Latin America: Mexicans Bummed Out By Prohibition-Related Violence -- 44% Say Legalize Drugs

As Mexican President Felipe Calderón's war on drug trafficking organizations nears the two-year mark and the violence shows no sign of letting up, a new BBC World Service poll shows that Mexicans are increasingly concerned and preoccupied by the toll the drug trade and the drug war is having on their daily lives. Nearly 6,000 people, including hundreds of police officers and soldiers, have been killed since Calderón enlisted the military in the drug war in 2006, and the numbers are higher this year than last.
Mexican anti-drug patrol
Given the upsurge in violence in what is only the latest chapter of the quarter-century struggle against drug trafficking organizations enriched by the flow of Colombian cocaine beginning in the early 1980s -- an unintended consequence of the Reagan administration's crackdown on Caribbean drug trafficking routes -- a healthy number of Mexicans now say they favor legalizing drugs. Some 44% said legalize them, while 46% said no.

But in a sign that wishful thinking about drug policy is not limited to north of the border, 58% said they thought the war on drugs could be won. An even higher number -- 68% -- approved of Calderón's use of the military to fight drug traffickers. Still, 80% said the government should consider alternative policies.

Support for the drug war is driven by fear and public safety concerns. Nearly half (42%) of poll respondents said they felt less safe than last year, while only 10% said they felt safer. More than one-third (37%) of respondents said the influence of the drug cartels had made them think about emigrating. Drug trafficking ranked above worries about the economy, general crime, education and social inequality, with 20% of respondents listing it as their main concern. Only concern about corruption, listed by 28% as their primary worry, came in higher, and corruption and the black market drug trade are inextricably intertwined.

With some 3,000 drug war deaths reported so far this year, or an average of more than 300 a month, the prohibition-related violence in Mexico is reaching levels generally associated with war zones. By way of comparison, Iraq Body Count, a nonprofit organization monitoring violence in Iraq, put the civilian death toll there in July at 460. Human Rights Watch put the number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan during the first eight months of this year at 540.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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All of this violence would stop if the drug war would stop!

The drug war has done, and continues to do, more harm than all of the illegal drugs ever have or ever will do. All of this violence is a direct result of this stupid, never ending war. It is time for peace. The war must stop. It is not winnable.

Norman Lepoff, M.D.


....well thanks to our prohibition on booze here in the good ole USA we had tons of crime,...criminals galore,murders,you name it we got it...for what?well that failed so what do our esteem leaders do'''go at it again,and not just here...we and those who favor prohibition on drugs are creating the drug cartels,they are creating the fighting,the murders the overall crime in general...seemingly gone are those people stealing to feed their families.,in the minds of the law.!...our arrests as well as others would drop tremendously,and the drug lords and their cartels would cease to exist....and ''anybody'' w./a brain knows this...personally I think there is an agenda,that those backing prohibition actually want this, to generate money ,power and our worst drug dealers in this country are in the white house,,,and other countries follow our lead!....don

Work harder!

It's like Ron Paul said:

"the one thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history."

Prohibition was a "failure" in the sense that it failed to accomplish its goals. We should take heart from that. It will always fail. It is doomed to fail. It is contrary to human nature and the aspirations of the human spirit.

Prohibition will fail in Mexico. It will fail in the US. It will fail in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Singapore. It will fail because that is the destiny of all prohibition.

We must work harder.

Prohibition feeds the beast

Colombia (South America) is by nature a rich and beautiful country with 45 million inhabitants (80% around the poverty line), being torn down and denied any option to progress by DRUG PROHIBITION AND SUBSEQUENT WAR with its numerous violence manifestations and creatures: guerrillas, paramilitary groups, mafias, all kinds of criminal groups proliferation, assassinations, homicides, massacres, kidnappings, massive sexual violations, every human right violations, forced displacement of entire communities (MORE THAN 4 MILLION PEOPLE, THE BIGGEST DISASTER IN OCCIDENTAL COUNTRIES), weapons and explosives illegal trade, antipersonnel mine fields, terrorism attempts in cities and rural areas, mutilations, corruption, infiltration of mafias at every level of government and society (CHECK EVERYDAY NEWS ON COLOMBIA), people degradation (excessive prostitution, paid murderers, drug carriers), natural reserves and forest destruction, including the Amazonian region, lung to the world. And it is also happening in other countries like Mexico and Brasil.

Significant national resources (more than TEN THOUSAND MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR), besides huge amounts of money from the USA government, are thrown away in this endless nonsense meaningless fight.

Furthermore, as it is well known, PROHIBITION FEEDS THE BEAST. It's a circus of blood and destruction with a few big winners, of course.

This is a totally inhuman situation two and a half hours away from the USA, that threatens democracy and the human kind also.

The Colombian government restlessly supports this disaster and is not going to consider any action to reduce it.

This great danger has to be stopped!

The only solution is in the hands of the people and government of the USA: LEGALIZATION AT ONCE.

It is the only opportunity for social justice and progress for all Colombian people.

How different it could be!


I invite you, wherever you are, to join the group LEGALIZATION - AN UNIVERSAL NEED at

Vladimir G. Diaz Arbelaez

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