Tag Archives: drug dealer

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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Leftist presidential Candidate’s stance on drug war

 

Marcelo Ebrard is the Mayor of Mexico City and is running in the 2012 Mexican presidential election. He says that if he were to be elected president he would take out the country’s military from the drug cartel fight and discuss with policymakers from the U.S. on how they can improve laws regarding narcotics in both countries.

He proclaims that the relationship between certain drugs like marijuana consumption and the fabrication and distributing of it are “schizophrenic.”

It isn’t logical according to him that “the United States is legalizing marijuana and we’re over here killing ourselves on the street over marijuana.” He backs up his claim by saying that the legalization of marijuana in California has reduced illegal drug dealing and drug related conflicts and misdemeanors.

He goes on to say, “We need to have a common policy with the United States, because if not, we have a schizophrenic scheme that is very costly for Mexico.”

He reported his stance on this particular issue at an interview at City Hall, where on the same day the government released a book, published by the government, glorifying all of Mayor Ebrard’s successes throughout his term as Mayor in certain areas like environment and transportation.

This book along with his unique stance on popular issues in Mexico will support his effort to make his name known nationally throughout Mexico where most voters don’t know who he is.

The only thing standing in his way is the former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. He, unlike Ebrard, is popular and well-known throughout the nation, and is well-favored even when people ragged on him for not respecting Calderon when he took office.

By the end of this week, polls will tell who will become the next leftist candidate that will run in the 2012 Mexican presidential election. It could be Ebrard…it could be Obrador.

Going back to the issue at hand, he declares he would take the military out of the streets and create “state police forces that could tackle trafficking and corruption locally. He’d also seek to reform the judicial system.”

This is something completely different than Calderon’s current and future plans for the security and drug issue. He wants the military to stay “on the job” until the existing local and state police forces have been evaluated and rid of their corrupted officers, traitors and instigators of harm to the innocent Mexican civilians.

Calderon did, however, win “approval of a judicial reform bill in 2008 that, among other things, would bring U.S.-style oral trials to Mexico.” All other reform plans though have been held up by a disobliging Congress.

At this point, in my opinion, I would like to see Mexico get Calderon out of office. See if any positive change could happen from a different person occupying the king’s throne, but I don’t know if Ebrard would be the right guy to do that, since I don’t know any of his other stances on policies/issues.

I’m not completely hating on Calderon either. I will commend him on the economy improving significantly since he’s been in office, but a breath of fresh air from Calderon sounds nice.   

Article Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2011/11/mexico-city-mayor-drug-war.html

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Wanted: Texan kids for Mexican drug gang

El Paso County Sheriff patrolman Manny Marquez talked to students about the efforts by Mexican drug cartels to lure young people into their organizations.-Rudy Gutierrez/El Paso Times

“Texas law enforcement officials say several Mexican drug cartels are luring youngsters as young as 11 to work in their smuggling operations,” reports Jim Forsyth from Reuters news.

This first sentence made my heart stop. I mean it’s obvious that they would do this for reasons such as children being easy to control, especially for small amounts of money, and they’re not immediately sought after as suspects, and there’s a significantly smaller scope of consequences for them if they were to be detained, but it’s still a scary thought. As soon as I read that, I pictured my adorable, innocent 11 year old niece; and to think that she could be lured into the hands of the drug cartels is something I would not want to ever encounter.

The drug cartels named these little children, “The Expendables.” How appropriate. Sounds exactly like something they would do to these children…easily dispose of them.

The director of the Texas Department of Public Safety said that evidence has been found from 6 different Mexican drug gangs of “command and control centers” spread throughout Texas, so to speak “enlisting” children to perform simple odd jobs for them for small amounts of cash. To me that’s kind of like, geez they have legitimate centers up and running now? I’m pretty sure it takes some time and planning to set up a center such as this. I don’t exactly know how investigators work, but do they not see any sign of this kind of suspicious activity? Perhaps they’re not looking hard enough, or the drug gangs are just extra sneaky.

The director said they found and arrested 25 minors in just one county this year for “running drugs, acting as lookouts, or doing other work for organized Mexican drug gangs. The cartels are now fanning out, he said, and have operations in all major Texas cities.” All major cities…alright, now this is close to me, and it’s only going to spread and get worse. This is becoming more and more dangerous for a larger amount of people and for some reason it’s becoming more and more difficult to stop this… there’s something we (and Mexico) aren’t doing.

