Saturday, May 10, 2008

American Drug Users

A different view of Americas War on Drugs.

U.S. drug users: Main cause for Mexico’s bloodbath

By Patrick Osio, Jr.

It’s time to take the gloves off and lay the responsibility for the bloodbath taking place on a daily basis in Mexico where it belongs – U.S. drug users. Mexican style Mafiosos are killing each other along with Mexican police officers, judges, prosecutors, journalists and innocent bystanders be they adults or children to gain transportation corridors from which to smuggle illicit drugs into the waiting hands of U.S. drug users.

And how does U.S. media report such events? Report how lawless Mexico is. And, for good measure, most articles insert the note “corrupt Mexican lawmen” in the story. Hardly any report ever mentions the end user in the U.S. as though that’s not the major part of the story unfolding before their very noses, when in fact they are the very reason for the carnage.

"It would stop being a business if the United States didn't want drugs," Benjamin Arellano Felix, one of the most ruthless and merciless drug capos responsible for hundreds of killings, told the Washington Post in a prison interview after Mexican authorities apprehended him.

Corruption in Mexico is no different than it was during the prohibition era in Chicago, New York, New Jersey and most major cities where the Mafia fought for territorial rights to sell liquor smuggled from Canada. And today, is there still one naïve U.S. citizen who believes there is no official corruption in any town USA?

Yes, there is corruption in Mexico, more than a country deserves, but Mexico does not have, or ever had, a monopoly. Like in the U.S. there is a fair share, and steadily growing numbers of honest non corrupt officials throughout Mexico.

During the U.S. prohibition era there were many non corrupt officers throughout the US who valiantly fought to defend law and order; many fell along with numerous innocent victims who were caught in the battles. This is now happening in Mexico.

U.S. news media touches on the administration of President Calderon’s declaration of war against organized crime in Mexico. This war is as real as our war against terrorism, and as all wars, it causes casualties. But instead of celebrating the bravery and ultimate sacrifice by the many that fall in the line of duty to keep drugs away from American families, news reporting marks Mexico as “lawless.” What injustice, what lack of fair reporting.

The recreational use of drugs, marijuana in particular, along with the more dangerous addictive stimulant drugs, has over several decades become entrenched in American culture greatly aided by Hollywood’s glamorizing drug usage in films. Though Marijuana is the most used, in the 1970s, Cocaine became the darling of the “successful” be they in the entertainment, sports or professions. It was the high cost of cocaine that created the link between U.S. users and Latin American producers; who originally used Mexico as a transportation corridor when it became more difficult to use Florida’s coast as entry points. This gave way to the Mexican capos and the beginning of the reign of terror in Mexico – all to satisfy U.S. recreational drug usage, eventually leading to addiction.

There should be no mistake, if Mexico loses the war against the drug trafficking capos, the U.S. is the biggest loser as every year 17,000 American lives are lost to drugs; where over 60 percent of the jail population is due to drug related crimes. And, where the annual cost, not counting what states and municipalities spend, exceeds $200-billion. But the biggest cost is in the lives and families destroyed and continuing fall into an abyss of national decadence.

With “my drug use doesn’t harm anyone but me” users excuse their repugnant behavior. But drug usage creates carnage, real people are being killed, families destroyed, children left orphans, mothers left without children, wives widowed in both Mexico and the U.S.

Pointing the finger at Mexico as the source of our problems has become all too handy an excuse by our government, the news media and by far too many of our citizens to avoid facing problems of our own making.

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