ocupan de lo que está ocurriendo en México, pero casi nunca lo hacen de lo que ocurre dentro de Estados Unidos.

    Este artículo no intenta por supuesto llenar ese hueco, sino sólo poner sobre la mesa el problema desde esa perspectiva y comenzar a bordar sobre el mismo.

    EL ESPEJO ESTADOUNIDENSE

    Del otro lado, la situación no es muy diferente. El público en general en Estados Unidos quizá está aún peor informado de lo que ocurre en México. Las noticias sobre la violencia aquí llegan allá sin mucho contexto y contribuyen a que se piense que este país del sur está prácticamente en guerra total, lo cual por supuesto es falso.

    Sin embargo, entre los analistas, y periodistas estadounidenses, sí hay un sector importante que habla y escribe con profusión de lo que está sucediendo en México, pero desde la perspectiva de los intereses y conveniencias del público estadounidense. Lo que ocurre en México preocupa en Estados Unidos por el hecho de la violencia en sí misma, pero sobre todo, por sus posibles repercusiones para ese país.

    Aquí no profundizaremos sobre los análisis que se realiza en Estados Unidos sobre lo que ocurre en México, sin embargo citaremos un ejemplo.

    Recientemente el Instituto México del Centro Woodrow Wilson, un centro de estudios políticos estadounidense, publicó en el diario The Washington Post, un trabajo para informar y explicar al público de Estados Unidos sobre lo que está pasando en México.

    El director del Instituto, Andrew Seele, uno de los autores del trabajo, explicó diversos aspectos, entre ellos el hecho de que la violencia que ocurre en México no ha “cruzado la frontera”, es decir, no se ha expandido hacia Estados Unidos y explica este fenómeno así: “Los grupos mexicanos (de narcotraficantes) que operan en EE.UU. intentan no llamar la atención porque le temen a la autoridad con capacidad de perseguirlos y enjuiciarlos. Eso no es perfecto en EE.UU. pero hay un marco institucional que le complica la vida al crimen organizado y a eso también aspira México y la sociedad mexicana”.

    Bien, este experto, el señor Steele dice que la policía y el marco institucional en Estados Unidos “les complican la vida” a los narcotraficantes, y el resultado es que no se comportan de forma violenta, como en México…

    ¿SUPER POLICÍAS?

    ¿Pero qué ocurre realmente? Tratemos de analizar qué tanto las autoridades en Estados Unidos “les complican la vida” a los traficantes de drogas.

    Si es verdad que “el marco institucional” en EE.UU es tan eficiente para enfrentar a los narcotraficantes organizados, entonces uno pensaría que las drogas que logran entrar por la frontera con México o por los puertos marítimos, encontrarían muchos obstáculos y dificultades para poder avanzar más allá de la zona fronteriza o de los puertos de entrada. Uno pensaría que el mercado de drogas estaría perfectamente acotado en Estados Unidos, pues sería extremadamente difícil trasladarlas a todo el territorio estadounidense, dada la presencia de poderosas y eficientes policías. Pero ¿qué crees estimado lector? ¡Que eso no ocurre ni en sueños!

    Así como la droga corre libre por las venas de los adictos, así los cargamentos de droga, bien ocultos, van sin obstáculo por las excelentes carreteras de toda la Unión Americana, que es un país enfermo de adicción a todas las sustancias licitas o ilícitas que alteran la mente y hacen olvidar un poco el tedio y las dificultades de la vida a millones de personas, a veces a un alto precio. Y necesitan quién se las provea.

    LIBRE MERCADO DE DROGAS

    Una vez que la droga entra a Estados Unidos por diversas vías ilegales, incluidos los *sobornos a los agentes de aduanas estadonidenses , los traficantes encuentran ya muy fácil trasladarla a todos y cada uno de los rincones de ese vasto y rico país. El mercado de drogas en Estados Unidos es vastísimo, surtido rico y disponible en todos los barrios de todas las grandes ciudades, hasta los pueblos más apartados y bicicleteros. No existe lugar en Estados Unidos donde cualquiera tenga dificultad alguna para conseguir la droga que se desee. Esa es la realidad.

    ¿Quién está combatiendo en Estados Unidos esa distribución? La respuesta es: nadie trabaja ni ha trabajado nunca en detenerla. ¿Por qué? La respuesta es así, es bien conocido que el sistema estadounidense es el gran maestro de la realpolitik, de la política práctica, de la política eficaz que vé a favor de sus intereses y nada más.

    Pues bien, a pesar de todo el discurso acerca del peligro de las drogas, los estadounidenses siempre van a considerar que antes que detener el comercio de sustancias ilícitas, es mucho más importante que el comercio en general, el flujo de mercancías no se detenga NUNCA. (Ver Nota 2)

    Por esa razón, los comerciantes de droga dentro de Estados Unidos ni siquiera tienen que pensar en ir armados, pues siempre y cuando escondan bien su cargamento, y se cuiden de violar visiblemente las leyes, es muy raro que surja algún conflicto con la autoridad, y mucho menos algún tipo de enfrentamiento directo, como ocurre en México por ejemplo.

    Si las autoridades estadounidenses comenzaran a colocar retenes para revisar al azar los cargamentos de tráileres, si el ejército de Estados Unidos patrullara carreteras y poblados deteniendo a sospechosos de transportar drogas (Ver Nota 3), pues simplemente pasaría lo que en México: habría enfrentamientos aquí y allá, hechos violentos que entorpecerían el comercio interno –que por cierto es el más intenso del mundo– que asustaría a los ciudadanos y que a final de cuentas, deprimiría la actividad económica y quizá peor, la moral de la gente.

