Tag Archives: drugs

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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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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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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drug Cartels+MX gov+American Gov=destruction

Many people argue that the head on fight against the drug cartels in Mexico is counter-productive, while the government apparently favors this method. However, a few days ago a new study was released by the Cato Institute by Dr. Ted Galen Carpenter in which he examines the ventures of the Mexican drug war and covers their failures and further research.

The title of the study is called Undermining Mexico’s Drug Cartels. This study puts it’s attention towards the consequences of the prohibition of drugs along with the argument of legalization. In addition to this, it goes over the dangers and violence blowing up just south of the U.S. border, slowly sneaking it’s way into the United States.

Often outsiders believe that the drug cartels are the only ones accountable for the violence and mass murders covering Mexico, but what’s forgotten or perhaps ignored is the indirect faults of both the Mexican and American governments.

Top international drug-war expert Sanho Tree says that cartels are not in favor of killing people because it messes up business. The case in which this happens is when they really want to occupy a certain area of land, or a city, to be in control of and have their business there, but there’s competition/another gang in the way.

The government have their hands full getting rid of the cartel competition, but those ones that are being “rid of,” as in getting arrested, or the ones that aren’t very smart in their tactics and don’t really know what they’re doing. It’s the other ones, the ones that use strategy and are creative and know what they’re doing are the ones that succeed.

When looking at it from a large perspective, Tree says this is what we can behold of Mexico these days, “state-directed efforts are selectively creating coteries of super-traffickers.”

Therefore, the whole message they are trying to get across is that using war to get rid of a drug problem is not the answer, it is ultimately catastrophic.

I did not hear about this, but apparently “the government boosts drug prices by artificially constricting supply while demand remains constant.”

But putting the cost of drugs aside, the cost of human life has been greater. This is something that cannot be ignored. The blame is on the shoulder of the drug cartels, the Mexican government, and the United States government. They all share an equal part in the violence, and they are all able to do their fair share to change their ways and their policies; to succeed not fail!

Article Source: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/re-framing-drug-violence-6159

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It’s the fat, blind, drug addicted American’s fault

My original thoughts as soon as I saw this picture were:

-the United States is sucking (in this case snorting) the life out of Mexico because its demand for drugs is a lot more important than it’s care about the lives of innocent people.

-Haha the artist made the guy fat because Americans are fat, greedy, people who only “feed” their own needs…in this particular situation, their own need for drugs

-the artist didn’t even need to put the words “U.S. drug demand” on the guy’s arm because that message is implicit. He’s already wearing a stars and stripes shirt and snorting up Mexico, which I could only assume would be the U.S.’s drug demand.

-the guy’s eye is creepy and totally not a natural, healthy looking eye, I’m not sure that he’s able to see things clearly and I’m assuming it’s because of the massive amount of intake of cocaine and other drugs. So he’s so blinded by his addiction to drugs, he does not see the implications he’s causing upon Mexico.

 

I think the artist did a fabulous job creating such a simple cartoon that says so much when one interrogates the image and points out certain observations.

Excellent illustration.

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Days and Days of the Dead

Seattle PI

Guillermo Arias / AP

Today and tomorrow (November 1-2), is what they call in Mexico “El Dia de Los Muertos,” in translation the Day of the Dead. The tradition of this Mexican national holiday includes families taking the favorite foods and drinks of those that have passed on to the cemeteries and “decorat[ing] the graves of departed relatives with marigolds, candles and sugar skulls.”

These days there are many families visiting an abundant amount of graves since “Every day is Day of the Dead now…We have 40,000 days of the dead,” said a man quoted in a Seattle PI online article.

About 40,000 people have died in the Mexican drug war and the amount of graves continue to increase.

The reporter from the previously mentioned Seattle PI article said his last visit in Mexico was the early 90’s. He talks about how there were also cartels back in those days selling cocaine and marijuana to the U.S. and there were also killings of an archbishop and a head PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) government official but globally Mexico “was not thought to be particularly violent then. There was no running tally of the dead.” Which when I thought about it, it’s absolutely true. I don’t remember hearing anything dramatic or outrageous coming from Mexico since before the drug war. Of course you have your occasional immigration stories, but I can’t recall ever thinking of Mexico as an extremely dangerous place to be.

The reporter said the country has changed dramatically since he was last there. Especially economically. In present day, “Mexican politicians can be openly pro-American at times, and Mexico is truly multinational now, with everything from Costco megastores to Ferrari dealerships.” The economy is much more successful and changing from a poor based community to a more middle class population. But they have to be careful with the whole “pro-American” thing, because if they make any wrong decision, their economy could end up like the United States, which is down in the dumps currently.

Even though there’s a positive transformation of people moving up in classes financially, there are still those young adults “who neither study nor find legitimate jobs, and may seek work or be pressed into service by drug cartels,” which is the scary part. If they could just find jobs for those kids then fewer people will have an encounter with being forced into working for the cartels.

As of now, election time is coming up in Mexico and after 10 years of having Calderon and his party (National Action Party), people seem to be ready to turn the power back to the PRI in hopes that they could pick the country back up and reform it to a violent-free state. As of now the “presumed candidate” has not said anything on his plan of action towards the drug violence.

Since I’m not fully informed on the policies and beliefs of each party, I can’t really say which one I would the think the better choice to govern the country would be, but I do hope that whoever may take the reins will responsibly uphold the importance of the nation’s well-being and take full accountability for decisions made towards this issue, and consistently work on it until it can be mostly and/or fully resolved.

Seattle PI article: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Every-day-is-Day-of-the-Dead-in-Mexico-drug-war-2242631.php#ixzz1cW1U2PVa

 

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Animations to expose drug war myths

Back in August of this year, the Mexican government decided to try to gather the support of the Mexican people in favor of fight against the drug war by using the method of animated cartoons. On the Gobierno Federal’s (Federal Government) YouTube channel, they have 10 videos dedicated to setting the record straight and exposing the false myths of the Mexican drug war, mainly the government’s role in it. 

Each video has the title with the number of the myth and the name “For the fight of security.” So for example “Third Myth for the Fight of Security.” They are mostly a  maximum of 5 minutes long with little animated characters having talk bubbles above their heads saying what the myth is and saying that it’s false, explaining the truth of what’s going on. Some of the myths include things such as: “The government has no set strategy” (concerning what to do towards the drug war), “The solution to the violence is to negotiate with the criminals,” “It was only Calderon’s decision to start the fight against the drug war,” and many more.

Here’s the video to the first myth (it’s all in Spanish, but you get the idea of what it looks like and what they’re tyring to do)

What I’ve noticed is that with each video put up, the number of views goes down. I’ve read that a lot of the Mexican people do not like or support these videos because it’s all about a media campaign and an agenda to make the government look better, not necessarily fixing the situation. What’s also interesting/funny is that they disabled their comment section, so no one is allowed to express how they feel about these animations. This makes me believe the whole “government agenda” thing even more…they have to make themselves look good.

As I discovered these cartoons, I wondered if anyone else had been making cartoons concerning this topic. I found this guy from the U.S. that does satirical political animations on a variety of issues, and he’s created two different videos, one in 2009 when the drug war started to really shine in the U.S., and one in 2010. I like these videos because I agree with what they’re saying, but a lot of people in the comments section from the U.S. were not happy, because the animator blamed a lot of things on the U.S. in terms of drug use and drug buying, etc. You should watch the videos and then read the comments, I always learn something new.

 Gringo Guns-2009

NarcoMex Inc.- 2010

To read more on this topic here are some articles to refer to:

http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/nationworld/report/080411_mexico_drugs_cartoons/cartoon-characters-take-mexicos-drug-war/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-14322001

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