I also wonder things like, do these kids really care about the money? I’m trying to analyze the situation to get a better understanding of how kids put their selves in these predicaments. Like are these kids really poor and feel like they have to do this to take care of their family? Or do they just want a place to fit in? Do they think it’s cool or fun? Or are they forced into it by being threatened to be killed and such? I can’t put myself in that state of mind to understand why I would make myself ever want to be a part of the illegal acts of a drug gang. I just feel really sorry for these kids, they should have the opportunity to live for a brighter future, but instead they’re getting themselves in trouble at a very early age, and it seems almost unfair for them.

The director went on to say that this month “we made an arrest of a 12-year-old boy who was in a stolen pickup truck with 800 pounds of marijuana.” Seriously? That is insane! I hope someone else is as blown away by this as I am. I would like to know, where are these kids’ parents? It drives me crazy when parents and kids don’t communicate. It’s so sad when parents don’t know how to take care of their own child. And occasionally you find those parents that are aware of what’s going on, but they’ll act stupid or clueless, because they don’t want to get involved. It just breaks my heart.

But at least U.S. Customs and Border Protection are doing something about this. They set up a program called “Operation Detour” in which they go to schools and community centers to inform and caution both kids along with parents about these current events and the hazards of the recruiting of young children into Mexican drug gang job offers.

The article ends with the latest released report saying that these Mexican drug gangs are creating a safe sector “’intimidating landowners’ in south Texas into allowing them to use their property as ‘permanent bases’ for drug smuggling activity.”

I’d like to know what they intend on doing about that. It’s nice they released a report and all, but now what…you know about it, ok what course of action will you take? This is happening in Texas, in cities all over, I want to make sure I’m going to be safe, because now this is directly affecting me, and my family, friends, and neighbors around me.

Article Source: http://news.yahoo.com/mexican-drug-cartels-recruiting-texas-children-173402030.html

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53% of high schoolers are not interested in the drug war

This past week I created a survey and asked my mom, a high school teacher in Houston, to pass out the survey to all her students. The survey creating program I used (survey monkey) collected the first 100 responses and organized the data into percentages for each question. Some of the results left me surprised, while others did not. (The title of this post only refers to the 100 students I surveyed).

I will analyze each of the 9 total questions in this report.

Question 1 is a type of question that will vary throughout socioeconomic classes as well as different demographic characteristics of the population.

Questions 2 and 3 correlate together. At first I was a little skeptical that only 5% of kids out of 100% said they used drugs but when I discovered the results of question 3, I found that 64.3% knew someone that used drugs. So those two results together make more sense, even though there’s only these 5% that are high school users, there’s still another 63 kids (out of 100) that know of family or friends that are using. Seems a little more accurate.

Question 4 I was forgetful in adding the number zero. So most of the kids that didn’t see zero either put 1-2 or skipped the question. This was my fault, therefore this statistic may be somewhat inaccurate under the 1-2 option. However, I was amazed that the 7 or more option would have one second place in the “how many people do you know that uses illegal drugs” category. 24 kids knew 7 or more people where as compared to the 5-6 with only 7 and the 3-4 not far behind with 21, that blows my mind. Because this means that kids either know no one or they know a lot of people. The options in between or fuzzy. So it’s just a wild thought.

Question 5… I’m not surprised. This would seem more accurate to me since I’d believe a lot of high schoolers aren’t going to be dealing or be in constant contact with a dealer.

Question 6 was to see if the younger crowd/generation has any knowledge of what’s going in the world today. Especially since we live in Texas, I was curious if they knew of an issue that’s happening so close to us.I’m glad to find that there was a large percent of kids that knew about it.

Question 7 I did something a little different. I had asked kids to type in their own free response to the question “What do you know about it?”

Here I will paste some of the answers I found interesting:

“People are doing anything they can to get drugs over the border across to the US, they have been putting drugs into dogs and animals and bring them over. They also kill others and their families in order to bring them over.”

” All i know is that it’s dangerous with people shooting others and stuff like that i think… ”

” There is drugs and its a big deal? ”

” People die all the time. they take prisoners and put them in fights to the death, and the winners have to go out and shoot as many people as possible until they get shot. also, they kill journalists. ”

” not much. my dad just talks about it sometimes because he works in Mexico ”

” Americans are buying drugs. ”

“I’ve heard that the people that bring the drugs over the boarderare usually poor and are just trying to make some extra cash.”

