Drug War 40

The global war as seen from the center of North America

Declaration in support of Ciudad Juárez

The following declaration will be published in a newspaper ad in the
El Paso Times on Monday, May 17. If you are a citizen of the United
States and a resident of Las Cruces or El Paso and would like to add
your name to the declaration to appear in the published ad, please
contact Dr. Oscar Martinez BY NOON WEDNESDAY (tomorrow). He can be
reached by email:
martineo@email.arizona.edu.

Any names that come in after noon on Wednesday will be added to the
list of endorsers for future dissemination of the Declaration.

Oscar J. Martinez
Regents’ Professor
History Department
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona 85721
520-621-1046

Pre-publication draft #2, May 10, 2010

DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF CIUDAD JUÁREZ AND ITS EFFORTS TO REDUCE THE
VIOLENCE RELATED TO DRUG TRAFFICKING

We, the undersigned, U.S. citizens and residents of El Paso, Texas and
Las Cruces, New Mexico express our profound concern and dismay
regarding the absence of public safety, the near-complete breakdown of
the rule of law, and the humanitarian catastrophe in our neighboring
city of Ciudad Juárez. The terror that now confronts the residents of
Juárez, most of it a consequence of the climate of lawlessness created
by drug trafficking, is endangering the future peace and prosperity of
our binational region.

The Tragic Facts

Since 2006 the level of violence has been unprecedented, and Juárez
has become one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Over 1,600
people were killed in Juárez in 2008, nearly 2,700 in 2009, and 2010
is on track to equal or exceed previous records. Since 2008 over 150
children under the age of 18 have been slain, including toddlers
caught in the crossfire. Criminals acting with impunity have savagely
raped, tortured, and executed hundreds of young women, disposing of
their mutilated bodies in the desert surrounding Juárez. In 2009
there were 16,000 car thefts, of which 1,900 were classified as
carjackings. In addition, disappearances, kidnappings, extortions,
arsons, and assaults have become a daily occurrence.1

The uncontrolled violence has devastated the economy of Juárez and
seriously disrupted daily life. The dangerous climate has contributed
in a significant way to a steep drop in new investment of capital, to
diminishing productivity, to the closure of over 11,000 businesses,
and to massive unemployment. Between 100,000 to 200,000 people have
abandoned the city, with over 116,000 homes left vacant and many of
them vandalized. At least 30,000 of the refugees have moved to El
Paso.

Why Residents of El Paso and Las Cruces Should Care

It is in the interest of El Paso and Las Cruces to assist in all ways
possible to quell the violence in Juárez. The three cities constitute
one community and are deeply dependent on each other. Many people
from El Paso and Las Cruces commute regularly to work in Juárez, to
visit relatives, to shop, and to get medical and dental care. Many
tuition-paying students from Juárez cross the border daily to attend
elementary and secondary schools, as well as institutions of higher
learning, on U.S. soil. The intense interaction between our three
cities means an overall annual economic impact of billions of dollars
in El Paso and Las Cruces. Juarenses annually spend over $1.2 billion
in El Paso, and over 60,000 jobs El Paso rely upon the Juárez
maquiladoras and other economic activity.

The Underlying Cause of the Violence

It is well documented that much of the Juárez violence is fueled by
the various drug wars – those between cartels, those within cartels,
and those between cartels and the governments of the U.S. and Mexico –
wars that take the lives of members of drug trafficking organizations
and those innocent of any involvement. Residents of El Paso and Las
Cruces need to participate with our own government as well as with our
Mexican neighbors toward finding a pragmatic and workable solution
that ends the violence and restores order, law, and justice.

We can no longer afford to deny the overwhelming role that U.S.
consumption of drugs plays in fueling the violence in Juárez and
elsewhere in Mexico, or ignore that illicit cash and arms flows from
the United States into Mexico play a direct and powerful role in
sustaining the cartels and in fomenting the massive killing of people
in our neighboring Mexican city.

Call to Action

It is time to recognize that the U.S. 40-year War on Drugs has been a
dismal social, economic and policy failure. It has not achieved any of
its goals. Narco-related violence along the U.S.-Mexico border is
raging at unprecedented levels with no end in sight. We join many
prominent Americans, including ex-U.S. secretaries of state George
Schultz and James Baker, U.S. Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton
Friedman, ex-presidents of Mexico Vicente Fox and Ernesto Zedillo, ex-
president of Colombia César Gaviria, and ex-president of Brazil
Fernando Enrique Cardoso in calling for a comprehensive revamping of
the failed War on Drugs waged by the United States and other
countries.

* We support a well-funded and aggressive U.S. national
educational campaign to encourage people to refrain from the use of
illegal drugs by connecting their use to cartel-related terror.
* We support increased emphasis on treating substance abuse,
including the building of more substance abuse facilities
* We support U.S. drug policy initiatives that do not result in
wasting government funds and empowering criminal gangs and trafficking
organizations.
* We advocate, as an important first step in drug reform, the
repeal of the ineffective U.S. marijuana drug laws in favor of
regulating, controlling and taxing the production, distribution, sale
and consumption of marijuana by adults. The sale of marijuana in the
U.S. black market contributes 50 to 70 percent of Mexico’s cartel
revenues.
* We oppose unsuccessful militaristic approaches and demand that
any future U.S. aid involve a rigorous accounting of allegations of
human rights abuses and have strict performance metrics.
* We support U.S. aid that is tied to social, educational and
economic development in Mexico and support that country’s fight to
establish effective and just rule of law.
* We call on the U.S. government to properly and without bias make
decisions on applications from Mexicans seeking asylum from the
violence in Mexico, as well as make use of other existing avenues
available under U.S. law to ensure that all asylum seekers whose lives
are in danger are not unjustly rejected.

