Mexican Protesters Demand an End to the Drug War

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Frustrated beyond belief with the bloody consequences of President Calderon's aggressive drug war tactics, the people of Mexico are finally beginning to make some noise.

Bearing white balloons and fake bloodstains, tens of thousands of demonstrators crowded Mexico City's historic downtown Sunday to call for an end to the country's unrelenting drug violence.

The primary target of the protest was President Felipe Calderon, who has ruled during a period of extraordinary bloodshed. More than 34,000 people have been killed since Calderon declared an all-out assault on drug cartels after taking office four and a half years ago.

Demonstrators, holding placards saying "No more blood!" and "We're fed up!", urged the conservative Calderon to drop his military-led strategy. (LA Times)

Calderon has a very big problem here, and it's called the drug war doesn't work, dumbass. You can wait and wait some more, but there will be no redemption for the indignant drug warrior who just keeps doubling down as the bodies pile ever higher. He staked his legacy on a lot of money and bad advice from Washington, D.C., and now it's becoming clear to a hell of a lot of people that the reward for their sacrifice is something much uglier than they started with.

It will be interesting to watch as Calderon attempts to get re-elected on a platform of unrelenting urban warfare.

It will be interesting to see how future candidates for the Mexican Presidency grapple with the issue now that waiving the drug war battle flag will be instant political suicide. The question becomes how much reform is viable over U.S. objections, and how much influence will the drug lords themselves manage to exert over Mexican drug policy.

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Marching on


If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Mexican citizens are showing evidence of Stockholm Syndrome. Of course they are not, what they are expressing, in clear and unambiguous terms, is their impotence to stop the War on Drugs. It is not difficult to understand why they are asking Calderón to resign. Their anger and frustration, however, should be directed to the USA and its acolytes who not only support the War on Drugs, but celebrate the increase in violence, murder, destruction and what have you, because it is a signal (as Michele Leonhart, DEA supremo said recently) that USA drug policy is working!

Even the most naïve and gullible person can see how hypocritical and cynical the U.S.A. drug policies are: instead of dealing with the fact that it is the biggest drug consumer in the world and should fight its fight in its own soil, the U.S.A. puts the onus on Mexico, and other Latin American countries. It seems to me that if somebody should be marching and protesting it should be U.S.A. citizens. Where are they?


Gart Valenc

Sadly it seems that most

Sadly it seems that most Americans do not care about what is happening in Mexico.  They should be protesting into the streets to end the drug war in the states but they are afraid and are brain washed to believe what they are told. 

Are you kidding???

"Sadly it seems that most Americans do not care about what is happening in Mexico.  They should be protesting into the streets to end the drug war in the states but they are afraid and are brain washed to believe what they are told."

We had 10,000 people nationwide attending Million Marijuana Marches last Saturday.

I grossly exaggerated

Actually, I think we were lucky to break 500 nationwide at the Million Marijuana March.

"They ranged from handfuls or dozens of people in small American and Canadian towns ......"


When searching Google News, the biggest press attention covering this event in the US:

you didn't grossly exaggerate.

in austin, we had about 500 at ours alone.

Re: in austin, we had about 500 at ours alone.

"Several dozen people showed up Saturday at the south steps of the Capitol to rally support for the legalization of marijuana.",-Legalize-or-Not-05-08-11-ktbcw#axzz1LmhMqyjL Good article overall.

Mexico has term limits

President Calderon won't be around much longer thanks to Mexico's term limits of one election cycle. But his legacy will be useful to drug reformers since they can point to a government that chose to use the military to wage the drug war. Look at the results. The situation is Mexico has provided a picture of death, brutality and repression for the people of Mexico. That picture won't be forgotten soon. Sunday's protest was a good start to creating a dialog to end prohibition. I'm eager to see how Obama reacts to these protest.

Aggresive Tactics


One doesn't need to be a Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics to understand that the only way to cut the power of the criminal organisations that control the "illegal" drug market for good, to effectively stop their violent and corrosive influence is to put an end to Prohibition and its brainchild, the so-called War on drugs — a regime imposed and sustained by the U.S.A.

I wonder what options Mexico has considering that the, on the one hand, likelihood of the U.S.A. ending it on its own accord is zero, nil, zilch. On the other hand, the idea that Mexico could just simply call it quits is equally unrealistic, unless one believes that Mexico, or any other Latin American country for that matter, can walk away unscathed from its "international obligations" (i.e. the retaliations of its northern bully).