    Sí, todas esas cosas que ocurren en México, son precisamente las que evitan los estadounidenses a toda costa. Ellos, como país (todas las instituciones del estado y los ciudadanos) protegen antes que todo, el valor de la libertad, aunque sólo sea la libertad de comerciar, el célebre “dejar hacer, dejar pasar” de padre del liberalismo económico, Adam Smith, valor que para ellos está muy, pero muy por encima de cualquier supuesta “guerra” contra las drogas.

    Cuando el profesor Seele, el del estudio del centro Woodrow Wilson dice que “los grupos de narcotraficantes mexicanos que operan en EE.UU. intentan no llamar la atención porque le temen a la autoridad con capacidad de perseguirlos y enjuiciarlos”, en realidad debería decir que los narcotraficantes dentro de Estados Unidos evitan llamar la atención porque simplemente si no la llaman, se les dejará en paz para llevar a cabo su negocio, que es la distribución de drogas. Es decir, que eso que en México parece un anatema: el que se establezca un “pacto implícito” con los narcotraficantes ocurre todos los días en Estados Unidos y ese pacto se llama: las leyes y los valores que los estadounidenses tienen como prioridad. Y los narcos, que no son tontos, lo aprovechan.

    LA VERDADERA “GUERRA”

    Es preciso aclarar que no se está afirmando que Estados Unidos no haga NADA para combatir el tráfico y consumo de drogas.

    A continuación se expondrá brevemente cuál es el estilo estadounidense de combatir a las sustancias ilícitas. Simplemente, que quede claro, que el enfrentar directamente a los traficantes en acción, “cazándolos” a través de las armas, del “fuego contra fuego” como en México, es algo que NO ocurre.

    Pero entonces ¿cómo ataca Estados Unidos a los narcotraficantes? Dentro del territorio, hay básicamente dos formas:

    1. Inteligencia policiaca y financiera. Es bien sabido que las policías estadounidenses son muy eficientes, no sólo las policías federales, sino las policías locales, que están muy bien capacitadas para enfrentar a los infractores, y son especialmente eficientes en la investigación de crímenes, y en el llevar a juicio a los sospechosos.

    El tráfico de drogas como actividad ilícita en sí, es combatida por el gobierno federal, principalmente a través de la DEA (Administración de Combate a las Drogas), con el apoyo del FBI (Oficina Federal de Investigaciones).

    Una vez que los traficantes de drogas entran al libre juego del mercado, las autoridades estadounidenses intentan aprovechar cualquier error o violación flagrante a la ley durante sus operaciones que pueda llevar a su arresto. Expertos financieros y en investigación policiaca buscan detectar a los traficantes de drogas a través de vigilar los movimientos financieros sospechosos. La eficiencia en esta vigilancia es tal, que los narcotraficantes evitan en general utilizar el sistema bancario para mover el dinero de sus ganancias. Por ello, es muy común que los narcos en EE.UU manejen grandes cantidades de dinero en efectivo.

    Una buena partes de las ganancias, en billetes contantes y sonantes, son llevadas de vuelta a México, o a otros países de origen de los narcos en América Latina. Es mucho menos complicado para ellos llevar un cargamento de billetes por carretera u otros medios de transporte, que canalizarlo por el sistema bancario. Recientente, el capo del Cártel del Pacífico, *Edgar Valdez, alias “La Barbie”, detenido por la policía federal mexicana a finales de agosto de 2010, confesó que el dinero obtenido en EE.UU de la venta de droga, le era regresado a México ¡cargado en tráilers!

    2. Lucha sin piedad contra los adictos criminales Aunque como ya dijimos, Estados Unidos no suele enfrentar directamente a los grandes traficantes de narcóticos en su distribución de sustancias, sí en cambio aplica una política de “cero tolerancia”, incluídas penas muy severas, para los individuos que cometen delitos relacionados con las drogas.

    Esto ha resultado en el arresto, acusación y encarcelamiento de decenas de miles de personas cada año, por crímenes asociados a la posesión y uso de drogas ilegales.

    Tan sólo en 2008, 1.5 millones de estadounidenses fueron arrestados por ofensas relacionadas a las drogas, 500 mil de los cuales fueron a dar a la cárcel. Pero no muchos en esa multitud de gente son grandes capos, la gran mayoría son vendedores al menudeo atrapados en flagrancia, o adictos que cometen crímenes para pagar su adicción. La Comisión de Sentencias de EE.UU. reportó que sólo 11 por ciento de los acusados por delitos federales relacionados con drogas son narcos de alto nivel.

    Algunas organizaciones defensoras de los derechos humanos han acusado a las autoridades estadounidenses y al sistema legal de ese país de propiciar que la persecución policiaca se centre en las minorías étnicas, como las personas de raza negra y de origen hispano, mientras adictos que no pertenecen a minorías y que suelen tener un mayor nivel económico pueden mantener su consumo de sustancias sin ningún problema.

    Gráfica de muestra el incremento en el índice de encarcelamiento en Estados Unidos a partir de la declaración de la “guerra contra las drogas”.|Wikipedia

    Estados Unidos es el país con el mayor porcentaje de su población en la cárcel, al menos entre los países que proporcionan estadísticas confiables. Cada año se encarcela a un promedio de medio millón de personas por ofensas relacionadas con las drogas, esto es, más de lo que los países de la Unión Europea encarcelan por crímenes en general.

