Drug War 40

The global war as seen from the center of North America

An exchange about the NPR reports re: Mex gov favoring Sinaloa Cartel

The first message here is a response from NPR reporter John Burnett to a note from researcher James Creechan. The note from Creechan was distributed on the Frontera Listserv.

Estimadas Colegas,
We were very frustrated with Edgardo Buscaglia’s own figures of cartel arrests so we decided to create our own database. At the beginning of our investigation, I asked Edgardo the source of his cartel arrest statistics–he claims 941 out of 53,174 organized crime arrests in the past six years were people associated with the Sinaloans. He told me these figures were given to him by a source within the PGR and they include state arrests. We asked if we could speak to his source, if he had any documentary proof, or any way we could independently verify his numbers. He said there wasn’t. Basically, trust me.
That’s when we decided to analyze PGR news releases. As far as we can tell, that’s the only database in the country that has comprehensive arrests, prosecutions and sentencing of named cartel members for organized crime offenses.
Gobernacion said in February, and again Tuesday in response to our reports, that 72,000 “delincuentes” were arrested for drug offenses between Dec 1, 2006, to Feb. 4, 2010. We asked some trusted sources in Mexico City about this and they think the government’s 72,000 figure is phantasmagorical. If the number is accurate, they’re counting every dealer they arrested and possibly users, many of whom do not claim allegiance with any cartel.
We believe our database accurately reflects several observations:

* The Mexican government may be inflating the number of Sinalaons it arrests to counter criticism that it’s not going after them.
* It may be undercounting the number of Zetas arrested–which accounts for 44% of the total–to make the cartel war look more balanced.
* The number of arrests in Juarez–only 104 in two years–is striking given that there are so many federal forces there.

I invite your comments and questions. The dialogue on Molly’s group is always lively.

Best regards,
John Burnett

—–Original Message—–
From: frontera-list@googlegroups.com [mailto:frontera-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of molly
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 10:40 AM
To: Frontera LIst
Subject: [frontera-list] Sinaloa Cartel Seems Favored In Mexico’s Drug War–background

For questions on this, contact Jim Creechan directly. I will upload
the pdf file to the front page of the Frontera-List. For more
background, see the Narco-Mexico Blog: http://narcocartels.blogspot.com/

from James Creechan
date Thu, May 20, 2010 at 8:30 AM
subject Re: Is the Sinaloa Cartel Protected?

There have been a number of email exchanges about the latest NPR
report that the Sinaloa cartel has been “insulated” and/or protected.

I created a pdf file that has tracks references to this “protection
hypothesis”. This file (49 pages…large) has sequenced the news
references to this idea that Sinaloa has been protected.

Here’s a brief summary of the events and the growth of the story (as
pulled from my records):

1. The first reference to actual statistics (low arrests for
Sinaloa) appeared in the Economist in the second edition of the new
year (January 9, 2010). Edgardo Buscaglia is cited as the source of
information about low arrest rates.
2. On January 14, La Jornada publishes a report by Alfredo Mendez
that cites Buscaglia and addresses the hypothesis that there is a
negotiation in the background.
3. The AP picks up part of the story and publishes a report by Mark
Stevenson in late January (January 24)
4. In Sinaloa, Manuel Clouthier (son of El Maquio, the well
respected PAN candidate for President in the 1980’s) made a public
declaration that the Sinaloa cartel has been untouched in the drug-
wars. This announcement and proclamation will become the basis for
most of the reports about the “untouchability of the Sinaloa cartel”.
Clouthier’s declarations are widely reported and repeated.
1. The story was first published in Proceso 1637 (February
2010)
2. Reports from Noroeste.com and from Rio.Doce.com.mx are
also included here to show the impact of Clouthier in forwarding this
“Sinaloa is protected argument”
5. Esquire (Europe) publishes another long analysis based on
Buscaglia’s argument and makes reference to the statistics in March.
This Esquire article also contains many important insights by
Buscaglia about the nature of Organized Crime in Mexico- very few of
which have filtered into the mainstream press or into the policy and
academic circles examining crime.
6. The NPR story and it’s statistics are included here. Although
the numbers differ (significantly), the basic argument that Sinaloa is
relatively protected seems to be validated by the low numbers of
arrests – especially considering the estimates that the Sinaloa cartel
controls between 45-48% of all the drug trade in Mexico (according to
other statistics which are obviously rough estimates and subject to
interpretation.

Although there are many reasons to question the statistics presented
by NPR, and probably to question those originating with Buscaglia –
all of the other evidence and information does beg an answer to the
questions raised by Manuel Clouthier Carrillo – “How does the Sinaloa
(New Federation) avoid the level of scrutiny and intervention that
have hit the other cartels?”