It would very interesting to know how you read the situation. What options do you think Mexico has?


Gart Valenc

Scott, I'm genuinely interested

@ Scott,

I'm genuinely interested in knowing what options you think Mexico has.

Gart Valenc

It's All About the U.S. of A.



It's the US that's running the show when it comes to the WOD.  Not just in this hemisphere, but around the world.  If the US wants to switch to a harm reduction strategy, the UN will follow.  If the US wants to stick to a law enforcement approach, international treaties will remain as they are.  We've seen an example of this recently with Boliva trying to change the UN's position on the coca leaf, and the US blocking it.

I think internationally the approach should be the same as it is in the US with medical marijuana.  Individual countries need to stand up for themselves regardless of the position of the US federal government.  The US will threaten, but conducting raids in another country will not be an option.  Unlike the states where every raid by the feds is welcomed with "thank you sir, may I have another," foreign nations will not be so welcoming to the US military.

Just as in the US where, one by one, states are defying the feds and ending their own local war on drugs, individual nations must do the same.  In both cases a tipping point will be reached where the position of the US federal government will no longer be sustainable.

Calderon’s Legacy is Dust for Buying Into Drug War Business

President Calderon has failed to understand the U.S. government on a level so basic that most teenagers know it: never take any advice from the United States government when the topic is sex or drugs. 

Sr. Calderon really blew it.  Sure, the U.S. will sell Mexico guns and helicopters.  It will even provide military advisors to eradicate the cartels—yeah right, no problem.  It can’t be lost on the Mexican authorities that their northern neighbor is the biggest arms dealer on the planet.  Or the biggest imprisoner of its own citizens, or of citizens anywhere.  Or can it? 

It is encouraging to see the Mexican people rise up and confront their government’s naiveté.  There is even a dividend in it for the U.S.  Opposition to domestic social policies is most effective when it’s coordinated by foreign populations in a peaceful manner.  For example, foreign opposition is what ended the Mexican Inquisition in 1820, and the Spanish Inquisition in 1834.  Spain’s drug policy beat Mexico’s this time around by being first to reform their possession laws.  Time to be first again.

The solution to the drug conflict raging in Mexico, like that of the inquisitions, is to let it go.  Stop fighting it.  Just say no to the United States.  Heretics really aren’t that bad when compared to the alternative of a totalitarian society.  Learn to embrace the heretical drug experience.  Drug peace has already been achieved in part on a number of levels in Europe.  It’s time for Mexico to go cosmopolitan on its drug politics. 


All in my name

Don't get me wrong, Giordano, I agree with you to a large extent. Allow me to pick, please, on a couple of things you say in order to further the discussion.

1. You say, «It is encouraging to see the Mexican people rise up and confront their government’s naiveté.» And I keep wondering, where are the 'democractic, patriotic, true americans' when it comes to rising up and confronting their government's criminal policies. Where are they marching and protesting? Have all they moved to Mexico, perhaps?

2. You say, «Opposition to domestic social policies is most effective when it’s coordinated by foreign populations in a peaceful manner.» And I keep wondering, shouldn't the lack of real, vigorous opposition of US citizens to the Drug on War be interpreted as clear indication of how comfortable US citizens feel about what their government does in their name?  How do you explain, otherwise, its citizens’ approval of extra-judicial killings, torture and the use of unmanned drones to execute its "enemies", all in the name of democracy? What would the response of US citizens be if they were the recipients of 'US tough style  ' medicine? Should we be surprised at all by its puritanical and fanatical stance on drugs, when, as we were constantly reminded last week, being a true American is defined by being tough and vengeful? 

Well, at least one has to acknowledge that if the US is to be praise for something, it is for being consistent. True to its values, Prohibition and the so-called War on Drugs, are true American policies.

Gart Valenc

True Values...

“…where are the 'democratic, patriotic, true Americans' when it comes to rising up and confronting their government's criminal policies?”

I think there really are some democratic, patriotic, true Americans in this country, and were these Americans as aware as we are of the drug war’s pathologies, they would indeed want to make changes.