    Resumiendo. Vamos a sintenizar brevemente lo expuesto hasta aquí: las autoridades de Estados Unidos no interfieren en el libre transporte de mercancías, sean drogas ilícitas o lo que sea –aunque las leyes digan que es ilegal transportar ciertos bienes–, por lo que para los narcos es muy sencillo realizar sus tareas de distribución en todo el territorio de ese país. Esto evita que los cárteles tengan que recurrir a la violencia para llevar a cabo su negocio, como ocurre en México. La forma en que Estados Unidos combate el comercio de sustancias ilegales es a través de la cuidadosa vigilancia de los movimientos financieros, para detectar cualquier sospecha de transacciones con dinero de procedencia ilícita. Además, se hace uso de la eficiente vigilancia, investigación y acción policiaca contra cualquier clase de violación a las leyes, y si estas faltas están relacionadas con las drogas, llevar a juicio y aplicar las sanciones correspondientes, que suelen ser muy severas. Esta última estrategia ha llevado a que el 90% de los detenidos por crímenes de drogas (medio millón de personas al año) sean adictos que cometen crímenes o traficantes en pequeña escala.

    Si el lector se pregunta si esa estrategia ha dado resultados, podemos decir que NO ha tenido ningún éxito en frenar el consumo de drogas, que es el más alto del mundo. Pero la respuesta es diferente en lo que respecta a la violencia relacionada con las drogas. Simplemente hay que volver al inicio del artículo, diciendo que el nivel de criminalidad y violencia en las ciudades estadounidenses es actualmente uno de los más bajos de su historia (y como vimos, su población encarcelada, una de las más altas).

    QUE LO HAGAN OTROS

    Lo que hemos tratado hasta aquí ha sido relativo a la estrategia que respecto al problemas de las drogas siguen las autoridades de Estados Unidos dentro de su territorio. Aunque ellos llamen a su estrategia “Guerra contra las drogas” (fue Richard Nixon –1913-1994– quien introdujo el término), la frase tiene más bien un sentido figurado o metafórico, pues adentro no se libra ninguna guerra en realidad como hemos visto. Incluso, el gobierno de Barack Obama ha dicho que no usará más esa frase bélica, porque no se corresponde con la realidad y ha provocado un rechazo de parte de los ciudadanos a las acciones para remediar los abusos a las sustancias ilícitas.

    Pero en algunos países, como Latinoamérica por ejemplo, como México recientemente en concreto, sus líderes han comprado no sólo el eslogan, “Guerra contra las drogas” sino que lo han vuelto mucho menos metafórico, al habérselo tomado a la letra.

    Es bien sabido que Estados Unidos ha llegado a ser la mayor potencia militar y económica del mundo, a través de, entre otras cosas, pelear sus guerras fuera de su territorio –excepción hecha de su Guerra Civil de Secesión (1861-1865)–. Justamente, aunque EE.UU difícilmente alguna vez usará su ejército en la lucha contra las sustancias ilícitas dentro de su territorio, sí lo usa en otros países, siempre que puede. Además, hace todo lo posible por presionar, persuadir, coaccionar o “convencer” a otros gobiernos a que utilicen sus respectivos ejércitos contra los traficantes de drogas.

    Más aun, Estados Unidos como se sabe, proporciona ayuda financiera y en especie –armamento y asesoría militar– a países que se lo solicitan y que están dispuestos a luchar contra la producción y tráfico de drogas en una forma acorde a sus intereses.

    Como ya vimos, Washington y demás autoridades en EE.UU no impiden directamente la distribución de la drogas, una vez que éstas entran a su país, así que la estrategia consiste en que las drogas sean destruidas en los lugares de producción de las mismas, o detenidas antes de que lleguen a territorio estadounidense y para ello EE.UU necesita formar e instruir “soldados” en los territorios externos.

    EE.UU ha hecho uso de diversos métodos para “convencer” a otras naciones, especialmente en Latinoamérica, para que prioricen la lucha contra el tráfico de drogas, sobre otros intereses legítimos, por ejemplo, digamos, la libertad de comercio en general, o el anhelo de paz de la población. Así por ejemplo, si Washington determina que algún país no está cumpliendo con la legislación internacional anti-drogas, o no actúa acorde a las leyes estadounidenses sobre drogas, se toma la decisión de suspender cualquier tipo de asistencia a ese país, entre otras sanciones. (Ver Nota 4)

    “SOLDADOS” ANTIDROGAS

    Es difícil cuestionar la moralidad o el carácter justo de las acciones emprendidas por el presidente Felipe Calderón contra el crimen organizado, cuyo mayor negocio es el narcotráfico.

    Sin embargo, sí es legítimo debatir, a la luz de los resultados, después de cuatro años y medio, si la estrategia seguida en México contra el tráfico de drogas, esta beneficiando nuestros intereses como nación, o más bien, a los intereses de terceros.

    Comentarios al autor: Jorge Eduardo Jiménez: jorge.eduardo@tabascohoy.com

    Próxima entrega: EE.UU. y su “Guerra anti-drogas” en México y Latinoamérica

    ——————————————————

    Notas:

    (1) Según han explicado funcionarios de la ONU, el fenómeno de violencia que se está manifestando en México no entra en las definiciones de guerra o conflicto armado, contemplados en la Convención de Ginebra, pues no se trata de un enfrentamiento de un país contra otro (guerra), ni contra grupos rebeldes que buscan el poder (conflicto armado). Actualmente, relatores de las Naciones Unidas discuten si lo que ocurre en México puede categorizarse como “país con regiones de enfrentamiento intenso”, que incluiría los territorios militarizados y los dominados por los cárteles de la droga. La ONU incluso ha contemplado proponer oficialmente esta nueva clasificación, para, bajo la Convención de Ginebra, permitir a la Cruz Roja Internacional intervenir y atender a los ciudadanos afectados en estas zonas violentas.

