The Rest

Jul 4, 2012

Back to the future with Mexican drug strategy

In their very different ways, the voters of Mexico and the education bureaucrats of Victoria seem to have reached the same conclusion.

Charles Richardson — Editor of The World is not Enough

Charles Richardson

Editor of The World is not Enough

Many readers will remember the Mexican presidential election of 2006.

It was one of a run of very close elections worldwide, with leftist candidate Manuel Lopez Obrador losing by less than 0.6% of the vote.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

2 thoughts on “Back to the future with Mexican drug strategy

  1. mikeb

    Without knowing more about Mexican drug cartels apart from media reports it seems a no-brainer to me that, of course, there would be less deaths if the cartels were largely ignored and left to their own devices. By “allowing these groups to be in business” the PRI are basically saying that it’s ok to traffic drugs to our children as long as they don’t cause too much trouble for us. You’d like to think our kids would be smart enough to always say “no thanks – cocaine will be bad for my health and future wellbeing” but we all know that the brain does not reach maturity until well into the twenties. The awareness of consequence in teenagers is sadly undeveloped – as just about all parents will attest. You might call me cold-hearted but I really don’t care how many drug dealers or runners or whatever die as long as long as the innocent are protected. And to those who say that prohibition doesn’t work – well maybe you are right, but do you also really think that drug use would drop if it was freely & readily available? I don’t think so.

  2. warwick fry

    Mike – the problem with the confrontational strategy against the drug cartels is not that the drug runners get killed, but innocent bystanders (and, incidentally, the cops). Inform yourself of the situation in Mexico, and other Latin American countries, and you will learn that the ‘war against drugs’, in terms of the death toll exceeds the effects of, for example, the 12 year civil war in El Salvador. The drug lords use terror and random killings to make their point. In El Salvador there was a teachers’ strike in protest at the death threats and beatings, while students dropped out of school to avoid persecution when they declined attempts to ‘recruit’ them into the drug-lord controlled gangs.

    Charles – Good to see an article that calls attention from our remote sector of the globe to what is essentially a global problem. I think it is worth adding the observation that the US was snubbed at the recent Summit of the Americas (held ironically in Colombia) where the question of decriminalising much drug use was raised. The Latin American countries are realising that the ‘war against drugs’ only seems to have one beneficiary – the US. There have been recent, and convincing allegations that the US banking system is to a large degree dependent on the money laundering required for massive drug transactions, and that perhaps blocking the outlet rather than the supply might have better effect.

    My extensive experience of Latin America is that alcohol abuse is far more of a social problem (putting aside the criminal element and corruption involved in the ‘hard’ drug traffic) than the recreational use of marijuana or cocaine. In fact, in Bolivia where one can buy coca leaves freely in the market, habituation to cocaine seems to be only a problem with the expatriate Europeans and North Americans.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details