However, the unofficial prohibitionist motto is “Ignorance is our Business”.  This advocacy of ignorance is designed to keep Americans and the world from realizing what’s really happening with drugs.  I’ve yet to see a major media production detailing the horrors of prohibition in the same way certain other crimes against humanity are documented and presented.  The material for such a documentary is certainly available, but the intestinal fortitude isn’t, probably because the MSM is run by corporate conglomerates with a vested interest in the dominance of market fundamentalism, which naturally includes the judicial industrial complex.


“…shouldn't the lack of real, vigorous opposition of US citizens to the Drug War be interpreted as clear indication of how comfortable US citizens feel about what their government does in their name?”

I would disagree with that.  People have different priorities, and their priorities tend to focus narrowly when many are just barely surviving from one paycheck to another. 

It’s also easier to be indifferent to what a government does in your name if you don’t travel.  When I travel, I’m constantly on the alert regarding how people may react to me as someone from a different culture.  It’s especially unsettling when I come from a country with a long rap sheet for violating international law. 

And I absolutely detest the fact that polls show a plurality of Americans think torture is okay to use on terrorists.  I don’t want anyone in the world to presume I support something as stupid and ineffective as torture.  There is little I can do to directly affect government policies on torture, or its inducement through ignorance, when a government conducts its crimes in secret, other than to write nasty critiques about it once I’m aware of it.  Demonstrations are useful as well, but not as effective as the ones in the 60s and 70s.  Back then we pulled out all the stops.


Should we be surprised at all by its puritanical and fanatical stance on drugs, when, as we were constantly reminded last week, being a true American is defined by being tough and vengeful?”

As someone who has read the histories of the inquisitions, witch hunts, rise and fall of totalitarian governments, genocides, and related topics for over three decades, I’m not surprised at all by America’s puritanical and fanatical stance on drugs.  Or anyone else’s.  Superstitious and fearful attitudes about medicines and recreational drugs have been around since the early Christian era. 

A lot of the behavior we see among primitive and modern prohibitionists is a consequence of how the human brain is wired.  The mind is biologically predisposed to think along the lines of ‘us versus them’, a behavior which has been confirmed in experiments related to social identity theory, as well as simian studies.  The only way to personally overcome this behavior is to understand it well enough to recognize it and block such primal urges should they arise. 

Properly manipulated by leaders, this ethnocentric behavior can be directed in ways to create an arbitrary underclass of people, a faux enemy accused of exhibiting a complete moral inversion, and whose persecution or murder can then be profitably exploited by those in power. 

Osama bin Laden initiated his religious warfare based on this same type of murderous crime when he attacked the U.S.  I think bin Laden deserved to die for his crimes, tough and vengeful retaliation notwithstanding.  Drug users and merchants, who typically don’t intend to murder or harm anyone else, definitely do not deserve the ill treatment they receive. 

President Ronald Reagan once said he wanted the drug laws to ‘terrorize’ drug users.  Tough and vengeful retaliation against Reagan, however, would have been considered terrorism.  Primitive and corrupt governments always legitimize the use of terror for use by themselves alone.  It is governments, and not necessarily the people, who are at fault in such cases.




Calderon's War on Drugs

 The North's drug problem is the North's problem and should not be made Mexico's problem; I speak as a northerner.

Drug Wars what they are about...

Prior to the joint Plan Mexico agreed to by US President and Mexico´s President, it was relatively safe and quiet in Mexico not making the top 5 list of the world´s most violent nations.  Just as recent as 2005, many senior citizens from Canada and the US were making Mexico their second home. This is the confidence that people had in Mexico.  The prices were affordable and the neighborhoods relatively safe.  

Today only six years later, the real estate rose to a global status making the markets sky rocket and the Mexican real estate undesirable.  The instability caused by Plan Mexico is a sure sign that this plan was not designed to help the country.  The average folk is struggling more than ever to purchase the bare necessities with an income that virtually remains the same while the produce rises.  

The average Mexican in most cities is still relatively safe if it were not for these soulless mercenaries and criminals who are responding to the agenda of Plan Mexico.  Everyone wonders if their city will be targeted next. The people who live by the sea begin to distrust their once peaceful coastline and wonder whether a Tsunami will one day destroy their home and coastline.  You be the judge and do a search on this topic.

Globalization destabilization and depopulation is really at the heart of this nefarious plan.  It would be relatively safe here in Mexico if it were not for this militant virus infecting this country being directed by men of renown.    People have to realize that drug trafficking is just of the many ploys used in each country to enslave us into fear, loss of freedoms and eventually leading each nation to succumb to war!


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