    (2) Lo mismo ocurre con el tráfico legal e ilegal de armas. El presidente de México, Felipe Calderón, ha exhortado una y otra vez al gobierno estadounidense a regular o limitar el tráfico de armas que fluyen desde el norte. Una y otra vez Washington expresa su voluntad para hacerlo, pero una y otra vez el Congreso y los grupos influyentes más conservadores, descartan absolutamente limitar el comercio, ni de armas ni de nada.

    (3) Por otra parte, sería ilegal que autoridades policiacas o militares detuvieran a ciudadanos estadounidenses para registrar sus vehículos, a menos que exista flagrancia en la comisión de algún delito o exista de por medio orden de un juez. Si las autoridades violan estas leyes, la parte acusada podría utilizar esa violación a su favor ante los tribunales. En México las leyes son similares en ese sentido, pero en nuestro país es sabido que hay muchas leyes que “se acatan pero no se cumplen”.

    (4) Dicho proceso se le conoce como “Certificación anti-drogas”, y Washington lo aplica a los países productores de drogas desde 1986. En aquellos años, dicho proceso fue una fuente de fricción y descontento entre el gobierno mexicano y el de EE.UU. En 2001, el Congreso de EE.UU decidió aplicar el proceso anual de “Certificación” sólamente a países clasificados como “más riesgosos” o más rebeldes, digamos. Desde entonces, México quedó fuera de la lista de certificación anual, pero eso no significa que EE.UU no siga reservándose el derecho a evaluar los esfuerzos mexicanos.

    /jej

    http://www.tabascohoy.com/noticia.php?id_nota=198485

  23. Anonymous says:

    Legalization of ALL DRUGS as nUt said, would bring an end to cartels. Because it would reduce their income. Also, other ways of taking the cartels money would work, like freezing their bank accounts.

    But no one wants cartels to be done with. Its naive to even conceive it. Criminals will always exist. They just find different businesses. Calderon is not getting rid of the drug problem in mexico, he is weakening most cartels and strengthening one. CHAPO GUZMAN´S. Its like having the devil work for you, instead of working for five devils. Its a PRACTICAL, real solution. Not an ethical one.

    The real way of getting rid of drug smuggling is eliminating consumption. That largely falls on american citizens, the largest drug consuming nation in THE WORLD. So if you really want a cartel free continent, MAN UP, stop buying drugs, or just die….maybe poisoning a batch of amphetamines or heroin could frighten a few of you after reading a headline in the newspaper with something like “DEATH LOOSE ON THE STREETS…THE DRUGS YOUR CHILDREN ARE DOING”…oh wait.

    Also, I am Mexican. I don´t want to become an United States Citizen. Ever. Just as none of you would like to change sex, color or nationality because of whatever flaws maybe associated with them. There are also great things to being mexican, its easy to forget them right now, but I promise you there are. That and dignity.

    • turn_self_off says:

      if only. The modern economic system basically runs on cocaine as a stimulant. The suits cant mentally handle the stress unless they have some powder in their system.

      in norway they got a revalation when they opened sanctuaries where addicts could come and do their thing, getting clean tools to keep the aids spread contained. What happened was that a surprising number of suits driving expensive cars made use of the service.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The demand for drugs in the US creates this problem. If we legalize drugs, the problem will lose much of the profit motive.
    The war on drugs is a failure.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I’m very sure it’s past time for more and more of us to pay attention to the entire, world-wide scene. Mexico is only a part of it.

    Nils Gilman, historian out of Berkeley and now an international consultant, puts it all into perspective. Drugs, sex, hazardous waste, arms, kidneys, etc. It’s all a matter of arbitrage: Supply, meet demand.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3173247273890946684#

  26. starfish and coffee says:

    Are we any closer to knowing why they killed those 72 people? Easy enough to say “drug war”. But anything more specific?

    • Anonymous says:

      Mexican newpaper Reforma believes the 72 were illegal Honduran migrants, smuggled into Mexico, possibly a staging point to the USA, possibly not. The hearsay is that the Narcos asked them to perform some task, or pay extra. In the end, 72 were executed.

      The added horror. The Mexican government truck assigned to ship the bodies back to Honduras was in a traffic accident. After the grizzly clean up, the Honduran government could not (would not?) identify the people.

    • IronEdithKidd says:

      The initial reporting on NPR indicated that they were executed because at least some of them refused to cough up additional money, above the agreed upon price, for the escort services the cartel rendered. The day after that, on TV reports, they were reported to have been killed for refusing to mule. I’m inclined to believe the initial reporting over the later spin meant to perpetuate the War on Some Drugs narrative.

    • Germanico says:

      The actual reasons might never be known, but the simplest explanation is because they where expendable.

      The 76 immigrants that where massacred where outlawed by the Mexican government (yes, the same government that pleads for a better treatment of illegal mexican nationals in the US territory by the US government), leaving them at the mercy of corrupt officers and criminals. As they face deportation or jail if caught by the authorities, migrants from central and south america have to travel by night, in the back of cargo trucks or empty freight trains trough remote villages and dirt roads. (Makes one wonder, ¿what kind of conditions they have in their homelands, as they are willing to risk life and limb crawling trough hell just to get a chance of below-minimum wage and a tarp to sleep under, picking tomatoes and oranges in california?)

