Drug War 40

The global war as seen from the center of North America

Big (drug) business needs big banks

From Bloomberg News:

Just before sunset on April 10, 2006, a DC-9 jet landed at the international airport in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, 500 miles east of Mexico City. As soldiers on the ground approached the plane, the crew tried to shoo them away, saying there was a dangerous oil leak. So the troops grew suspicious and searched the jet.

They found 128 black suitcases, packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100 million. The stash was supposed to have been delivered from Caracas to drug traffickers in Toluca, near Mexico City, Mexican prosecutors later found. Law enforcement officials also discovered something else.

The smugglers had bought the DC-9 with laundered funds they transferred through two of the biggest banks in the U.S.: Wachovia Corp. and Bank of America Corp., Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its August 2010 issue.

This was no isolated incident. Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers — including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine.

The admission came in an agreement that Charlotte, North Carolina-based Wachovia struck with federal prosecutors in March, and it sheds light on the largely undocumented role of U.S. banks in contributing to the violent drug trade that has convulsed Mexico for the past four years.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Analysis, News

Wash Post: EPIC fail

From a column “Spy Talk,” written by Jeff Stein, which bills itself as “intelligence for thinking people.”

Audit: El Paso Intelligence Center a bust

The El Paso Intelligence Center, launched in 1974 to identify drug traffickers south of the border, is all but a complete bust, the Justice Department’s Inspector General reported Tuesday.

The 86-page report was a virtual laundry list of seemingly intractable problems at the border intelligence post, opened by the Drug Enforcement Administration with great fanfare 36 years ago.

“EPIC could not produce a complete record of drug seizures nationwide because of incomplete reporting into the National Seizure System, which is managed by EPIC,” Glenn A. Fine, chief of the Office of the Inspector General, reported.

“EPIC had not sustained the staffing for some key interdiction programs, such as its Fraudulent Document unit, its Air Watch unit, or its Maritime Intelligence unit….” Fine added.

“As a result, EPIC’s service to users in these program areas had been disrupted or diminished for periods of time.”

How long, or how seriously the programs had been “disrupted or diminished,” he did not say.

Then there were EPIC’s “coordination problems,” the OIG said, demonstrating that the unit is not immune to the failure-to-share bugaboo that has long afflicted U.S. intelligence, as documented in repeated reports and studies over the years.

“EPIC member agencies [are] not sharing information or contributing resources to sustain programs at EPIC,” the OIG said.

“Further, we found that EPIC’s coordination with federal and state intelligence organizations across the country is inconsistent,” Fine added.

Even worse: “EPIC did not maintain an up-to-date list of key intelligence and fusion centers and their points of contact, and EPIC did not know if it had users in each center….”

Fine’s other findings raise the question of how EPIC’s intelligence personnel spend their day.

“EPIC does not analyze some information that it uniquely collects, and as a result, EPIC may not be adequately identifying trends and patterns in trafficking activity that could be used to increase the effectiveness and safety of drug interdiction activities,” the OIG said.

“For example, at the time of our review, EPIC was not identifying trends or patterns in the use of documents sent to EPIC that were suspected of being used to commit fraud.”

In its most devastating statistic, the auditors found that “less than 1 percent of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers” use EPIC’s intelligence.

Tuesday’s report echoed problems found previously in drug interdiction programs, especially since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2004, which scrambled responsibilities among a handful of new agencies.

“Partnerships have changed since 9/11 and outdated interagency agreements have led to conflicts with ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and operational inefficiencies at CBP [Customs and Border Patrol],” the Government Accountability Office noted in 2007.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department recommended almost a dozen specific fixes for the problem at EPIC, which had a major cameo in Traffic, the 2000 movie about a skeptical White House “drug czar,” played by Michael Douglas.

The DEA generally concurred in all of the criticisms, adding explanations (or rationalizations, the OIG seemed to think) for its shortcomings, and steps it had already taken to correct them.

“Although DEA has been responsible for the management of EPIC since it inception, EPIC is a true multi-agency center that remains heavily dependent on a variety of agencies for data, staffing and participation,” an OIG memorandum on DEA’s responses said. Some 21 agencies provide staff to EPIC.

Meanwhile, the flow of illegal drugs from Mexico continues at flood-like levels.

A nationwide, multi-agency counter narcotics sweep last week netted 429 arrests, plus “$5.8 million in cash, 2,951 pounds of marijuana, 247 pounds of cocaine, 17 pounds of methamphetamine, 141 weapons and 85 vehicles,” according to the New York Times.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. called the raid “our most extensive, and most successful, law enforcement effort to date targeting these deadly cartels.”

Filed under: Analysis, News, opinion

Just Watch this Video

Then read this:

Filed under: Analysis, News

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

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 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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