Jim Creechan
Toronto

Filed under: Analysis, News, opinion

NPR’s John Burnett interviewed

Drug cartels have been linked to corruption, killings and a spike in drug-related violence in Mexico. In a four-month investigation, NPR found evidence that the Mexican army is colluding with one of Mexico’s most powerful drug mafias. NPR correspondent John Burnett shares what he uncovered in Mexico. Here’s an excerpt from the interview.

CONAN: And in your stories, you’ve described a battle taking place between two factions fighting for control over the border city of Ciudad Juarez, La Linea and the Sinaloa cartel.

BURNETT: That’s right. Let me also just add something to your intro to our conversation here. What we’ve been reporting this week is that elements of the Mexican army appear to be compromised in this fight against the cartels. We’re really not saying that the army as a monolithic institution is completely committed to one side.

CONAN: Well, that’s what I was going to say. Is it fair to say that in fact one of these cartels has bought more of the Mexican army than the other one?

BURNETT: That’s exactly right, yeah. And where we did found most of our evidence and certainly spent most of our time, myself and producer Marisa Penaloza, was in Ciudad Juarez, which has been called Murder City. It’s the -has the highest homicide rate in Mexico. It’s ground zero of the cartel war.

And we went into federal court to look at testimony in the U.S. We interviewed former law enforcement officials in the U.S., in Mexico, talked to dozens of folks on the ground there, and came away with a very strong belief that elements of the Mexican army are colluding with the Sinaloa cartel, which is locked in a battle for the territory of Juarez. That’s really a very valuable smuggling corridor into the U.S., as we know, and that the army has been used by the Sinaloans, which is Mexico’s largest, richest and oldest drug cartel. They’ve been using the army to help them defeat the Juarez cartel, which is also known as La Linea, sort of the local mafia that’s been there for decades.

For the full interview, click here

Filed under: Uncategorized

They won’t talk about it

From the Washington Post:

Legalizing drugs — what Obama and Calderon won’t discuss

By Edward Schumacher-Matos

President Obama calls Mexican President Felipe Calderon Mexico’s Elliott Ness and is receiving him today in an official state visit. Calderon is surely a brave man, and he is right to fight to curb the power of the drug cartels inside Mexico. His predecessor as head of his National Action Party, former presidential candidate Diego Fernandez de Cevallo, has gone missing; the suspicion is that a drug cartel has kidnapped him. The cartels have infiltrated much of the police and government and run many border towns through fear.

But Elliott Ness never stopped illegal liquor. The lifting of Prohibition did. Similarly, the only solution to the drug trafficking and violence on both sides of the border is to legalize drugs.

That, however, won’t be on the agenda in the talk between the two presidents. Rather, the talk will be of improving police intelligence collaboration, of speeding up delivery of promised military aid under Plan Merida, of cutting off the flow of guns and money back into Mexico, of Mexican efforts to clean up corruption and improve its enforcement capabilities. All that is necessary for Mexico’s normal development and immediate crisis, but none of it will put much of a dent in the flow of drugs.

Border towns such as El Paso, Texas, and Nogales, Arizona, are rated as some of the safest places in the country. Most border mayors from Texas to California oppose militarizing the border. The El Paso city council voted for a resolution condemning Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law. Earlier, sensibly, it voted for a resolution in favor of a national legalization of drugs.

Maybe we should move the capital to El Paso.

Filed under: Uncategorized

AP ‘failed Drug War’ report ignites debate

AP Impact report on failed drug war ignites debate
By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN (AP) – 19 hours ago

McALLEN, Texas — A Texas city councilman waging a lonely fight against U.S. drug policy sent an excited e-mail to his constituents Friday: “We’re on the brink of significant change.”

Across the nation, people who long ago declared the war on drugs a failure were encouraged by an Associated Press review that shows $1 trillion spent over 40 years has done little to stop the flow of illegal drugs or related violence, and by the U.S. drug czar’s admission to the AP that the war has not been successful.

“One of the most damning and comprehensive articles on the failure of the drug war was published throughout the world yesterday,” said El Paso City Councilman Beto O’Rourke, who has had a front-row seat to the failure across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s most violent, drug-plagued city.

“The AP article … uses clear metrics (expressed in dollars spent, lives lost, availability and use of drugs, etc.) to describe what a catastrophe our War on Drugs has been so far.”

The AP report played across Texas newspaper front pages on Friday, ran high on Internet news sites and ignited the blogosphere, where the left-leaning, independent news service AlterNet declared: “The Associated Press takes the entire U.S. drug war strategy and rakes it over the coals. It’s about damn time!”

Read more here

Filed under: Analysis, News

An idea whose time has come

From the newsletter of city Rep. Beto O’Rourke:

AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME

There were a number of developments this week that, when taken together, make me think that we’re finally going to make some progress on the most fundamental causes of the violence in Juarez: drug demand and drug prohibition.

