On Wednesday night, approximately a dozen hitmen swarmed into a drug rehab center in the city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Execution style, they lined up the patients and killed 17 of them. This treatment center, on the Mexican and U.S. border, seems to be an attempt to send a message to the two governments that the crackdown on Mexican drug trafficking isn't going to work. Mexican president Felipe Calderon announced in 2006 that he'd be going directly after the cartels- who haven't exactly responded well.
In a little-covered aspect of the story, the drug cartels have been specifically targeting drug treatment centers. The cartels seem to be hunting down their rivals, or looking for new recruits to join in the fray. Over a thousand people in Ciudad Juarez have died this year as a result of drug-related violence. Even with thousands of police and federal agents swarming the city, these cartels are obviously still able to function relatively successfully, albeit with a large amount of bloodshed.
Bottom line here: War on Drugs: FAILING. Need a new solution. We may not be able to fix Mexico's problem, but by putting more treatment resources in the hands of our citizens. Without creating a police state in Mexico, we can't really help them. So how do we help ourselves? By putting plans in place to help people struggling with drugs, and getting rid of laws that force non-violent drug offenders into jail instead of treatment, we can provide an on-the-ground solution here at home. I've posted this before, but Walter Kronkite posted a great article about the failure of the war on drugs here in the US. If we want to export help to other countries, it needs to be a message of help, not a punitive message. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..." Let's not forget that we're here to be a safe haven.
Drugs are a threat that make all borders meld together, a scourge that we can't take care of on our own. Latin America, and ESPECIALLY Mexico, absolutely need to develop some workable communication between themselves, the United States and the European Union. We need a workable solution to the war on drugs. As the lives of 17 drug addicts trying to get well can attest, the current strategy isn't working.
Here's a video of the story:
Here's something funny.
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