It's Time to De-Escalate the Drug War
By John Grant
“And we never really face what is in front of us, never face what is inside our gutless language of cartels and drug lords and homeland security, never face that forces are unleashed on the land with names like poverty, a fix, murder, and despair, and our tools cannot master these forces. …Things happen and no one says much. Then after a while, no one admits the thing even happened.”
--Charles Bowden on life in Ciudad Juarez
US Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual resigned last week after cables he sent were released by WikiLeaks suggesting he thought Mexican police and military forces were crippled by corruption.
Truth was no defense in Pascual’s case.
Since right-wing President Felipe Calderon won a razor thin majority in 2006 and immediately declared a bloody shooting war on drug cartels, some cartel leaders have been killed or arrested. But, then, like mushrooms, as happened in Colombia with the killing of Jose Escobar, the number of cartels has grown from four to seven. In the crossfire, over 34,000 Mexican citizens have been murdered, many in notoriously gruesome fashion without a shred of mercy.
It seems the cartels have calculated that their strong suit in countering Calderon’s bully war – fought in conjunction with US drug warriors and with lots of US money -- is extreme and certain violence of the sort that means not only will you be gruesomely tortured and killed, but so will your entire family be mangled and killed.
In his book Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Field, Charles Bowden paints a horrific picture of a city overwhelmed to the point of mass numbness and the inability to even remotely address the present descent into barbarism. Only two percent of the crimes in the city ever go to court, let alone end in a conviction...
For the rest of this article by JOHN GRANT in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent alternative online newspaper, please go to: ThisCantBeHappening!