” There are brutal drug cartels that are responsible for smuggling drugs as well as many murders. In some cases inoccent tourists or itnernet bloggers have even been murdered just to be made an example of. Smuggling drugs is a huge felony and getting contraban into the country has become a very big issue for the U.S. and Mexico. ”

” That it’s happening. (?) ”

” That the native people of Mexico are smuggling drugs to the United states and other countries.”

” They cut off people’s heads and hang them from trees. ”

” I SMOKE IT! ”

” I know that it is sold for lots of money. I know the people that use it get bad grades, and usually don’t care about anything. I know that people who use them probably won’t be successful in the future. ”

” NOTHING (: ”

And many more were posted but I cannot post them all. These were just the ones that stuck out to me. Some of them were informed, some did not make any sense in relation to the drug war, and some were clueless. I noticed out of all the responses, the majority had no clue of the happenings of the drug war. But at least I did my part through this survey, to hopefully interest them in learning more about it. Some kids gave me internet responses, such as what it was from Wikipedia or other sites. So that means they took the time to learn what it was at least.

Question 8 I tried to make them aware of the fact that America plays a large part of the drug war in Mexico…that’s it not simply Mexico creating this mess.

And Question 9 I really wanted to see if young people care about this issue. And the result cut it close, but it turns out that more youth do not really care about the drug war. It’s sad to think this is our future. They don’t care about something that we are a part of… this means that they will continue to do drugs, go on with their lives, they will continue to be uneducated on these matters, and nothing will be resolved.

 

 

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Don’t Get Too Comfortable

By clicking the image above, you will be directly linked to a video on CBS News website called ” Mexican Pres. Calderon on drug war, immigration.” 

President Calderon visited the “Early Show” a few weeks ago and talked about the type of action we, Mexico together with the United States, need to take in order to slowly stop this war on drugs.

40,000 deaths have occurred in Mexico since 2006 (6 times more than the deaths of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan),  and the steps Calderon has undertaken have not helped stop the cartels, but have helped increase the country’s economy. This  includes more opportunites for young people to receive higher education, better jobs in hospitals,and Mexico has in total, created approximately 800,000 new jobs, which as a result has decreased immigration into the United States down to almsot 0% in the last year.

This is quite an impressive feat for Mexico, however the headlines are not showing these accomplishments, they are more focused towards the mass murders and destruction of the drug cartels. This is something that the United States needs to be more cooperative with and collaborate more as well, according to Calderon.

Therefore, there is an increasing amount of success economically for Mexico, but there’s also an increasing amount of suffering, killings, and devastation from the ongoing drug war.

So, it’s not a good idea for Calderon and Mexico to get too comfortable with their achievements just yet, and the United States shouldn’t be content with the decreased immigration rate either, because there is still a lot of drug usage, drug dealing, and desolation as well.

Problems both countries mutually need to work out.

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Flores-Drug Lord Captured

Drug Lord CapturedOn CNN.com yesterday (Sept 19th) at 5:07PM the article a “Major Mexican drug lord captured” was released revealing the capture of one of the major drug lords, Jose Carlos Moreno Flores, also nicknamed “The Fever”. Flores’s drug cartel is located in Guerra, right next to the popular beach in Acapulco, which is pretty crazy for me to think about since I’ve heard all this talk on the radio this past summer about American’s different opinions on vacationing and touring in Mexico, specifically in Acapulco. Everyone had something different to say emitting emotions of fear, worry, and concern over the safety of the area, whereas others had no problem with the idea of that dangerously surrounded environment.

The article goes on to say that catching Flores was a big feat because of his close tie to the biggest drug lord of all time, Joaquin Guzman. Their relationship is vaguely described as Flores acting as his lieutenant. Reading further into it they mention the appearance of Guzman’s name in the Forbes Magazine list of the world’s most powerful people, claiming his spot at number 60, worth $1 billion. In my opinion, that’s a ridiculous thing to do, because it seems as if they are endowing him with special recognition, as if the way he makes his money is something noble or something worth noticing world-wide. He’s using blood money to get to this powerful position, and by adding his name to this list, it might lead some ignorant people to believe that this is something that Mexico is proud of…something worth paying attention to.

