Drug War 40

The global war as seen from the center of North America

O’Rourke in WSJ: Bearing witness

City Council Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s letter in the Wall Street Journal March 27.

In addition to bearing witness to the horrific killings of men, women and children in our sister city, it has become very clear to us that the failure of Juárez portends the failure of El Paso.

In El Paso, We Live the Drug War
Mary O’Grady’s March 22 Americas column The War on Drugs Is Doomed is one of the best pieces ever written on the connection between U.S. drug policy and drug violence in Mexico. I just hope it can inform public policy discussions.

I am on the City Council of El Paso, Texas, across the border from Ciudad Juárez, where more than 5,000 people have been killed since President Calderón was elected. We are living the drug war, and it has been disastrous for our community.

In addition to bearing witness to the horrific killings of men, women and children in our sister city, it has become very clear to us that the failure of Juárez portends the failure of El Paso.

Juarenses spend more than $1.4 billion in our economy every year; more than $51 billion in U.S./Mexico trade passes through El Paso/Juárez ports of entry annually (almost 20% of trade between the two countries); Juárez economic activity is responsible for 60,000 jobs in El Paso; and, as you might imagine, family, business and other relationships extend over the border and are the basis of much of the economic and cultural success that we enjoy.

It is clearly in our interest to find a solution to this drug violence, and it is clear that central to that solution is acknowledging the role of drug consumption and drug prohibition in the U.S.

Ms. O’Grady has done an outstanding job through her columns in educating the public on the connection between drug consumption, drug prohibition and drug violence. Communities like ours are dependent on a better understanding and eventual action by our national elected leaders.

Beto O’Rourke

El Paso City Council

District 8

El Paso, Texas

The original can be found here http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704896104575140293827255352.html

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Filed under: opinion

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