Drug War 40

The global war as seen from the center of North America

Declaration in Support of Ciudad Juarez

Pre-publication draft #2, May 10, 2010


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

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

* 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
* 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
* 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.


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

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


3 Responses

  1. Rita Keegan MM says:

    I wholeheartedly support the above comment.

  2. Rita Keegan MM says:

    I endorse the above wholeheartedly.

  3. Josephine Lucker MM says:

    Thank you and know that I am in solidarity with you in promoting social justice in the El Paso, Ciudad Juarez, Las Cruces Border Region.

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