First, a number of El Pasoans have come together around a statement that offers several clear-cut proposals to help stem the violence, including: explicitly linking drug use in the U.S. to drug terror in
Juarez (you buy drugs here, you’re helping to kill someone in Juarez); ending the disastrous prohibition of marijuana (which contributes nearly $8-9 billion into the coffers of the cartels annually); and focusing U.S. foreign aid on critical social, educational and economic infrastructure. The statement is timed to coincide with President Calderon’s visit to Washington D.C. and the state dinner that will be hosted in his honor at the White House. There will be a press conference Monday at 1pm at Lion’s Placita near the Paso del Norte Bridge. I’ve posted the press release further down in this newsletter.

The full statement is also posted on the Drug War 40 website (https://drugwar40.wordpress.com/) and you can sign a petition in support of the statement by clicking here.

Second, one of the most damning and comprehensive articles on the failure of the drug war was published throughout the world yesterday. The AP article, titled “US drug war has met none of its goals”, uses clear metrics (expressed in dollars spent, lives lost, availability and use of drugs, etc.) to describe what a catastrophe our War on Drugs has been so far. The opening paragraph:

After 40 years, the United States’ war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread.

* Read the full article by clicking here.

Third, the White House has announced a new drug war strategy. It is deeply flawed; it does not get to the fundamental problems with the war on drugs; but it is a small, incremental step towards a better policy. It talks about demand reduction (reducing teen use by 15%), it increases funding for rehabilitation and recovery, but its primary focus is still interdiction and imprisonment.

But, taken with the stunning, widely circulated AP story, the building national consensus that drug consumption and prohibition in the U.S. are causing terrible damage in our country and in Mexico, and the leadership we are seeing throughout our community in demanding a solution to the violence in Juarez, I think we’re on the brink of significant change. The administration’s attempt to save 40 years of face and position itself to ride the wave that just might be coming in tells me that we’re close to proving Victor Hugo right.

Filed under: Analysis, News, opinion

“Citizens must make their voices heard”

To sign a petition in support of this effort, go here.

For immediate release

El Paso, Texas

For more information, contact Susie Byrd, El Paso City Council
Representative, at 915-204-9813 or susiebyrd2009@gmail.com

*COMMUNITY LEADERS TO PRESIDENT OBAMA:*

*DRUG WAR HAS FAILED JUÁREZ.*

*REFORM DRUG LAWS TO HELP REDUCE VIOLENCE.*

*Media Conference*

* *

*What:* El Paso and Las Cruces community leaders to gather to present
“Declaration in Support of Ciudad Juárez and Its Efforts to Reduce The
Violence Related to Drug Trafficking”

*When:* Monday May 17, 2010 at 1 P.M. (Mountain Standard Time)

*Where:* Lion’s Plazita (910 S. Santa Fe St., at the base of the Paso del
Norte Bridge on Stanton Street, El Paso, Texas)

On May 19, 2010, President Barack Obama will host a State Dinner for Mexican
President Felipe Calderón.

In anticipation of that meeting, community leaders—including local elected
officials, civic leaders, faith leaders, business leaders and academics from
El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico—will gather to call on President
Obama to recognize that the U.S. 40-year War on Drugs has been a dismal
social, economic and policy failure.

One of the organizers of this effort, Professor Oscar J. Martinez states,
“This is one of the most critical moments in the history of Ciudad
Juárez and El Paso. At this time of crisis, citizens must make their voices
heard. Change is needed like never before. We must begin the process now of
ending the violence in our binational region.”

The Drug War has not achieved its goals of reducing drug consumption and
drug access, and narco-related violence along the U.S.-Mexico border is
raging at unprecedented levels with no end in sight. The seven point
“Declaration in Support of Ciudad Juárez and Its Efforts to Reduce The
Violence Related to Drug Trafficking” asks for reform of current drug laws
and drug enforcement policies as a way to help curb violence related to drug
trafficking in Mexico. We will ask that President Obama and President
Calderón take serious steps to reform drug laws and the U.S./Mexico
relationship to help bring an end to the violence in Juárez.

The Declaration will be presented at the media conference with a call to the
public to contact President Obama and other federal elected officials to
demand immediate and sustained action until such time as the violence in
Juárez has been reduced.

Filed under: Analysis, News, opinion

Prohibition, then and now

Oddly, the excerpt from the Fresh Air interview with Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition author Daniel Okrent do not connect the past and present (although perhaps the full interview as aired did). The full interview can be found here. A couple of excerpts that beg for a comparison to today:

On the political beliefs shared by a majority of Prohibitionists

“It largely had to do with a xenophobic, largely anti-immigration feeling that arose in the American Middle West, that arose among white, native-born Protestants. It also had a strong racist element to it. Prohibition was a tool that the white South could use to keep down the black population. In fact, they used Prohibition to keep liquor away from black people but not from white people. So you could find a number of ways that people could come into whatever issue they wanted to use and use Prohibition as their tool. The clearest one, probably, was women’s suffrage. Oddly, the suffrage movement and the Prohibition movement were almost one and the same — and you found organizations like the Ku Klux Klan supporting women’s suffrage because they believed women would vote on behalf of Prohibition.”

Prohibition loopholes

“The second one was medicinal liquor. I have a bottle on my shelf at home — an empty bottle — that says Jim Beam, for medicinal purposes only. In 1917, the American Medical Association — supporting Prohibition — said there was no reason at all to use alcohol as a therapeutic remedy of any kind. Then they realized with this loophole that there was an opportunity to make some money. And capitalism abhors a vacuum. Within two or three years, you could go into virtually any city in the country and buy a prescription for $3 from your local physician and then take it to your local pharmacy and go home with a pint of liquor every 10 days. And this is really how many of the large distilleries in Kentucky and the middle of the country stayed in business throughout the Prohibition years.

Filed under: Analysis, News, opinion

President Obama, the Drug War has failed Juarez

Press release from the office of city Rep. Susie Byrd

For immediate release
El Paso, Texas
For more information, contact Susie Byrd, El Paso City Council Representative, at 915-204-9813 or susiebyrd2009@gmail.com

COMMUNITY LEADERS TO PRESIDENT OBAMA:
DRUG WAR HAS FAILED JUÁREZ.
REFORM DRUG LAWS TO HELP REDUCE VIOLENCE.

Media Conference

What: El Paso and Las Cruces community leaders to gather to present “Declaration in Support of Ciudad Juárez and Its Efforts to Reduce The Violence Related to Drug Trafficking”
When: May 19, 2010 at 1 P.M. (Mountain Standard Time)
Where: Lion’s Plazita (910 S. Santa Fe St., at the base of the Paso del Norte Bridge, El Paso, Texas)

On May 19, 2010, President Barack Obama will host a State Dinner for Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

In anticipation of that meeting, community leaders—including local elected officials, civic leaders, faith leaders, business leaders and academics from El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico—will gather to call on President Obama to recognize that the U.S. 40-year War on Drugs has been a dismal social, economic and policy failure.

The Drug War has not achieved its goals of reducing drug consumption and drug access, and narco-related violence along the U.S.-Mexico border is raging at unprecedented levels with no end in sight. The seven point “Declaration in Support of Ciudad Juárez and Its Efforts to Reduce The Violence Related to Drug Trafficking” asks for reform of current drug laws and drug enforcement policies as a way to help curb violence related to drug trafficking in Mexico. We will ask that President Obama and President Calderón take serious steps to reform drug laws and the U.S./Mexico relationship to help bring an end to the violence in Juárez.

One of the organizers of this effort, Professor Oscar J. Martinez states, “This is one of the most critical moments in the history of Ciudad
Juárez and El Paso. At this time of crisis, citizens must make their voices heard. Change is needed like never before. We must begin the process now of ending the violence in our binational region.”

The Declaration will be presented at the media conference with a call to the public to contact President Obama and other federal elected officials to demand immediate and sustained action until such time as the violence in Juárez has been reduced.

Filed under: Analysis, News, opinion

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 https://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

Drug War strategy review

Originally posted on Alternet:

Drug War Chronicle / By Phillip S. Smith

Draft of Obama’s National Drug Strategy Leaked: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Document indicates some positive shifts away from Bush-era drug policy paradigm, yet it seems the drug war juggernaut will still be rolling along.
May 10, 2010 |

A leaked draft of the overdue 2010 National Drug Strategy was recently published by Newsweek, and it reveals some positive shifts away from Bush-era drug policy paradigms and toward more progressive and pragmatic approaches. But there is a lot of continuity as well, and despite the Obama administration’s rhetorical shift away from the “war on drugs,” the drug war juggernaut is still rolling along.

That doesn’t quite jibe with Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP — the drug czar’s office) director Gil Kerlikowske’s words when he announced in April 2009 that the phrase “war on drugs” was no longer in favor. “Regardless of how you try to explain to people it’s a ‘war on drugs’ or a ‘war on a product,’ people see a war as a war on them. We’re not at war with people in this country.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Analysis, News, opinion

Drug War 40

We are concerned citizens working to understand and tell the story of the Drug War in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. We have become a hot spot: Thousands have died in recent years, and the world's attention is on us. But this is multi-generational and international, 40 years in the making. We are only one of many global war zones in which criminal organizations use violence to control markets and fight prohibitionist forces. Those war zones include North American inner city retail sales markets, Mexican transportation hubs and centers of production in the jungles of South America and the fields of Central Asia, and many other places. We primarily see things from the relatively unscathed frontline on the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico border, but have a global perspective and the desire for peace for our brothers and sisters on the other side of the line.

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