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February 15, 2005

Mexico a Victim of Drug War's Success?

A growing chorus of truth-speakers are questioning the validity of the Fox administration's "war on drugs" in Mexico. According to an article today in Reuters by Brian Winter:

Fox was widely praised as the first Mexican leader ever to seriously tackle the country's powerful cartels, but security experts worry his success in jailing drug kingpins is only producing more violence, and no slowdown in the flow of drugs.

Some fear Mexico's "narcos" may become desperate enough to execute politicians or promote their own candidates for office, a chaotic scenario that echoes Colombia's losing struggle against cartels in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Among the experts quoted was Jorge Chabat, an analyst at Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas in Mexico City. Chabat pointed out:

For years, the U.S. told Mexico's government, "The problem is that the narcos are still powerful because you don't dismantle the gangs." Now they're doing just that... and the narcos are more powerful than ever.

The article conveyed the ominous sense of some observers that Mexican drug traffickers if pushed into a corner could resort to political assassinations or promoting their own candidates for public office, raising the spectre of chaos and violence such as Colombia experienced at the hands of Pablo Escobar.

This is a good article, but it would have been even better if it had mentioned that Jorge Chabat has called for legalization. Having drawn the Colombia comparison, a call in to Gustavo de Greiff, the Colombian attorney general who defeated Escobar -- who now lives in Mexico City -- would also have added to the level of insight offered to the reader. (Click here to read DRCNet's interview with de Greiff before our Mérida, Mexico conference, Out from the Shadows: Ending Drug Prohibition in the 21st Century. Click here for video and audio of de Greiff and others at Mérida.

And of course, post back here if you spot this article in any news outlets (Reuters is a wire service), and let us know how to send letters to the editor to them.

- Dave Borden, DRCNet

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