Breaking News:Dangerous Delays: What Washington State (Re)Teaches Us About Cash and Cannabis Store Robberies [REPORT]

Stop illegal immigration: End the war on drugs

Image by WRDLWordle

Mexico is exporting poverty and importing dollars. The US is exporting dollars and our borders are being scammed on a massive scale.

This situation will continue as long as Mexico cannot provide opportunities to its people. What needs to happen so that Mexicans want to stay in Mexico? Three things, all connected: public safety, rule of law, and economic growth. These aspects of a productive and self-sufiecient economy are on a downward spiral today, which means that the immigration problem will get worse. In fact, Mexico today is in a civil war. The US may have the consequences of this crossing the border along with the immigrants themselves. Economic growth is threatened directly by declining oil production. President Calderón is pushing for a new law to renew production by allowing private investment in some sectors of the industry. PEMEX (the state oil company) provides a third of the government's main sources of revenue, which leaves little left over for critical upgrades on technology and exploration. The Canterell oil field in the Gulf of Mexico is the world's second largest, after Saudi Arabia's. Production from Cantarell is falling off the cliff. It's notable that Canterell is named after the fisherman who discovered it by accident in the late '70s. Maybe PEMEX can just put an army of fishermen on its payroll and pray to the Virgen, but that doesn't sound like an effective business plan. Thus the new oil law. Calderón has the support he needs in congress to pass the law. He could have done it last winter if he had wanted to. But he keeps prolonging the confrontation, which in itself mines his prestige. Oil is a key to the nation's nationalistic ideology. The opposition self-proclaimed legitimate president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) promises to exploit this in his favor. His main political experience has been as a "community organizer" in the oil industry, using "direct action" to force PEMEX concessions and in the process get himself elected governor of Tabasco and then mayor of Mexico City, which was his platform for his 2006 run at the presidency. His actions, as crazy as they may sound, tend to weaken the already weakened legitimacy of Calderón. If reform is blocked by AMLO and it succeeds in derailing the legislative process, then Calderón's days are numbered and the economy will slow down dangerously. Groups directed by AMLO are actively plotting some kind of impeachment exercise today so as to increase the pressure. The average education here is below sixth grade. Teachers are basically ignorant. They're a huge political force, though, since they have the biggest union in LA, if not the world. They're very militant. Strikes and sit-ins every month. For example, a few years ago, the teacher's union in Oaxaca challenged the previous regime by using violence and holding the city of Oaxaca hostage to their struggle for months on end. They were penetrated by members of a guerilla, the EPR (Ejército Popular Revolucionario). They are still active today--another of the many groups plotting the president's collapse. Over half of Mexico's 105 million people are under twenty five. The result of the education system is that they're qualified to drive a taxi, sell pirated DVDs and CDs on the street, join the army, or go to the States. If they choose the street vendor route, they'll be recruited into some opposition group, which blackmails the government for the blind eye they turn towards their black-market activities. If they join the army, they'll stick with it only long enough to get the training they need to desert and join one of the narco private armies currently terrorizing the nation. If they go to the States, they'll be recruited into some drug gang, get thrown in jail, and get deported. Once they get back to Mexico, they're five or ten years older and their only skills are crime. Their life-styles contrast in the most glaring way with the life-styles of the town or neighborhood they live in, where the main excitement has been walking around the main plaza eying the opposite sex and eating really disgusting sweets. Now cholos back from prison cruise the plaza in their lowriders blasting Spanish hip-hop. This in itself is enough to recruit younger kids to take the same route. Public safety depends on the war on drugs. This has reached impossible levels of violence in the past two years. There are fatalities every day, with the 15 September grenade attack on an independence day celebration as only the latest. This was notable because it was the first time civilians were directly attacked. Up to now, the violence has been confined to the narcos and the army/police. Vast swaths of the nation are run by drug lords beyond the power of the state. The 15 September attack rubbed the government's nose in this fact. The above shows some reasons why a real rule of law is out of reach for Mexico today. Otherwise, in legal matters one is faced with paying someone off or losing out because one didn't pay anyone off. Calderón has passed a reform of the system to allow for a more US-style system, including trial by jury, which Mexicans don't have. Cases are decided by the judge based on the written briefs the lawyers give him (not counting the inevitable payoffs). Lawyers are not trained to argue cases. Detectives are not trained to investigate. They're trained to get confessions. Payoffs all over the map. Now just add Hugo Chávez into this mix. Once you add Hugo, you'll be adding Russia as well. Chávez has been buying Russian weapons for years and he has just concluded another purchase, along with a deal for joint naval exercises in November with a Russian carrier group. Chávez has a history of subverting other countries--financing the FARC and making payoffs to Cristina Fernández's election campaign for president, for example--and the Russians have even more experience in this black art. If Calderón is forced to resign or worse, all bets are off. This is because there is no vice president in the Mexican constitution. There is no law of succession. The law provides for the congress to elect an interim president who will organize new elections within the following eighteen months. In today's political climate, or probably in any political climate, this is a road map for disaster. I can't imagine how any of this can go smoothly and according to law. There are too many groups, armed and unarmed, who covet power (see above). Today the US has very little political capital to spend down here. Most people agree that our governments will only use LA for some political gain and they're sick of it. It goes way beyond the Mexican war of 1848, multiple US interventions, and all that nonsense. A key element in all this is the drug war. Its anarchy and corruption affect all areas of society: rule of law/corruption, education, politics and so forth. The drug war is a linchpin. The rational thing to do is to declare defeat. This doesn't mean that the drugs win. There has been and will always be a certain portion of the population who just like to alter their mental states. They win. The costs of the war on drugs are just becoming too heavy. There have been no positive results I know of since the beginning. Aside from the war itself, criminalization was the great idea of the 19th century's Progressives. We've been living through a hundred-year experiment in criminalization. It's time to look at the results of this experiment and act like rational human beings. Once resources are no longer used to fight the war on drugs, they can be used for other purposes. The best purpose would be for the government to simply stop taking the corresponding amount of money away from people as taxes and just let them spend it however they want to, which probably would be to buy a lot of drugs. Public safety would be enhanced and the rule of law strengthened. All of this would strengthen the legitimacy of the state. Then Mexico will enjoy the conditions it needs to create an economy that provides opportunities for its people. The US can help, as always. When I am president, I will end the war on drugs and bring the troops home. Then I will tour Latin America apologizing for the damages we have caused. I will note the Mexican expression, palo dado ni dios lo quita (once you've been hit even god can't take it away) but that what we can do is offer some kind of reparations to make up for it. I propose an anti anti drug Marshall Plan as a common fund for the whole continent with two conditions: the fund has a time limit; the nations of Latin America must meet and agree on how to use the funds as a group. This will mean that for the first time in history, the nations of Latin America will unite under a common purpose: a capitalist Bolivarian Dream that Hugo Chavéz can shove up his ass. Once the program ends, Latin America has the mechanisms it needs to cooperate to achieve common interests. The US will have an alliance of nations as an ally on its southern border, not an explosive mix of ignorance, corruption, police states, fanatic insurgentes, corrupt opposition politicians and so forth. Then these people will no longer be jumping the US border. The US will have a prosperous and stable ally on its southern border, thereby strengthening its own economic and national security positions. Since the above is a literal pipe dream, the war on drugs is not likely to be ended anytime soon and none of this will happen. The immigration problem will get worse, along with the national security position of the US. It's our next national security crisis.

I just joined this site. Looking through the reader blogs, I find that there are people here even more long-winded than I am. Nice to be among friends.

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!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School