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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mexicans Eat Garbage

The Mexican president Felipe Calderon has blamed the violence in Mexico on the American apatite for illicit drugs. It is true that the consumption of these drugs in the US is a problem but is it the only reason that Mexico has been under siege by drug cartels for the past decade. For more answers to the the Mexican problem the Mexicans must look inward and to the south. Calderon In an interview with the BBC before the 2009 G-20 summit, responded to charges that his country is becoming a failed state due to drug cartel activity.

The president cautiously admitted that there is a drug problem, but placed most of the blame on his country's geographic proximity to the world's largest drug market: the United States. More blame falls on the US as well: for allowing weapons to flow across the border. And Calderon theorizes that US corruption is also partly to blame. He theorizes that if corruption allows drugs on the Mexican side of the border, it also must be true that corruption in the U.S. has something to do with the continuing passage of narcotics into that country.

Calderon may be acknowledging there is a internal problem but insists that the US is mostly to blame. The fact that the Mexican police forces and politicians receive more drug money in one month than they receive in salary for 5 years. Maybe the the fact that the drug cartels have taken control over corporations, the judicial system and state governments has slipped his mind. Mexico is at the point of operating as a failed state with an underground economy that represent 12% of the GDP. The Mexicans are continuously crying to the US for more and more money for drug eradication. The fact is that Mexico spends less of their own money on cartel interdiction activities than Perue, Columbia and Bolivia. The problem in Mexico is not just corruption within their own ranks but their southern neighbors have problems of their own.

The Salvadoran National Police reported on October 12th, 2011 that records through August 2011 showed that 232 police officers were implicated in criminal activity in 2011. Fourteen of those are charged with homicide, but most were involved with lesser crimes, including robbery, reckless driving and making threats. 

Colombian anti-narcotics police destroyed six tons of hydrochloride cocaine and 120 tons of precursor chemicals at a cocaine laboratory allegedly belonging to the paramilitary group Popular Revolutionary Anti-terrorist Army of Colombia (ERPAC), in Porto Gaitan, in the Meta department of the Eastern Plains, on 14 October 2011. Equipment discovered at the lab, which could produce up to 800 kilos of cocaine a week, is worth around US$2.6 million. 

On 10 October 2011, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala dismissed 30 of 45 police generals, including the National Director of the Police, in order to combat corruption. Corruption among police has led to an increase in drug trafficking in Peru, the world’s largest producer of coca leaf and second largest producer of cocaine.

At the root of Mexico's problem is the 60 million people living in poverty, 20 million of them live in extreme poverty. Most of the time, garbage is their only food, and some days, they don’t even eat anything. Drug smuggling, human trafficking and marijuana cultivation is the only source of income in the severely depressed rural locations in Mexico. The socialist polices of the past have left a legacy of poverty stemming from poorly run government infrastructure and education systems. Half of the Mexican population is illiterate and unemployable. This situation is the biggest obstacle in the war on drugs and it is not just a Mexican problem. The 7 Central America countries have a literacy rate of 80% however the average income for a person in the region is slightly over $1500.00 per year, with Nicaragua at the bottom end of the scale at $340.00 per year.

the international drug cartels will flourish unless the governments of these countries recognise that the underground economy is not the only means the poor have of supporting themselves. Investment in manufacturing and agriculture may help lift the standards in these banana republics to the point of self succulency. As it stands right now the economic problems in these countries is effecting the populations in North, South and Central America and no amount of guns, bullets and incarceration will stem the problem and the war on drugs continues.

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