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My Final analysis of the Mexican drug war

Well, this is my last posting ever since I’m finishing this school semester. If anyone out there actually read this, I hope you found something useful. I know I definitely learned a lot.

I’ve never been this in tune with a political issue before, and I like being able to know a little bit more about what’s going in the world.

I hope you enjoy this video of me singing a song that I wrote called “No Mas Sangre” in dedication to the No Mas Sangre protest movement and campaign held in Mexico to promote peace and the ending of bloodshed.

SONG WRITTEN BY MICHELLE CUE

LYRICS:

How can this have a beautiful ending

When leaders and cheaters work behind enemy lines

Children of men cower into a life of crime

While we watch from the sidelines

CHORUS: No más sangre, que me duele, cansada de llorar

 Están matando mis hermanos, robando felicidad

Tiempo es de proclamarlo , que cese la sinrazón.

  Ya en mis ojos veo rojo. Cuando va terminar?

My neighbor with their addictions

My neighbor with his ambitions

We’ll never win this war if we’re always divided

So throw in your guns

Don’t give in to submission

Our hands united as one

 Chorus

Bridge: madres sin hijos, hijos sin padres

Ohhh

 Chorus (2x)

_________________________________________________

English Translation of Chorus: No more blood because it hurts me, I’m tired of crying. They’re killing my brothers robbing them of happiness. It’s time to proclaim the ceasing of (killing) without reason. Now in my eyes I see red. When will this end?

English Translation of Bridge: Mothers without kids, and kids without fathers

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Is “Terrorism” a problem?

The countless murders, threats, gory videos showing the torture, burning, beheading, and shootings of people that are spread across the internet are all a part of what the Mexican cartels are doing. This is very similar to what they are/have been doing over there in Afghanistan, but over there it’s labeled as terrorism and over in Mexico it is not. If it’s not terrorism then what is it? According to an article by Whitney Eulich of the Christian Science Monitor it’s “variously called a criminal insurgency, narcoterrorism, simply war, and – less frequently – terrorism. Mexicans, in everyday language, call it la inseguridad (insecurity).”

The article states that Hilary Clinton last year proclaimed that Mexican drug cartels and its organizations are turning into an insurgency. “An insurgency, in security parlance, is often thought of as a step beyond terrorism, more of a mass movement of violence and crime.” Both Mexicans and Americans alike were unhappy with this comment, and President Obama declared an apology in regards to what she said. That’s interesting, why did he have to apologize? He didn’t have anything to do with her comment. Everyone knows Obama’s position on the situation, so why does he have to barge up in there? Let Hilary take care of it herself. I’m sure that was embarrassing for her to have Obama apologize when she’s the one making the claim. Plus, she’s a grown experienced politician and woman that can fight her own battles. I understand Obama was trying to “do the right thing,” but I’m sure she knows what she’s doing.

Back in August, Mexican President Calderon said that the casino attack in Monterrey was an act of “terror.” “He tweeted it, his spokesman repeated it, and then in a televised speech, he said it again. It was the first such official use of the term, and there was no domestic political backlash.” Why is it that when a woman says something about a political affair there’s almost always controversy, and then when a man says something, it’s not as frowned upon (obviously depending on the issue). But the media seem to forgive men a lot more. Of course the case could be that Calderon did not receive any backlash because he is the guy running the country that encompasses all this terror. But, it’s still a debatable case.

Apparently, what’s going on in Mexico doesn’t count as terrorism according to Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

He said that “Scholars agree, terrorism has to be political: a fundamental political change sought through violence.”

Many people feel that it’s not important to determine whether there is or there is not terrorism but to focus on what will happen once the actual word is used.

“There are obvious economic impacts associated with the terror label – such as driving tourists away – but more specific dangers exist, say experts.”

Human rights activist Florencia Ruiz Mendoza says “the term would be convenient for both governments in increasing funding to combat cartel violence, but would hurt average Mexican citizens.”

“If the cartels are terrorists that allows the Mexican government to fight back. They might release more troops throughout the country and set up more military checkpoints,” Mendoza says.

Article Source: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/can-mexicos-pervasive-drug-violence-be-considered-terrorism

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mexican cease-fire on christmas

Javier Sicilia is a Mexican poet that I’ve posted about before. He’s the guy that instigated an activist movement to work towards obtaining and spreading the message of peace (the Movement of Peace with Justice and Dignity) in Mexico ever since the Pacifico Sur cartel shooting and murdering of his son back in March.

Sicilia attended an international book fair this past weekend in Guadalajara and asked that the cartels and the Mexican government pause and have “a cease-fire” moment on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the 24th and 25th. He requests that these two entities have this break not only for the sake of Christmas and the meaning behind it, but also so they may “reflect on what they are doing, what they are doing to the country.”

He went on to say, “I ask for this truce as a momentary pause, not just in honor of Christmas, but to think about the harm we’re doing to ourselves and what those guilty of murder and corruption are doing to themselves, and the damage done by authorities who do not fulfill their obligations,” Sicilia said.   In the event, he called for all the people there take a minute of silence to commemorate all of those whom have died in the drug war and those who continue to die. Right after that is when he asked for the days of cease-fire.

Sicilia and the many other authors and writers that were with him were crying out about the irresponsibility of the government.   Writer Alejandro Rosas said something that Mexico must be very worried about is “a very incipient, very weak democracy,” and targeted the issue of the 2012 presidential elections in Mexico.   Rosas believes that the end of the world would come if the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) came back into power. This comment brought a large applause from the audience.   Along with the applause coming from this political attack, came the cheers from the attacks and criticisms targeted at President Calderon who initiated the entire all out war against the cartels and who as a result, in many people’s opinions, advanced/widened the violence in Mexico.

Writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II demanded that those at fault for the situation and contributing to Mexico’s “falling to pieces” should be identified.   He also requested that the population attempt to unify “the national discontent into a movement that will remove from power those who now hold it.”

I like that this event happened because it’s inspiring. It’s a group of authors and writers proclaiming peace and declaring something be done and have some ideas about what could be done. It’s not a group of politicians making things up or saying what the people want to hear and then do nothing about it, or add to the violence. What these writers want to do is take away from the violence and promote peace. They are fully aware that an all-out war is not going to contribute to the peace they are trying to spread. There are good people out there trying to do good things, if only people would listen. I’m curious to see if Sicilia’s request will be fulfilled…if the violence will stop for those two Christmas days. At this point all one can do about the situation is continue to spread peace, and hope that things will somehow get better. As well as Mexicans taking a good look at the politicians’ issues and figuring out who may have the best plan to end this headstrong battle.

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The children continue to suffer

An article in Latino Fox News talks about the suffering and victimization of young Mexican students now attending school in Texas.

They have a lot of psychological issues since they have grown up for over 6 years now in a war zone because of the Mexican drug war.

Even though they are mostly free of physical dangers they still have many emotional issues to work through.

One of the classes they take involve a victimization course in which educators teach about the psychological stages of a mind that has suffered from violence.

But these youth understand and have gone through these stages many, many times and don’t need a constant reminder since they are living through it everyday.

One of the 17-year-old students, Alan Garcias, declared to his classroom crying, “I’ve been through all three stages: impact, recoil, reorganization of my life. My mom goes in and out of recoil stage.”

These troubling times for these students have been a problem in their academic studies that it’s led to some Texas school districts having to provide classes and counseling they teach in the military, since those in the military have been through similar experiences.

Officials aren’t keeping track of the students troubled by the violence on the border seeking help or counseling, but it involves kids from border cities that go to the U.S. for schooling as well as those that have already moved to Texas to go to school.

It’s really sad because many families are afraid to reach out and seek help because they think that if they talk to counselors they would be identified by the criminals that are trying to harm them. So parents encourage their kids to not speak about their issues.

“The emotional difficulties affect them ‘in many areas of academic performance,’ said Alma Leal, professor of counseling at the University of Texas at Brownsville and coordinator for counseling and guidance of the Brownsville Independent School District. They suffer from poor discipline, lack any sense of security and fear losing loved ones.”

One of the courses taught as I mentioned earlier that deals with victimization, also explains how children and teens can talk about their experiences. Keeping those thoughts and feelings inside are not healthy for children.

Counselors have been teaching these classes utilizing the same skills they learned to counsel children of military parents.

