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Mexico Drug War Update

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #687)
Consequences of Prohibition

by Bernd Debusmann, Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed more than 38,000 people, including more than 15,000 last year. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest or killing of dozens of high-profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war:

Bust after bust... and still no impact besides more violence. (Image via
Thursday, June 2

In Nadadores, Coahuila, soldiers confiscated a massive weapons cache which included 154 assault rifles, an RPG launcher, over 60,000 rounds of ammunition and four mortar rounds.

In New York City, a panel of high-profile personalities declared the War on Drugs "a failure" and called for a shift in policies, including decriminalization and a more public health-oriented response. The Global Commission on Drug Policy includes several former Presidents. Former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo was among them.

Saturday, June 5

In Ciudad Juarez, eight people were murdered in separate incidents. In one incident, witnesses claim that a man was killed by federal agents after having been taken into one of their patrol cars. The still unidentified man was later found beaten to death.

In the town of Delicias, Chihuahua, six people were killed, including three men who were ambushed by heavily armed gunmen wielding AK-47s.

In Cuernavaca, a group of marching protestors led by writer Javier Sicilia started moving towards Ciudad Juarez, where they are expected on June 10. In late March, Javier Sicilia's son was killed near Cuernavaca alongside several friends.

Sunday, June 6

In Ciudad Juarez, a journalist was shot and killed in a store parking lot. Alan Eduardo Rico Flores, 22, was in a vehicle with four friends when a hooded gunman opened fire on them with an assault rifle, killing him and wounding two others. No arrests have yet been made.

Tuesday, June 7

In Torreon, 11 young people were killed after gunmen attacked a rehab clinic for drug and alcohol abuse. According to reports, at least five vehicles full of gunmen arrived at the clinic and spent about half an hour there. Two people were wounded and taken to the local Red Cross, which was soon heavily guarded by the Mexican army.

In Mexico City, prosecutors said they have officially charged former Tijuana mayor Hank Rhon with illegal weapons possession. He was arrested Saturday. Soldiers discovered some 40 rifles, 48 handguns, and almost 10,000 rounds of ammunition inside his residence. Only 10 were registered, only 5 of which were registered to him. Rhon, a billionaire whose properties include a private zoo, has long been suspected of corruption. He was mayor from 2004-2007.

Editor's Note: We cannot accurately tally the drug prohibition-related killings in Mexico at this time. El Universal, the only Mexican newspaper that was doing so on a regular basis, has stopped. We will have to rely on official pronouncements on the death toll, and will report them when they happen. Below are the numbers through the end of last year. With more than 1,400 reported dead in April alone, this year's toll could well exceed last year's. As of this month, we believe the total death toll has surpassed 38,000.]

Total Body Count for 2010: 15,273

Total Body Count for 2009: (approx.) 9,600

Total Body Count for 2008 (approx.): 5,400

Total Body Count for 2007 (approx): 4,300

Total Body Count for Calderon's drug war through 2010: 34,883

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


joebanana (not verified)

Waging a war on your own people is treason. At least in America. Article 3 section 3 of the constitution lays it out plain and clear. The war on drugs is an act of treason, why doesn't anybody mention this little fact? The real criminals are the ones we elect, not the ones in jail. Congress is obligated to prevent this sort of aggression toward American citizens, not ignore it. Homeland security is supposed to protect American's from this type of aggression, not ignore it. Elected officials are just as capable of committing crimes as regular citizens, except their crimes have a much bigger impact on more people than your typical criminal. And for the most part, the crimes of the government go unpunished. America's justice system is a cesspool of corruption, the government is a criminal cartel, congress is useless, and the senate is more harmful to the nation than beneficial.

Thu, 06/09/2011 - 1:59pm Permalink
Robert Walker (not verified)

The government is being used by Big Pharma to wipe out their competition.  And it is a limited war.  It is limited to only those without a license to dispense drugs.

Here's the way it works:  You pay too much money for a second rate education and get M.D. after your name and you can write a note (Mommy) to the Pharmacist (Teacher) who also paid too much money for a second rate education, to allow you to have some extra play time (drugs).

Both of the educated fools have paid enormous amounts for business licenses.  They buy insurance.  The insurance companies and agents buy licenses from the government.  Perhaps several licenses by each of those mentioned.  It amounts to thousands of dollars in extortion for the government. 

It has been suggested that Social Security is a scam.  Government is a scam.

Thank you,

Robert Walker

Thu, 06/09/2011 - 7:37pm Permalink
McD (not verified)

In reply to by Robert Walker (not verified)

Yeah, the problem is, though, that people who spend a decade and more and spend a lot of money on their education are often loath to accept that it's 'second rate'. Someone once said something like, 'It's hard to get people to understand something which their salary requires they don't understand.' Doctors are quite well paid in the US, aren't they?

I should think most of them probably knew they would be well paid before they decided to become doctors, so you're dealing with people who have willfully decided to consider money an (important?) part of the work they can do with their lives. Undoing that mindset is no small challenge.

Sun, 06/12/2011 - 5:14am Permalink
rob v (not verified)

Would we all go to hell in a basket if the US government stopped making war on everything that they disapprove of? 

Demand = Supply       Prohibition = Crime     Active violent state declared war on crime  = Recipe for disaster

Decriminalize, regulate and tax marijuana for a start. Once the new legal methods of sale and distribution are established expand the system to whatever other drugs people want to put in to their own bodies of their own free will (just like alcohol and nicotine).

Problem solved, no crime, no gangs, people happily drugged up on cheap safe drug supplies, taxes paid, freedom of choice given to all citizens. No need for a war at all.

Sun, 11/06/2011 - 9:34pm Permalink

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