      So cops and polleros grab illegal immigrants, shake them down of whatever they might have, and hand them over to the cartels, who shake them down further. Then they get locked up, and ransom is collected from distant relatives or friends (a great deal, as the victim doesnt has to be freed once the ransom is paid). Women get used for entertainment, and young men might be offered a job as a hitman or sonderkommandos. If they refuse, they get shot. If they fight back, they get shot, if they try to escape, they get shot. If they dont find a way to be useful to the cartel, they get shot.

      And once they are no longer useful to the cartels, they get shot. After all, they are a dime a dozen to the cartels, and non-existant to the government, and their deaths will never be punished or their killers brought before justice.

      They where killed because the army was closing in the ranch where they where being held, so they where rounded up against the wall and shot, to lighten the load for their captors.

      Which raises the question, as the death toll for both sides is going up, and the life expectancy of narco hitmen and enforcers goes down rapidly, they are recruiting new members from wherever they can, even from their own victims, how long before they begin to kidnap young kids to train them as foot soldiers, west-african style?

      • turn_self_off says:

        i wonder if the “assassin girl squad” mentioned in the opening of this article is the first sign of child soldiers being deployed…

        And btw, thinking about that squad reminds me of a anime with a similar topic that was supposedly psychologically disturbing. Reality is indeed stranger then fiction…

  27. Anonymous says:

    The problem ultimately is the breakdown of law and order. Now every petty criminal is claiming to be a cartel member and demanding a tax. My family has lived in Monterrey for 200 years and is being driven out by all the violence and chaos. Literally every person I know down there has been touched by this. In the towns near the border “normal” people are being driven out and a narco state has been created taxing everything that comes through. It’s sort of like having our own little Taliban right next door.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Mexico will not win this war until it gets tough on crime…mandatory jail sentences…like life for kidnapping…20 years for weapons..etc. It would also help to bring back the death sentence. To make this work Mexico would have to have secret
    judges give out the sentences. Today there is no law and order. money buys one out of jail time for any crime including murder. judges are afraid to send people to jail and often take bribes and no one can trust any police because most are involved in crime themselves. Mexico will be destroyed if it can not bring back law and order.

    • Itsumishi says:

      judges are afraid to send people to jail and often take bribes and no one can trust any police because most are involved in crime themselves.

      This section of your comments completely negates the rest of it.

      If you have a system full of corruption who sets up these “secret judges”? How long does it take to find someone who knows something about someone, torture them and move up the chain until you find out who these secret judges are and kill them too?

      The only way to win this war is to undercut the funding, no amount of “getting tough on crime” will ever fix a situation where the officials are as corrupt as the drug barons.

    • Brainspore says:

      Mexico will not win this war until it gets tough on crime [...] It would also help to bring back the death sentence.

      Yes, surely no one would get mixed up with bloody drug cartels if they knew that there was a chance they could be killed!

  29. osmo says:

    The problem with US involvement would be that many don’t really trust your military. Chances are that it may be seen as something else and you would be up against what is more or less a guerilla war.

    The biggest underlying problem is that for many this is one of the better choices of income and since money, in this society we live in, is always “clean” and wealth something continously good – why should they stop?

    Mexico can with the help of other nations (I would suggest foreign troops from the EU, Australia and South Africa instead of the US because then all allegations of some kind of “US-imperialistic-invasion” could be ignored) solve these extreme crimes but not the actuall problem as such.

  30. tiddlydum says:

    Sending the US army into Mexico will result in the same problem we have in Afganistan.

  31. Anonymous says:

    all nations should pay attention to mexico problem,and all help.try something anything,better then people just dying in the streets.come on world

  32. Anonymous says:

    Why is it that you people try to solve everything with invasions?

  33. Orchestra Spy says:

    I think the format of this special feature is awesome. Great article.

  34. Anonymous says:

    If it wasn’t for the laundering of money from illegal drugs our entire economy might collapse. Thus the elite want to keep drugs illegal because of the cash flow it brings into the US banking system. Just ask the guys over at MBNA, and GE.

  35. james84 says:

    Is that sort of gaudy embellishment of firearms common in the cartels? Is it a sign of status? Perhaps I am reading too much into the choice or pictures…

    • Tim says:

      Just about everytime I’ve seen images or read about cartels being raided by police or the Mexican Military there are cases of overly stylized, bejeweled weaponry all around the place. I think it is a sign of status, of wealth, of power, and of luxury. Being able to afford an arsenal of custom decorated, gold/silver plated firearms shows you’ve got money to throw around. But that’s just my guess.

      Either that or it’s tied to the Ed Hardy over-the-top gaudy look that is popular with the Hispanics in America. I really don’t know; Latino/Hispanic culture something I know very little about.

  36. Ugly Canuck says:

    FWIW another link to journalists interested in this topic:

    http://www.narconews.com/en.html

    The best way to have won this war was to have never have started it.

    The war on drugs is a political use of the criminal law against a States own people: the drug criminals are only criminals insofar as they evade paying any and all taxes on their commercial activities.

    The are providing stuff to fill a public demand: what demand is there for the “extortion, kidnapping, etc, etc ” bogeymen which some posters in the thread above raise up, as activities the cartels would turn to, if their primary source of $$ were taken from them by the legalization of dope?