SIDE BARS:

Between 18,000 and 23,000 Mexicans have been killed since 2006, when
Mexico’s calamitous War on Drugs began.

Over 1,600 people were killed in Juárez in 2008, nearly 2,700 in 2009,
and 2010 is on track to equal or exceed previous records. Since 2008
over 150 children under the age of 18 have been slain, including
toddlers caught in the crossfire.

In 2009, more El Pasoans were killed in Juárez than in El Paso.

Massacres of large groups and discoveries of mass graves of murdered
victims have become frequent occurrences in Juárez since the late
1990s.

CIUDAD JUÁREZ SUPPORT NETWORK http://drugwar40.wordpress.com

Norma Alarcon

Dr. Charles Ambler

Gloria Ambler

Moses Ayoub

Rabbi Larry Bach

Bobby Byrd

Lee Byrd

Rep. Susie Byrd

Dr. Howard Campbell

Veronica Carbajal

Tom Casey

Luis Enrique Chew

Mari Cotera

Dr. Sandra Deutsch

Claudia Ferman

Fernando García

Ruben García

Dr. Amit Ghosh

Pat Graham-Casey

Dr. Josiah M. Heyman

Rafael Jesús González

Vanessa Johnson

Debra Kelly

Dr. Yolanda Leyva

Dr. Alejandro Lugo

Patricia Luna

Dr. Victor M. Macías-González

Dr. Oscar J. Martínez

Dr. Zulma Y. Méndez

Molly Molloy

Antonio Moreno

Andrés Muro

Richard Newton

Rep. Beto O’Rourke

Rep. Steve Ortega

Juan Ramírez

Carmen Rodríguez

José Rodríguez

Dr. César Rossatto

Benjamin Saenz

Stella Salazar

Michael Scanlon

Carlos Spector

Sandra Spector

Dr. Kathy Staudt

Paul Strelzin

Dr. Socorro Coquis Tabuenca

Rosamaría Tabuenca-Moyer

Katie Updike

Carmen Urrutia

Dr. Melissa Wright

Steve Yellen

Tracy Yellen

Filed under: Analysis, Government and NGO Resources, News

5 Responses

  1. malcolm kyle says:

    Prohibition is a sickening horror and the ocean of incompetence, corruption and human wreckage it has left in its wake is almost endless.

    Prohibition has decimated generations and criminalized millions for a behavior which is entwined in human existence, and for what other purpose than to uphold the defunct and corrupt thinking of a minority of misguided, self-righteous Neo-Puritans and degenerate demagogues who wish nothing but unadulterated destruction on the rest of us.

    Based on the unalterable proviso that drug use is essentially an unstoppable and ongoing human behavior which has been with us since the dawn of time, any serious reading on the subject of past attempts at any form of drug prohibition would point most normal thinking people in the direction of sensible regulation.

    By its very nature, prohibition cannot fail but create a vast increase in criminal activity, and rather than preventing society from descending into anarchy, it actually fosters an anarchic business model – the international Drug Trade. Any decisions concerning quality, quantity, distribution and availability are then left in the hands of unregulated, anonymous, ruthless drug dealers, who are interested only in the huge profits involved.

    Many of us have now, finally, wised up to the fact that the best avenue towards realistically dealing with drug use and addiction is through proper regulation which is what we already do with alcohol & tobacco, clearly two of our most dangerous mood altering substances. But for those of you whose ignorant and irrational minds traverse a fantasy plane of existence, you will no doubt remain sorely upset with any type of solution that does not seem to lead to the absurd and unattainable utopia of a drug free society.

    There is an irrefutable connection between drug prohibition and the crime, corruption, disease and death it causes. If you are not capable of understanding this connection then maybe you’re using something far stronger than the rest of us. Anybody ‘halfway bright’, and who’s not psychologically challenged, should be capable of understanding that it is not simply the demand for drugs that creates the mayhem, it is our refusal to allow legal businesses to meet that demand.

    No amount of money, police powers, weaponry, diminution of rights and liberties, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safer, only an end to prohibition can do that. How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution?

    If you still support the kool aid mass suicide cult of prohibition, and erroneously believe that you can win a war without logic and practical solutions, then prepare yourself for even more death, corruption, terrorism, sickness, imprisonment, unemployment, foreclosed homes, and the complete loss of the rule of law and the Bill of Rights.

    “A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”
    Abraham Lincoln

    The only thing prohibition successfully does is prohibit regulation & taxation while turning even our schools and prisons into black markets for drugs. Regulation would mean the opposite!

  2. [...] This situation is something that the communities of El Paso and Las Cruces, NM want to change. On Monday, politicians, academics, civic and business leaders of both cities will hold an event calling for a “comprehensive revamping of the failed War on Drugs waged by the United States and other countries.” You can read the press release here. [...]

  3. [...] Las comunidades de El Paso y Las Cruces, en Nuevo México, quieren cambiar esta situación. Hoy, políticos, académicos y líderes cívicos y empresariales de ambas ciudades llevarán a cabo un evento solicitando “una reforma profunda de la fallida Guerra contra las Drogas librada por EE.UU. y otros países”. Puede leer el comunicado de prensa [en inglés] aquí. [...]

  4. Dennis Jenkins says:

    I offer my full support…..thanks

  5. Lisa Esparza says:

    “But for those of you whose ignorant and irrational minds traverse a fantasy plane of existence, you will no doubt remain sorely upset with any type of solution that does not seem to lead to the absurd and unattainable utopia of a drug free society.”

    THAT sums it up perfectly. I also offer my full support.

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