A Reuters article this afternoon reported that Mexico's new president, Felipe Calderon, is sending over 3,000 troops to Tijuana in a crackdown aimed at stemming the ongoing violence that has wracked the border city in recent years. The first 500 arrived today and are investigating charges of corruption in the local police force:
As two helicopters circled overhead, dozens of troops with assault rifles and riot shields converged on a police headquarters to inspect weapons, a first step in probing alleged drug gang links and corruption inside the local force.The move comes only three weeks since Calderon sent 7,000 troops to his own home state of Michoacan. 2,000 people were killed in drug trade violence in Mexico last year. One of the guests at DRCNet's 2003 conference in Mexico, "Out from the Shadows, Ending Drug Prohibition in the 21st Century" ("Saliendo de las Sombras: Terminando de le ProhibiciÃ³n de las Drogas en el Siglo XXI" en EspaÃ±ol) was Gregorio Urias German, a Mexican congressman from Sinaloa, another part of the country that has suffered in the drug wars. Urias blames drug prohibition for this violence, but he fears that "If we can't even discuss the alternatives, if we can't even admit the drug war is a failure, then we will never solve the problem." He said that existing forums, such as the UN and the Organization of American States, are not fruitful places for discussion, "because only the repressive policies of the United States are discussed at these forums." While it is not the job of media outlets like Reuters to take a position favoring legalization in their news reporting, they will be doing a better job when they start to include leaders like Urias in their articles who hold that point of view. This Google News link will pull up a list of hundreds of appearances of this news story that are currently active in the mainstream media (many though not all the Reuters story or another by the AP). We encourage you to follow the links and submit some letters to the editor. Post them back here along with the letter-writing info for others.
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