    The prohibition policy is killing thousands – but marijuana kills no one.
    So what’s the problem?

  37. nutbastard says:

    So many people are *so* close to the solution and yet still opt for a half assed fix – marijuana legalization – when the real solution is to legalize, regulate, and make available ALL drugs.

    We live in a world where there are people, and a good chunk of people either like to do drugs for recreation or they are harboring an addiction. Either way, no one really has any trouble finding these drugs. Not if they want to find them. So forget about eliminating users and addicts by deprivation. It doesn’t work, it has never worked, and it never will work. If you can’t eliminate addicts and users by deprivation funded by billions of dollars over decade, then you can’t do it at all.

    People will never stop doing drugs. Never. They will always exist, and people will always discover them. They cannot be wiped from the face of the earth. Even if they could, how do you stop someone huffing glue? You can’t. You can just go buy glue. So why isn’t there a glue-huffing epidemic? Because there are Better Drugs.

    People freak out when I suggest that truly vile substances like meth, coke and heroin be legalized. Why are these drugs especially detestable? Because they are *highly* addictive.

    Now think about this: Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars developing and patenting all kinds of chemicals. It is within their power to make a Better Drug – better than heroin, better than meth – but not just better in the sense that they fuck you up more thoroughly – better in that, like LSD, they are no more addictive or harmful than red bull.

    Markets are what they are, and people are stupid, but given a choice, they aren’t THAT stupid. If you can’t get a bag of weed, do you huff glue? Given a choice between doing meth or doing a nonaddictive analog, which would YOU choose? Well, we can patent those analogs and make them cheaper than any two bit cartel could counterfeit them for.

    Anyone who believes that meth and heroin and coke, with all their glaring flaws, are the epitome of human recreational drug development is a moron.

    Having established that you can’t keep people from doing drugs, and that the drugs of the day are highly flawed, and it is those flaws, not the recreational element of those drugs, that make using those drugs a problem in our society, and being mindful of human nature and the mechanics of markets, is not the ONLY decent solution to make such flawed and dangerous drugs obsolete?

    Go back 10 years and ask someone how they’d feel about throwing their state of the art cell phone in the garbage. Imagine how they’d react if you tried to take it from them. Imagine that, after the scuffle, you’re both standing there, him clutching his phone, both of you breathing hard, and then you reach into your pocket an pull out an iPhone 4. And you tell him all about it, you let him play with it for a while, and then you ask him, how would he feel about throwing his state of the art cell phone in the garbage… if i gave you *this* one?

    The phone that the man would have fought to a bloody mess over 10 minutes ago would hit the trash can so hard your ears would ring.

    Every (good) parent knows that simply telling a child “no” is about a thousand times less effective than giving them something else to do that IS ok.

    The only way to fix ANY problem arising from a faulty product or service is not to ban that product or service, but to exceed it, to improve upon it to such a degree that the new way makes an embarrassment out of the old way. Have you noticed that witch craft and voodoo and leeches and bloodletting have all dwindled into obscurity in the face of modern science and medicine? It’s purely because there’s a better choice. We don’t drive 5HP Model T Fords – we have better cars now. We have better EVERYTHING now, and when things get even better-er, we flock to them. Today’s best is tomorrows landfill, and tomorrows best is impossible today.

    We didn’t ban cars – we made them safer.

    We didn’t ban Witch Doctors – we developed modern medicine

    We didn’t ban skateboards – we made elbow pads and helmets

    We shouldn’t ban meth or heroin – we should make them OBSOLETE.

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      I tend to agree with your analysis, Nutbastard, but politics is the art of the possible.
      And there are now large bureaucracies which work full-time to enforce and to keep the prohibitions in place.
      Their continued funding depends on it!
      Not to mention decades of ‘propaganda’, and outright bans on scientific research…IIRC, Reagan’s boys even tried to clean out any books dealing with the possible medical uses of reefer, etc, which were already on University Library shelves.

      And in Canada’s North, amongst our First Nations, there IS a glue-huffing epidemic in progress amongst young people, as NO other “highs” (sic) are available – even alcohol is not brought in to those remote communities, for good reasons, and at their Band Councils’ own request that the booze be banned: as some of our First Nations’ genetic inheritance results in their bodies/minds reacting in a much much worse way to alcohol, than for those of us with Asian/European ancestry.

      • nutbastard says:

        the ban on drug research is no different than if they’d banned automobile research back in the day – ludicrous.

        you illustrate my point brilliantly – people only sniff glue in the absence of a better choice – but they WILL get high regardless.

        it’s cringingly ironic how the main component ‘the art of the possible’ is ignoring reality.

        • Ugly Canuck says:

          It is difficult to win people’s votes by insulting either them, their ancestors’ failed policies, or their intelligence.
          Perhaps it is even counter-productive: people can dig in their heels, just to show ‘em.

        • Ugly Canuck says:

          Best not to ignore political reality, regardless of merely physical reality, if one wants to see political change. The sculptor has to work with the clay as she finds it, not as she would wish it to be.
          Slow and steady is the way to make truly massive changes in the way things are done in a democratic society. No matter how beneficial those changes would be.

