Graves at Border Illustrate Consequences of Prohibition 12/6/99

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

The discovery at the U.S.-Mexico border of possible mass graves of persons killed in drug trade violence has horrified residents and families of missing persons -- while raising important questions about our national drug policy.

According to the New York Times, Mexican officials have files on at least 100 persons who have disappeared in and around Juarez, a city immediately across the border from El Paso, Texas; the El Paso-based Association of Relatives and Friends of Disappeared Persons has a list of 196, mostly from Juarez, though the missing are thought to include 22 Americans.

Six bodies have been found on a Juarez ranch, and cars riddled with bullets have been found on other properties. Authorities believe these may be mass graves containing the bodies of hundreds of victims, and massive searches have been underway for the past week.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, many but not all of the victims are thought to have had associations with the drug trade. However, many were seen being abducted by what appeared to be corrupt police officers or military, possibly under the pay of the drug cartels. Victor Clark of the Tijuana-based International Commission on Human Rights pointed out, "The bodies (of those) killed by the mafia are always found. It's their way of sending messages."

Last month, several members of Congress urged the Clinton administration to create a "Border Czar" position to coordinate drug control efforts along the Southwest border. The members wrote, "If we are going to regain control of our Southwest border and meet the National Drug Control Strategy's fourth goal -- shield America's air, land and sea frontiers from the drug threat -- we need a Southwest Border Coordinator with some real authority to make decisions and be responsible for coordinating the overall national effort."

But drug reform advocates say the fight to keep drugs from entering the country is futile, and compare the Juarez killings with Alcohol Prohibition-related incidents such as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

Al Robison, former chairman of the UT Dept. of Pharmacology, now Executive Director of the Drug Policy Forum of Texas, told the Week Online, "If you can't keep drugs out of our maximum security prisons, how do you think you're going to keep them off one of the longest borders in the world?"

Robison added, "We should all be trying to discourage drug abuse, but a "drug free America" is an insane goal because it's never going to happen. And trying to make it happen has caused an enormous amount of misery and violence -- including the mass murders in Juarez."

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #117, 12/6/99 Graves at Border Illustrate Consequences of Prohibition | Eisenhower Foundation Finds Drug War, Hard Line Criminal Justice Policies Not Working, Violence Remains High | Politicians, Scientists, Celebrities Criticize Medical Marijuana Research Guidelines | McCormick, McWilliams Denied Medical Marijuana Defense, Enter Pleas | Other Medical Marijuana News | Judge Judy Slammed in Australia and US for Needle Exchange Remarks | AIDS Action Grades Clinton Administration, Congress an F in Prevention | University Will Not Operate Safe-Injecting Room; Uniting Church Steps In | Calendar Update | Job and Internship Opportunities | On the Web: Corporate Watch Feature on the Prison Industry | COMMENTARY: Judge Judy Biased and Illogical on Needle Exchange Issue | Editorial: Mass Graves in Mexico
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]