Moving on, the article explains the following about Guzman saying, “Mexico’s top drug kingpin lord, who’s reportedly 54, was captured in Guatemala in 1993, but escaped eight years later.” I’m not sure if I may be over thinking this, but that seems a little fishy to me. He was locked up for 8 whole years and suddenly escapes? How long had he been planning his escape, and more importantly planning his ultimate dominion of the mexican drug cartels? He obviously had people helping him prepare and carry out his plan of action outside of prison, and maybe even inside the prison as well! The latter is just me thinking cynically, but realistically as well, since the “prison escape” story has been repeated time and time again.

Continuing, “The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of Guzman.” At first I was skeptical of this plan of action on the United States part, but when delving into the heart of the situation you have to think about who’s going to give Guzman’s location away, and how much it would require for them to do that (their asking price). It only makes sense that his collegues and operatives are the ones that know of his location, and those guys must be swimming in money, so $5 million seems somewhat reasonable for that very cause.

To wrap it up, they explain the increase of violence in the Chilpancingo area because of the Sinaloa Cartel (led by Flores) fighting a “turf war” with a rival cartel named “Los Rojos” (The Red Ones). They caught Flores and his followers in possession of “high-caliber weapons, communication equipment and one unspecified vehicle.” This capture consists of only a small percentage of all the drug cartels out there. But at least slowly but surely, we are making some form of progress everytime some villain is captured.

CNN source: http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/19/world/americas/mexico-drug-lord/index.html?iref=allsearch

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What’s your perception?

Since the beginning of the “War on Drugs” and until it ends, if it will ever end, many will ask the question: are U.S. drug users the ones to blame for the fueling of Mexico’s violence? In a report commentated by Peter O’Dowd of Marketplace Public Radio, on June 15, 2011, he shares the accounts of different individuals from very unique backgrounds from a drug screening facility in Phoenix, Arizona, on their views of U.S. drug users in direct relation to the violence in Mexico.

A statistic indicated in the expose stated that according to a study done by the World Health Origination, out of 17 countries surveyed, the United States use drugs such as marijuana and cocaine more often than any other country in the study.

From this assessment, we hear from O’Dowd’s first encounter, Barbara Zugor, the director of the drug screening center. She believes that “there will probably be drugs and drug abuse in this country” for all time if we can’t figure out why is it that Americans have the need to abuse drugs. Her perspective seems just as they affirm in the report, “philosophical,” more worried on the why (is this an issue), the how (can we better the issue), and the what (will happen if this issue never resolves itself).

His second interviewee, is not named because he is a drug dealer. From this guy’s account, we recognize that drug dealers are foolish yes, but brainless, not at all, for a couple reasons. They know there is a lot of demand for their product so they make quick cash, however they also the dangers and the repercussions of what they’re doing plain and simple. This drug dealer himself said, “I think that Mexicans are getting a bad rap. And while a lot of the stuff is coming across the border, it’s our demand that’s pushing it here. It’s like stop the demand, you’ll stop the flow.” His perception is very cut and dry; he’s not worried about the philosophy of it all.

His last interview is with a Phoenix drug user, remaining nameless as well. Her case is a special one since she began smoking pot after she was diagnosed with cancer and the Arizona medical marijuana law had changed. She now purchases it illegally since she does not have the proper/legal authorization to smoke it. When providing her thoughts on the matter she said, “One of the guilt parts that I have over using the marijuana is what’s going on in Mexico. I don’t want to feel that what I’m having to do for my health is hurting somebody else.” Her perception is that of guilt, as a contributing contender to the whole mess that’s going on, she feels she is a small piece of the problem; which in reality, she absolutely is.

The last line of the report that still blows my mind no matter how many times or how many different way I may hear it, says, “All those little drug sales, all over America, add up to as much as $39 billion each year that heads south across the border.” That is remarkable.

So from these three different stances on the subject, one has to think which side of the perception spectrum are they on. Do you want to think more philosophically about the topic and see how you can help better the problem? Do you want to be the guy that knows the facts cut and dry but still not care about the situation? Or do you want to have that guilty conscience, knowing what you’re doing is negatively affecting the nation in which you live, along with those nations of other innocent people?

Article: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/06/15/pm-are-us-drug-users-to-blame-for-mexican-border-violence/

Audio of article: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/www_publicradio/tools/media_player/popup.php?name=marketplace/pm/2011/06/15/marketplace_cast1_20110615_64&starttime=00:22:09.0&endtime=00:26:33.0

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