“Children fleeing from the cross-border violence and those whose parents have been in combat share issues like separation or loss of a parent, she said. But unlike military children, those coming from Mexico have sometimes been exposed to violence or been victims themselves.”

The issue that they are battling is that the entire community doesn’t understand the importance of helping the children. They are simply “tackling the problem, but we are not solving it.” (<<<Alvaros)

Read the article about this issue here: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2011/11/28/students-survive-mexican-drug-war-but-struggle-with-emotions-in-texas-schools/#ixzz1f7ybHleX

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Countess of Wemyss sees drug war as driving force behind campaign

I came across a Scottish newspaper online called “Scotland on Sunday” covering a variety of topics including politics.

The specific article I read covered the ideas, opinions, and ongoing campaign of a countess of Wemyss, Amanda Fielding, who lives in one of the “finest stately homes” in Scotland…in the Gosford House.

According to Wikipedia, “Feilding has long had interest in exploring different ways of modulating consciousness for the benefit of the individual and society.”

She’s mainly known as a scientist and drug policy reformer.
She’s done unique things to study her interests, such as trepanation, LSD studies on consciousness, and further psychedelic research projects.

Her scientific career has brought her to the founding and directing of the Beckley Foundation. “A charitable trust. The Foundation both works at the forefront of national and international global drug policy reform and initiates and directs research into consciousness and its altered states.” (Wikipedia)

She is interested in the Mexican drug war because she wants to campaign for the legalization of certain drugs to stop the crime and chaos happening in Mexico.

She has a large following of famous names such as Laureates, scientists, nobel prize winners, ex-presidents, and even some celebrities that support her fight and joined her foundation.

However, her fight for this specific cause is not only for Mexico, but for the “War on Drugs” all around the world in different countries battling these policies.

The articles quotes her saying, “I have seen what terrible damage drugs do in the world – what terrible suffering it causes…It is probably the issue that causes more suffering in the world, which could be greatly lessened by better handling. Because of the taboo that has grown up about drugs, politicians around the world are not willing to discuss it.”

All the destruction and corruption she see from the Mexican drug war is her main reason behind the campaigning in her Beckley Foundation.

She’s quoted saying, “Mexico is really in a state of war, because the Americans buy the drugs for guns. These cartels are amazingly well armed and have billions of dollars to hide away and wash in different ways. Keeping drugs criminalised isn’t the way to go, because there are now millions of people in jail for drug-related offences – mainly little fish, like users and small-time dealers and, in my opinion, we should not treat drug use as a crime, if there is no other crime attached.”

She thinks it’s a good idea for the UK government to take certain steps (which I will list) to decriminalize drugs in their own land, then see to it that the rest of the struggling countries follow this example.

She would like them (UK gov) to “license the production of cannabis.” She thinks that if licensed growers can take care of the of the ingredients and make sure there are no insecticides or harmful products, then it would be a more regulated and safe market, and they could tax the drugs a large amount of money, because if it’s too low then it might have it’s consequences. (The italics is my own opinion.)

She also mentioned,  “Some people maybe prefer cannabis to alcohol and cannabis is less harmful medically than alcohol. Most people suffer nothing from its use and on the whole probably drop the habit in their 30s when they get married and have children – not all but most people do.”

She really believes policy makers should be those who have tried the drugs themselves so that they understand why people, especially youth have experimented with them and find them beneficial instead of instantly judging them negatively and seeing them as without having morals/standards.

Although many others have had a very similar plan to hers, it seems as though hers is very popular and has some kind of influence….in Europe anyways.

As far as her campaign reaching Mexico’s authorities, we do not know if it ever will.

The comments from the blog were quite interesting and varied, you should click on the link below for the full article and comment section.

http://www.scotsman.com/scotland-on-sunday/politics/countess_courts_rich_and_famous_to_end_drug_war_1_1987325

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Cartels threaten voters’ lives

Drug cartels have been trying to change the votes of Mexican citizens by threatening that their houses be burned and their families killed inside them. They did not want the PRD party to be one of the final candidates so they made phone calls to Morelia (a state capital) threatening them with these attacks also saying that if anyone mentions this threat they will all be killed.

