While politicians continue to grandstand over who can be the most authoritarian and right-wing about drug prohibition, the daily cost of the ‘war on drugs’ is there for all to see. 62,000 people have been killed in Mexico since 2006 in the US-sponsored attempt to stop people enjoying their free time, or even controlling their serious illness. Furthermore, this doesn’t come close to evaluating the total deaths attributable to prohibition across the globe. Indeed, states themselves are killing citizens for possessing something which isn’t deadly, under the guise of protecting people. You couldn’t make it up.
Not only do such policies create death, but they also provide organised crime with untold riches. Indeed, one of the only third-world billionaires happens to be head of one of the cartels in Mexico. Thanks to US involvement organised crime now has unlimited funding to engage in things far more sinister than smoking a joint.
Just recently there was an incident in which 49 people were beheaded and left on the street. This might sound shocking, but it’s relatively commonplace in somewhere like Mexico. And the truth of the matter is that it’s out of sight/out of mind for most Western governments, who treat the death of a brown person as collateral damage in an overall just policy. Would this be tolerated if it were US or European cities? Wouldn’t there be outrage that government policy directly caused the deaths of so many?
The gruesome discovery came just days after police found the dismembered, decapitated bodies of 18 people in two abandoned vehicles in western Mexico, in what appeared to be a revenge killing involving powerful drug gangs. Just a few days earlier, there were 23 killings in the city of Nuevo Laredo, in Tamaulipas state, which borders the United States, with nine people found hanging from a bridge and 14 others decapitated.
On Friday, gunmen attacked the offices of El Manana newspaper in Nuevo Laredo, even though the newspaper long ago stopped reporting on cartel violence out of fear. The gunmen sprayed the building with high-caliber ammunition and tossed a homemade grenade at the building as the news staff worked to finish the next morning’s edition.
Amazingly, no injuries were reported. In Tamaulipas, the cartels are fighting for control of a corridor that leads to US Interstate 35, a highway known as one of the most lucrative routes for drug and human smugglers.
Thankfully, some of the better news outlets have chosen to report on this alarming figure. If only the mainstream organisations were so quick to raise this issue on their own networks. Mexican deaths as a result of prohibition now outnumber US deaths in Iraq by a ratio of 5 to 1, but governments don’t want to listen.
From The Young Turks: