Tag Archives: government

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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Famous Mexican Hitman

El Sicario is a well-known hitman working in Mexico to kill all sorts of people. Criminals, beautiful women, guys that didn’t pay back their loans, and even guys that did pay back their loans. He’s been working for a Mexican drug cartel for years, and in an interview with Michael Bowden he discusses his life as a professional assassin.
“The sicario sits in a chair, in the same motel room where he  used to hold his kidnap victims and torture them. He has a black felt pen and a large sketch pad. As he tells his stories, he makes primitive diagrams or lists to emphasize his points.”
There is no escaping from this hitman. He’s very skilled, strategic, smart and knows a lot of people. And when it’s time to capture and/or kill a victim, “the police will have been told in advance to make themselves scarce.”
It’s so scary to think that nothing can stop these people. Even the police are afraid of them. Are they going to take over the world? Like really what can anyone do to stop them? We’ve seen this repeated several times like in Argentina, Colombia, and other countries and eventually  each one has died down. But now that this specific war is getting extremely close to the United States, it seems like nothing will stop them. Everyone thinks that legalization of drugs will make things better, but I don’t really see that being the case. People want things they can’t really have. The new, more dangerous illegal drug will come around and people will hunger for it and not care as much for marijuana or cocaine. I don’t believe legalization will solve this issue.

The sicario (in spanish meaning hitman), started out working for the Juarez cartel in his highschool years, and since then has only gotten better at what he does.  After highschool he decided to enter the police academy although he was only eligible in one of the 5 areas he was required to know.

“The academy taught him many skills – surveillance, interrogation, how to use weapons, etc., that made him a better and deadlier criminal.
By the time he graduated, 50 members of his class of 200 were already on the payroll of the narcos. He says that the narcos are present in every institution and at every level of society.”

It is just unbelievable that they just let this guy in like it’s no big deal. You can see what a corrupt organization they’re running. Reading from the actual interview itself, the hitman said the MAYOR of Juarez was the one that got him into the police academy!
I just can’t comprehend what’s going through the minds of people…not just the police academies, or government, but everyone in general. Why did this even start?
Most people would blame it on the U.S. It started for their craving for illegal drugs, however, it doesn’t mean that Mexicans (narcos) had to turn into criminals and start serving the needs of the U.S. citizens. I just hate when people don’t do the right thing. We’re all born with a right and wrong sense…how can they live the lifestyle they know is wrong? It drives me crazy…where is the good in people?
There must be other ways to make money than this dangerous and violent lifestyle.
The assassin said it was an “easy” way to live. Had nothing to do with his childhood or the way he was raised. How can killing people be an easy way to live?
I don’t care if the cartels are swimming in large piles of money, I would hope your morality as an individual and a clean conscience should count for something, but apparently I’m wrong. Living in filth is the cool thing to do.
How much happiness can the cartel’s money really buy? The sensation of power can only go so far when you realize no one truly loves or cares about you. I could rant for hours on end about this…I’m an extremely moral person, if that makes sense.
If any family member tells the police of loved ones kidnapping when they are threatened not too, the cartels immediately find out and will kill anyone in that family and anyone that gets in their way.
The original article that I found this interview on is from an online Canadian newspaper. The individual that wrote this had a lot of compassion towards the  people of Mexico and seemed angered towards the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board and the Minister of the board.  She wishes she could make the Minster and others on the board watch the documentary about this Sicario interview to stir up some kind of compassion about the Mexicans that had been seeking refuge in Canada.
She believes that if Mexicans say they are afraid for their safety and their lives that people should not doubt them right away.

“A CP story on the CBC website says that in 2005, 3,400 Mexicans made refugee claims in Canada. In 2009 there were 9,400 claims (remarkably close to the number of people killed that year, which was 9,600, according to a Mexican government report quoted by Democracy Now.)
But it seems that Canadian government officials didn’t look for an explanation for this increase (here’s a potential one: Mexican president Calderon brought the army into the “war on drugs” in January 2008. ).”

But apparently now the Canadian government chose that Mexicans require a visa to visit Canada because they believe that “Mexican requests are not serious.”

“The same CP story on the CBC website goes on to say: “Asylum claims from Mexico decreased 90 per cent in 2010 compared to 2009,” Ana Curic said in an email to The Canadian Press. “That has saved taxpayers $400 million.”
Of course, it’s nice to save money, but did we do it at the cost of someone’s life?”

It’s a bummer that now Canada has decided to get harsh on immigration like the U.S. has started to. It seems like no one is able to help the innocent Mexican people. I hate that I feel helpless, I can’t do anything except sit here and blog about it.

I have not seen the documentary about El Sicario, Room 164, but I definitely plan on it.

Maybe some miracle will happen and the innocent people will be saved, but for now, they’re in desperate need of help.

Article Source: http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2011/11/19/ridm-2011-a-very-dark-side-of-mexico-el-sicario-room-164/

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Calderon, a man of many suits

Mexican cartoonists Antonio Helguera and Jose Hernandez created the above cartoon of President Calderon wearing a variety of suits for his different “special occasions.” By the descriptions of each one, it sounds like these suits are not very appealing to the Mexican people. No doubt that making fun of the president in this way shows that the Mexican populace has lost confidence in him. Calderon initiated the head on military fight against the drug cartels but he does not have the full support of his country. How is the drug war supposed to get any better if Mexican people can’t believe in their own President? Perhaps Calderon should stop the acting, take off all these costumes, and take things at a different angle…listen to what his nation is telling him.

 

I plan to more or less translate into English each description underneath the cartoons of Calderon and analyze why I believe the cartoonists wrote it.

 

1.) Well, to start off, the Mickey Mouse character caught my eye first. The caption directly underneath it says, something along the lines of Very Tight Pants, Very High Pants, or Well Swaddled Pants.

 

Description: designed especially to receive high authority/ranking  officiality from the U.S. government.

 

Analysis: My way of looking at it is it seems like Calderon wears the pants, he’s the boss here. And his pants are so tight, it’s like to say he’s got the balls to say certain things, or he’s got the guts to because he blames everybody else using their first and last name.

He even blamed the U.S. government about the crisis of the cartels in his country to the point that President Obama personally had to pay him a visit in Mexico to clarify things. So he’s got the tight pants, because he’s got some nerve.

 

2.) The next one to the left is the burglar looking character of Calderon. The title says “Model Chompiras,” meaning little thief or good for nothing.

 

Description:  This fine suit inspired by the ideologies of the PAN party, is the one that Calderon used when he took over the presidency.

 

Analysis: People in Mexico use “Chompiras” for slang to refer to Calderon when they want to say he is good for nothing. Chompiras was a little thief on a television show back in the 70’s in Mexico. But every time he wanted to commit a crime, everything would go wrong, so he was bad at being a thief. So I’m thinking that means the people think that Calderon is such a  “good for nothing” that he even sucks at being at thief.

 

3.) The next one to the left is the Doctor suit. The title is “Doctor’s Coat.”

 

Description: this design was created for very special occasions when Calderon needs to show an air of authority like new measures against the common cold or announce when a lady that was raped by soldiers in reality had gastritis.

Analysis: So, I believe the idea is that he got into power to be the doctor of Mexico’s illnesses. He was going to cure all of Mexico’s sicknesses. But actually the only thing he really does is take measures against little problems, the big ones are still there.

In real life, he’s given a speech about the drug war where he’s metaphorically worn a doctor’s coat. I will paste a small passage from an online news article that talks about this speech. It’s all in spanish but if you use google translator most of it makes sense…which is actually what I did. So below you can read some of it.

 

Here’s the link to a news article addressing this speech.

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/columnas/71965.html

 

Calderónmetaphorically put a white coat to speak of the famous war against drugs.

He responds well to Javier Moreno of the country on whether imagined the magnitude of the problem:

‘When I came to the presidency, his reach was no longer tenable. I got to the theater knowing that the patient had a very serious condition, but when opened, we realized it was invaded by many places and had to heal at any cost.

At first strange parallelism. Well, in war and there is blood in the operating room, right? Sometimes a lot … And dead, as we have in Mexico.

Still, Dr. Calderon is confident that the patient-country-cancer drug save.

Note: you did not say that we are winning but not enough, famous phrase from his attorney, assistant operation, Eduardo Medina Mora. The diagnosis of the chief surgeon of the nation state is less optimistic: we will win, he says. When? What cost? After many chemotherapies, radiation, operations? Who knows?

-By Katia D´ Artigues
16 June 2008

 

So Calderon, to sum it up, believes that Mexico has the right strategy and the exact cure and will of course win this war, while others continue question.

4.) The following cartoon down is the image of Calderon in a Catholic priest outfit. This title says something like: Cassock for the Gala. A cassock is “an item of clerical clothing, is an ankle-length robe worn by clerics of the Roman Catholic Church.” (wikipedia)

 

Description: Perfect when there are events organized by the Vatican. But the Pope doesn’t feel like coming.

 

Analysis: The picture here is that Calderon is very moralist (in his speeches). He tends to preach (to the Mexicans) just like the priests would do to a congregation.

 

He has the custom/tendency to preach to the Mexican people in different public acts as if they were all Catholic. He talks about the Virgin Guadalupe, the Pope, and he quotes Bible verses thinking that all Mexicans are Catholic and belong to his “flock.” But he obviously doesn’t know his own country at all, for not all of them profess the faith of Catholicism.

 

I’m going to post a portion of a blog post from a Mexican woman who was angered by a speech Calderon gave about Catholicism representing the Mexican people.

Once again, it was all in Spanish, but I used google translator to turn it into English.

 

After all, many Mexicans, most Mexicans, the Lady of Guadalupe is a sign of identity and unity. We Guadalupe, independently, dare I say, much of the faith, beliefs and non beliefs and, of course, it is for those who profess the Catholic faith, who certainly brings this image as representative of Mexico and the Mexicans. He stressed that the Basilica is a place full of significant events since the appearance of the Virgin to Juan Diego, landmark religious, social integration factor of national unity and cultural diversity “(presidencia.gob.mx).

Who has told so blessed official, who can claim the right to consider ourselves professing the same religion, in this case Catholicism, as if we were his flock?

Obviously, it continues without being in his right mind. He forgot that there are figures in the various percentages of believers, a number of religions and even freethinkers or atheists, we add a not insignificant number whose status is attributed not pleasant nor edifying us.

He continued in his exalted sermon (sorry, in his address substance) noting that:

“… The design is inspired by the papal coat of John Paul II, who is fondly remembered by Mexicans for his message of peace we need.”

Unfortunately I lost the link to this blog, but if I do end up finding it, I’ll edit it into this post.

 

But this lady’s strong opinion absolutely has some truth in it. Calderon seems to have the fame of being more of a Pope than the real Pope and more be a better Virgin Mary than the actual Virgin Mary, bringing his Catholic religion to the spot light in every opportunity that he can.

 

 

5.) Finally the last suit is the Napoleon looking guy. The title says “Straightjacket.”

 

Description: designed especially for delusions of grandeur. It’s a suit made to order to visit Waterloo City, Chihuahua to let the citizens in that area know that we are winning the war against the drug cartels.

 

Analysis: Sarcastically saying, like Calderon is actually going to go to Chihuahua and say “Yeah we are winning the war against the narcos”…But the people living there and going through the war in everyday life know it’s not true. But he likes to go around acting like he’s so important like Napoleon. But think about it… what ended up happening to Napoleon?

 

What other suits can you think of?

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a report on Mexico’s constant struggle

“Once known as a booming industrial city and a model of economic progress in Mexico, the border city of Juarez has become infamous as the murder capital of the world.

More than 8,000 people have been killed there since 2008, when Mexican President Felipe Calderon sent in the army to carry out his offensive against the drug cartels.

The official story is that the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels are fighting for the city and the access it provides to the multi-billion dollar US drug market only a few hundred meters away.

On this episode of Fault Lines, Josh Rushing travels to Ciudad Juarez, and asks how human life there came to be worth so much less than the drugs being trafficked through.” -Fault Lines


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legalizing pot… a good idea?

I listened to a 15 minute segment of  the KPBS radio show in which they discuss the United States’ role in the Mexican drug war. It was interesting to hear the thoughts of several editors, bloggers, and publishers on the subject as well as the opinions of a few callers outside the show.

The host of the show had asked these various editors what the U.S. is doing to help and why Americans consume so many drugs.

They stated that the U.S. has given over a billion dollars to the cause and they’re increasing border security, they’re closing off cartel made tunnels, and they’re doing what they can to the extent where the Mexican government will allow.

But where the answers really varied were towards the question of why Americans consume so many drugs which eventually led to the question of  whether legalizing pot would make things better.

As far as the question why Americans consume so many drugs is concerned, no one could offer a legitimate answer since obviously there could be an endless amount of reasons why this is true. One answer said that it’s just a habit, an easy fix, entertainment, and in some areas easily accessible, but what the most discussed topic concerning this is the issue of legalization, in particular marijuana. There’s a lot of controversy regarding this issue because no one knows if the results could be negative or actually help to improve both countries.

In my opinion, legalizing pot will just corrupt the United States further. I never saw drugs as a reliever of problems. One editor made a good point saying that although the cartels are extremely wealthy from selling drugs, “they’ve also branched out into all kinds of criminal enterprises. Criminal enterprises that smuggle illegal immigrants into this country. Or smuggle weapons into the country. There’s a lot more going on that fund the drug cartels now than just drugs.”

So the legalization of pot can only go so far, especially since pot is not the only drug they are selling and they’re participating in other money-making illegal activities. Legalizing pot would not mean the end of the cartels and is not the answer to these problems.

Listen to the show/read the transcript here: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/may/20/what-role-does-us-play-mexicos-drug-war/

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The Bang Bang Generation

I read all these articles about the goings on of the cartels, or the government, or the media dealing with the Mexican drug war, but I wanted to know about the innocent families that are going through this…especially the children. At a time like this, of violence and intense war, these young kids could be suffering negative psychological effects, and it’s important to take notice of this. Just try to imagine if it was your own child, or your little brother or sister, younger cousin, nieces/nephews, anything. If it’s someone that’s near and dear to you, you wouldn’t want to ignore what they’re going through.

The Bang Bang Generation was a term coined by Francisco Benavides, a reader of El Norte news, referring to the youth under 20 years of age that are “growing up in a society terrorized by violence.”

The age group most affected by this are teenagers. In the case of adolescents living in Mexico now, this society of war, gangs, shootings, killings, kidnappings, is something that they had to get used to. This major outbreak happened in 2006, so before that, they were able to go out by themselves, or hang out with friends on the weekends, or go to parties, etc. But now they are unable to because they always have to be on the lookout for dangers and be aware of their safety. I could only imagine how challenging this may be, to get accustomed to a completely different lifestyle, and not be able to have fun without worrying for the sake of your life.

Two 13-year-old friends were very upset about this issue that they even took the time to write a letter asking why all the parties involved, the government, the police, or the cartels themselves, don’t keep the children in mind.

These young girls said, “They don’t even consider us, maybe because they had a peaceful adolescence. Now we want the same, we want safe streets. We want to go out without seeing masked men carrying weapons.”
They feel as if they are trapped and alone because they aren’t allowed to have the freedom to grow up as a normal teen. No social life and no communication can really drive someone insane. The only thing these girls have as a means to communicate with the outside world is Facebook. But in a sense, these girls are more fortunate that they have the technology to be able to use Facebook. Imagine those really poor children that have no money to have a means of using the internet or for that matter any social networking media.
The girls ask that the aforementioned affiliates put themselves in the shoes of the younger generation and respect what they are going through, to create some kind of change, even if they can’t stop the war, at least give back the happiness that these kids once had.

Another teenager going through this hard time is a young man named Emiliano. He fears for his life everyday and grieves, “It bothers me that I am not allowed go out by myself or at night, and we always have to be very attentive, listening for gunshots, watching for kidnappers. We must always be careful. It’s tiring to always be so attentive, I would really like to just relax a little.”

The poor guy must be so stressed, all those nerves I’m sure make him really tense which in turn cause extreme fatigue. I bet it’s difficult for these kids to sleep at night, let alone keep a constant eye out during the day.

Throughout communities, adults are teaching their kids to take care and protect each other.

The youngsters are learning to simply accept the environment they currently live in and be extra cautious in everything they do. What else can they really do except just deal with it and do their best to live everyday to its maximum potential.

The article provides an inspiring statement given by professor of the UDEM Department of Education and Academic Director of Formus, Andrés Bolaños Werren. He said that “The world and history have taught us that the personalities that have transformed the world have come from difficult times, maybe it is human nature, man’s will to not just survive, but to overcome, move forward, thrive, and succeed, regardless of the circumstances. Although it will not be easy, there is great potential to become like those from our past.”

This is exactly what these young teens are having to prove. They will simply have to continue to push through these trials and adversities and hopefully…come out on top.

Article Source: http://jacqui.instablogs.com/entry/mexicos-drug-war-youth-generation-bang-bang/

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