Thursday, December 16, 2010
'Mexico supplies the drugs. We supply the users'
Over the border and through the cartels to Abuelita's casa we go. A scary new reality arrived with the long Christmas season in Mexico. For generations, families have driven across the border from the U.S. to spend much of December and into January visiting relatives. This year, the Mexican government put out stark warnings to such merry travelers. Travel in convoys, in daylight and if possible, contact federal authorities for a military escort through the portions of Mexico where the drug cartel violence has been particularly gruesome. Feliz Navidad. And most of us are worried about overly exuberant security agents touching our junk as we travel for the holidays. The U.S. is forever proclaiming its war on drugs. And if you live in an urban community where police regularly stop folks in search of those carrying contraband, you'd be justified to feel under siege. But if you want to know what a real drug war is, behold Mexico. The scale of the casualties (more then 28,000 in four years) and disruption to daily life is difficult for most in the U.S. to grasp. Mexico's version of our Health and Human Services secretary told the Los Angeles Times he worried that his nation is on the cusp of becoming one where "killing someone can be seen as normal or natural." It's easy to cluck our tongues about the gruesome violence "over there," but to do so is to absolve ourselves of the role our country plays in this bloody import/export business. Let's be honest: this is a trade relationship. Mexico supplies the drugs. We supply the users...more