Well, it turns out that the PRD candidate was unsuccessful in getting voted, and he proclaims it was the cartels’ fault.

However, there are still other candidates that are standing for the freedom of voting and saying that they will continue to encourage citizens to vote who they please…that is one right they (cartels) cannot take away from the people.

I guess we’ll see how all of that turns out this coming year in the official election in 2012.

I’m not sure if the Mexican inhabitants are totally convinced by the cartels or by the government. In the end people choose what they want to do…which may result in death, which may not. It’s really unfortunate that even for something so small as voting for someone can be a threat to their life.

Meanwhile, the United States is worried about its own election, where the candidates don’t have much to say about this entire issue.

It’s an odd thought for me as an American in present day to have a censorship on voting.

I suppose if this were over 90 years ago, I would have not been able to vote since I’m a woman.

But thankfully I’m not living in that era.

And thankfully my life is not threatened if I want to vote for a specific person or party.

I’m extremely fortunate to have many freedoms. Now if only the drug abusers in the U.S. that also possess many of those freedoms will think about the freedoms (or lack of) of those innocent people in Mexico.

But it doesn’t seem likely.

 

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What did old articles say?

So just for the heck of it, I decided to look up older articles about the Mexican drug war to see if they were saying anything different back then to what people are saying now. But to my surprise, I discovered a lot of the same comments and opinions.

I looked up two different articles. One from 1997 and the other from 1999 and both located in the New York Times online. They are both opinion pieces and very short, but that’s what i wanted. Something that just shared what they thought over 10 years ago about the issue quick and straight to the point.

The first one from February 28, 1997 is a letter to the editor. This person touches upon drug certification and that the government uses that as an excuse to blame others and not focus on their own intelligence capabilities, or in this case, failures in Mexico

I was unsure what they meant by drug certification so I looked it up and in a different article it says,

“In early 1997 and again in 1998, the Clinton administration set off a firestorm on Capitol Hill with its drug certification decisions, which rate the anti-narcotics efforts of other countries. Members of Congress scurried to release ever longer lists of detailed demands on Mexico, and to see who could champion the largest package of arms and training for the military and police in Colombia. We deserve more than a repeat performance from lawmakers in the years ahead.

Congress should end the drug certification requirement. The policy has been an ineffective tool for drug control, and it has undermined other important U.S. interests in the Western Hemisphere.”

The quote above comes from this website here: http://www.fpif.org/reports/drug_certification

So now that I’m informed on what drug certification is, this makes more sense. It’s just like what’s going on with the ATF and their numerous unorganized operations. The intelligence agencies have a terrible reputation when it comes to the drug war in Mexico.

The piece said, ” General Gutierrez was arrested on Feb. 6 and the Administration only learned of it two weeks later. Where were the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Central Intelligence Agency? A thorough reorganization of the United States’ antidrug effort in Mexico is needed.”

Yep, that definitely sounds like something someone would say these days as well. The times may change but the government and its organizations doesn’t.

The link for that piece is here: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/02/28/opinion/l-mexico-drug-war-exposes-us-intelligence-gap-854565.html

The next piece was a regular opinion article written February 15, 1999, just two years after the previously mentioned article.

This one started out with “Mexican officials recently unveiled a $400 million high-tech anti-narcotics strategy billed as a ”total war” on drug trafficking.”

So it reveals Mexico’s plan saying that this was no surprise. Then it moves on to also criticize drug certification and blame the U.S. for it’s ridiculous need for drugs.

Well doesn’t this all sound familiar? That’s because it is.

Mexico still has its “anti-narcotics strategy” that costs millions of dollars, and the U.S. still has an immense hunger for illegal drugs. Nothing has changed except the drug certification. That’s not used anymore…and if it is in some cases,  it’s not made a big deal.

The link to this article is here: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/02/15/opinion/judging-the-mexican-drug-war.html

So, it’s unbelievable to think from over 10 years ago to now, we are still stuck in the same predicament…except it’s continuously getting worse. More deaths, more money being spent, more need for illegal drugs. Corruption and travesty. Such a sad ordeal.

These articles and many of the opinion pieces today still stand by the fact that Mexico and the U.S. are to be equally blamed for this, just as my mission statement claims.

Stop doing drugs!

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