  38. Anonymous says:

    The “War on Drugs” works in the following sense- At times I’ve been drunk and in a self-destructive, crazy mood and thought, “man I’d do coke right now if I had it.” But why I didn’t act on this urge was because it would have entailed going to a shady neighborhood or some dive bar looking for some scumbag dealer, all the while running the risk of humilliation and embarrassment of arrest. Now in a “legalized” world (remember this only works if drugs are cheap and freely available) I’d be able to go to the liquor store down the street and buy it without obstacles. I would’ve done it. Coke is a powerful physically addictive drug that really disrupts your brain chemistry. More addicts WOULD be created in a “free” world. That equals more overdoses (22,000 deaths from OD in the US in 2005.) Also, legal or not, cokeheads do not make good fathers, mothers, wives, workers etc. Why? If you’ve ever done it or known someone on it, that is obvious. It really messes with your head.

    • Itsumishi says:

      Except that’s not true. There are laws around serving alcohol.

      In most states in the US you can’t serve it to anyone under 21 (18 in Australia), you can’t serve to anyone that’s obviously intoxicated, etc.

      There is no reason why the same laws plus any others that were sensible would apply. The important thing is to eliminate the criminal element and unnecessary dangers that exist because of the criminal element.

      Take this example:

      2 People are at a nightclub, dancing away. One has had half a pill (ecstacy) and is relatively sober the other has had 2 and is ‘off his chops’. They both want another:

      Currently, they both find some dealer who is selling his pills at $30 a pop, that have a bit of MDMA a bit of speed a whole bunch of shit in them. They get you high, but half of the high is caused the crap that also makes you feel absolutely shitty the next day.

      As the dealer is risking his ass to make some money he doesn’t even hesitate to sell either person another one, despite the fact that the person who’s already had 2 pills has his eyes rolling around his head and jaw grinding away. He just wants to make a quick $60.

      In a society where the drugs are legal but regulated and manufactured. Ecstasy is sold at the “Nightclub pharmacy” where a person is paid a wage, not commission and undertaken a Responsible Pharmaceutical Service course.

      He has drugs that have slightly more pure MDMA and slightly more speed that are cut with a harmless compound that only serves to hold the pills their shape and colour. The drugs are more pure, safer and cost exactly the same. So you get just as high without as much risk, and without the nasty after effects. They’re also manufactured to be less addictive.

      Because the person at the Nightclub pharmacy is paid a wage not a commission on sales, has undertaken training and has the legal responsibility to look after his customers health (as opposed to fear of being caught with excess product) he will most likely serve the first person and tell the second person that he’s had enough for the night and instead offer him a bottle of water.

      If this second guy did manage to get his hands on another pill or two and started having an adverse reaction, because he doesn’t have any fear of prosecution for possession he’s far more likely to ask for help, which means its far less likely to result in an accidental overdose.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Just a quick note on the argument that “legally available means more people using and abusing drugs.”

    I can jump out of a plane, or eat sushi, or stab myself in the leg with a ball-point pen. I do not do any of those things – I am scared of heights, don’t like fish, and sort of like my leg not stabbed.

    I also have no interest in doing heroin, lsd, or smoking weed, no matter what it’s availability might be.

    I have a feeling that the majority of people are like me, and are not just not chomping at the bit to get horrible addicted to coke “if only it was legal.”

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to defend my position that cheap and legal cocaine will lead to more addicts. There have been plenty of times in my life when I’ve gotten drunk and thought, “I want to do some blow right now!” But then I would have had to go to a shady neighborhood or some club or dive bar, find some scumbag dealer, and open myself up to the risk of a humiliating arrest. In my adult life, those obtacles have been enough to dissuade me. If I had been able to walk around the corner to the liquor store and pick up a gram or two, there is no question I would have done it. And for many, coke is super addictive. You can always give anecdotal evidence like, “my friend does coke 2 times a year and he’s fine” but I think the reality would be more like it is for cigarettes. Some people can smoke 2 or 3 on Friday night and be fine, others smoke 2 or 3 on Friday, then smoke a couple on Sat., a couple more on Sunday, and then a pack a day until they have to go through a pain in the ass quitting process with patches or gum or cold turkey or whatever. Coke would be like that but it is a MUCH stronger drug and MUCH more disruptive to health, work and relationships. Some here have said, “Well we don’t know for sure because we haven’t tried it.” That could be said about a lot of really bad ideas- “hey let’s give EVERYONE guns…”

  40. Anonymous says:

    The way things are is as the U.S. government wants them, with no real economy in American U.S citizens have been moved down to surf status and Mexican citizens have been turned in prisoners of a drug state.
    http://beta.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/2010/jan/28/underreported-the-mexican-drug-war/

  41. Rayonic says:

    Wow, some of those guns are straight out of a videogame. Most memorably “Army of Two” had a gun bling system. I’m also reminded of TF2′s Ambassador revolver, though that wasn’t nearly as gaudy.

  42. Anonymous says:

    My handle is Sushi_time if you want to reply to me. I forgot my boing boing password

