Latin America: Mexico Prohibition Violence Catches Washington's Eye, New Initiatives Pending

When lawmakers in Washington managed to tear themselves away from the AIG bonus scandal, much of their attention this week was focused on Mexico. With prohibition-related violence there showing no sign of a let-up -- more than a thousand people have been killed already this year -- legislators held a number of hearings this week to assess the threat and see what the Obama administration plans to do about it.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/dea-mexico-poster.jpg
DEA Spanish-language poster targeting Mexican trafficking organization (2007)
At a joint hearing of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control and a Senate Judiciary subcommittee Tuesday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) warned that Mexican drug trafficking organizations posed a direct threat to the US. Citing a recent Justice Department report, he said they have a presence in at least 230 US cities.

But Durbin also said some of the blame resides north of the border. "The insatiable demand for illegal drugs in the United States keeps the Mexican drug cartels in business every day," he said.

"The facts about what is going on in Mexico are staggering, imposing an enormous threat to the United States," concurred Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

In the face of increasingly shrill congressional demands to "do something," Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, who oversees the border as head of the Northern Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee the administration is working on an integrated plan to address the seemingly unending violence, much of it taking place in the border towns of Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and the Mexican cities on the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

He said likely measures would include efforts to clamp down on the flow of guns into Mexico, tightening border security, and increased support for the Mexican military. "I think we'll have good plans come out of this work this week," he said.

Renuart also hinted that the new plan could involve more boots on the ground in the border region. "Certainly, there may be a need for additional manpower," he said. "Whether that is best suited or best provided by National Guard or additional law enforcement agencies, I think, this planning team will really lead us to," he told the committee.

Mexican President Felipe Calderón has deployed some 50,000 troops in his war against the cartels, including some 8,500 who occupied Juárez and took over policing duties there last week. But Calderón's two-year-old offensive has only led to increasing levels of brutal and exemplary violence. More than 2,000 people died in the cartel wars in 2007, more than 5,000 last year, and the pace of killings this year should yield similar numbers.

But DEA chief of intelligence Anthony Plácido told the joint committee that the escalating violence was a "desperate attempt" by traffickers to fight off the government offensive. "DEA assesses that the current surge in violence is driven in large measure by the government of Mexico's offensive against these traffickers who, in turn, perceive themselves as fighting for a larger share of a shrinking market," he said.

With passage of last year's Mérida Initiative, the US has pledged some $1.4 billion in anti-drug aid to Mexico over the next three years. The first tranche of that aid has already been delivered, providing Mexico with helicopters and sophisticated surveillance equipment.

On Wednesday, in the week's first concrete action to crack down on the border, the Department of Homeland Security announced it was sending 50 Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agents to the border to try to cut down the flow of weapons headed south.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

There has never been a more compelling reason to Re-Legalize!

Allow Obama to waste precious blood and treasure on what will become "Iraq: Part II" makes NO DAMN SENSE. Everyone reading this needs to send an email to Dave Borden demanding that he get behind the MERP Model Now!

[email protected]

70% of the Mexican Drug Cartels Revenue is coming from Marijuana sales in the US. So if we simply Re-Legalize Marijuana, specifically, under the MERP Model we will rob these scumbags of 70% of their revenue and they will wither like an orchid in Death Valley: and the Cartels will go out of business without firing a shot or putting another American life in jeopardy.

For more on the MERP Model:

MERP Headquarters
The Marijuana Re-Legalization Policy Project (MRPP)
http://www.newagecitizen.com/MERP.htm

Bruce Cain
Editor, New Age Citizen
www.newagecitizen.com

We created this situation!!!

We paid Mexico billions to support our failed war on drugs. They have a different culture if you pay their leaders a few billion they go shoot a few thousand people to show us support and keep the billions coming. Now our leaders are using the violence we created to say we need more money for the drug war. Can you not see how we are manipulated by these idiots?

The agenda is created by major corporations in our own country that profit from the war. They pay millions to our law makers to continue the money flow. It is all a big scam when will American wake up and finally see people enjoy cannabis. It is safe you can grow your own for free. That is what scares big money that make billions off the war or selling their own legal drugs and do not want competition..

Americans will never respect or conform to a law born of racism, perpetuated by greed and supported by lies.

Quit paying Mexico to join our war and they would make cannabis legal which would solve their problem and increase tourism until we end the war at least..

END THE WAR ON US (DRUGS) RESTORE OUR FREEDOM USE THE MONEY SAVED TO FUND UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE FOR ALL, NOW!!

Cherokee Fred Hussein Jesus

WAR MODEL

HOW THE WAR WORKS FOR THE UNEDUCATED.....

Major drug pushers (legal) do not want competition.

They make 680 billion on their drugs.

They pay our lawmakers to perpetuate the war for greed.

Doctors in California say if legal cannabis could replace 80% of the legal chemical drugs now produced.

That means the legal drug pushers would lose 544 billion a year.

That is why they pay millions every year to our leaders to ensure a profit flow.

It is all a scam and the poor and powerless and a few rebel celebrities pay the price for this greed.

Wake up America save the billions use it to pay for universal health care for all. End the war end the violence here and in Mexico over night.

Look deep follow the money and you will see it is a total lie all of it for money. What a sad state our country is in enslaving Americans for money....

Cherokee Fred Hussein Jesus

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