    My god, some of the comments here are utterly appalling. Especially the ones that seem to think we should “Send in the marines”. Can you imagine a better way for the cartels to unite, to put aside their differences and kill as many US military personnel as they could, on their on territory. The inevitable deaths of innocents caught in the crossfire would only make the civilian population more inclined to aid the cartels. They’d hide the gangsters when patrols came, give them food and hide their weapon caches.
    Look at the years of military assistance the US has provided to Columbia. What a success story that has been! Cocaine production has been stopped and the paramilitaries that funded themselves from it are disarmed and all in jail. Not really. That war continues in it’s bloody fashion, with both sides distinguishing themselves; I recently read an article in the UK’s Private Eye magazine about the practise of rewarding Columbian military personnel for every dead guerilla they brought. Of course this has lead to the practise of innocent people being shot dead and passed off as guerillas by those who’re supposed to be protecting them.
    A lot of people seem to be arguing that “the cartels won’t quit, they’d still try to be as brutal as ever, the answer is more of the same!” The parallels with the prohibition of the 1930s are so obvious. The Mafia was very strong at that time, both in terms of fire-power and the influence they held over law makers and normal people. It didn’t matter how good Elliot Ness was or what action the police took. What broke the back of the Mafia was legalizing booze. Yes, they still exist in the US but their power is greatly scaled back. Now they operate as organised thieves and bullies. It’s worth noting that US gangsters make a lot of their money from drugs and that legalising drugs would benefit both nations in the reduction in organised crime.
    A lot of those that become cartel workers are just desperate people with no income or prospects. When everyone you know in your village is either a gangster or at the mercy of the gangsters, you’d want to be on the side of those with strength. I’m sure most don’t feel they have a choice. The photos above testify that there are a lot of evil psychos in the cartels. I imagine it’s only those with that particularly ruthless streak that make it to the top of their organisations. But I imagine hundreds of members would love the chance not to constantly be watching their backs, to move from an illegal, lucrative industry into one that continued to pay them well without having to be armed 24-7.
    By legalising production you would knock out a whopping amount of the cartels income. Their money comes from the premium prices they can charge for exporting contraband to eager US consumers. The governments should co-opt the cartels into forming their own companies. It may appal some of you but I believe the only solution is to ‘forgive’ the cartels for all the butchery and violence, rehabilitate them into happy corporations with logos and branded drugs that brings legal, taxable money into their impoverished nations and impoverished families. Some of you may scoff and think “impossible, they’re all gangsters” but I’m certain most of them would rather not be. The reason almost all businesses and corporations operate within the rules of their country is because it’s far easier for them to make money that way. If legalisation came about, you could not replace the cartels with government approved firms, you must re-assimilate them into society.
    The war on drugs hasn’t worked. Has never worked. Not once has supply or demand been halted in any meaningful manner. In every country, any man woman or child that wishes to ingest something their government has deemed ‘forbidden’ can do so. Often with very little expended effort at all. To continue this perpetual cycle of violence and horror on a principal so few people agree with is utterly wrong and morally bankrupt.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Legalization won’t solve the problem of narco squads, they won’t turn overnight into businessmen and go legit. The problem is deeper and not just dependent on Mexican society.

    The NAFTA and other globalist strategies back in the 80s and 90s basically destroyed agriculture as a means of life for entire regions in Mexico. Urban immigration soared, ‘maquiladoras’ scooped up the young work force… for a while, until companies that had left the USA for lower-paid employees in Mexico could get away with lower wages in other third world countries/eastern europe/India/China.

    Rampant corruption in the government, an institution unto itself, kept traffic on the lowdown, ‘controlled’, under the guidance of capos with ties to people in power.

    But as foreign investment dwindled, farmhands chose to risk their lives chasing the mirage of El Norte, jobs became scarcer, and even the cash cow of oil showed signs of stress, the political ambiance changed, old factions fell from power, alliances broke… and that’s what it’s transpiring now, the fact that the old factions are at war, and this means from down at the street levels with narco gangs to political forces of the highest levels. There have been some high-level actors of the political class kidnapped, attacked and dead in curious circumstances, something just unconceivable a few years ago.

    And of course, deep in the rut of the problem, besides the fact society as failed generations of young people that see no exit to their life in squalor and desperation other than a shot at a short, violent life (with a few material perks along the way) at the service of the cartels, there’s the fact that drug traffic, given the country’s geographical situation, won’t stop given the many foreign actors involved. Everybody from southamerican/european mafias to strange, ‘rogue’ agents that now and then fall from the sky on their planes, that turn out to be from shady floridian flight schools, or executive jets that are spotted out later in black sites on eastern europe, helping with renditions. Look it up.

  44. Ugly Canuck says:

    Anon #77: Register coke, meth, and heroin addicts – and give them their fix for free.
    That’s be far far cheaper, and far less bloody, then our present means of combating the evils of drug addiction.
    Marijuana of course, simply is not addictive – you have to change the accepted definition of “addiction” to claim that that is a falsehood.

    Also: tobacco is clearly the super-addictive drug, killing by far the most people: it is the circumstances in which the cocaine/meth/heroin addiction plays out that causes the most harm, and I’m not talking overdose deaths, but the violence – both by the State and by the dealers, and by users needing to get the $$$ to pay the super-high prices which prohibition has generated.

    The only reason that drugs are illegal, I suspect, is so that the secret friends of the powerful may continue to get “money for nothing”.

    Keeping these drugs illegal is precisely what the drug-dealers need to keep flourishing – as well as those hypocritical and corrupt people in Government and Law Enforcement who they cut in on their take.

    Legalize it all, wait a while, and then see what the problems are.

    It can’t be worse than what we’ve been seeing.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps you might add to your list my blog..NarcoGuerra Times http://narcoguerratimes.wordpress.com/..it predates Blog de Narco…I began it in March 2009 following my second trip to Tamaulipas, Mexico..thanks.

  46. Rayonic says:

    It’s stories like this that make me wonder about the feasibility of assimilating Mexico. Piece by piece over time, with the government’s consent (if they still have a government by that point.) We could designate a small area, move the National Guard in and lock it down and restore order. Then (if successful) announce the next territory that will be taken.

    I wonder if the announced future territories would see a mass exodus or a mass influx.

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