Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Uncle Academic: "Extent of the crisis in Mexico owing to drug cartels" A News Overview with commentary!

There are many points of interest in these articles.  One is the extent of official worry over the  precariousness of the Mexican state, and the destabilization of the entire country.

The case could be made that US national security would be better served by legalizing the use of marijuana (and even cocaine), and licensing domestic production and distribution (taking the profit out of drug smuggling, and the concomitant threat to Mexican society as a whole of the drug trade as it is currently constituted).  Of course, this would need to be accompanied by a real "drug education" program -- not the myth-riddled concoction we've subjected children to for decades.

Meanwhile, we're seeing a mobilization of the US public for deploying US troops inside the country in the "war on drugs."  (The cavalier attitude of Texas Governor Perry towards constitutional concerns [first article below] is pretty chilling.)  Also possible is a renewed law-and-order campaign against users.

Since Spring Break is upon us, it's worth noting that the security situation has so deteriorated in Mexico that the State Department is warning US citizens about the risks of traveling there (especially in border areas).  See also #9 below.

I've arranged these in reverse order of date of publication.  You might want to start with #1 and #8.


In Mexico’s drug wars, fears of a U.S. front

Violence that has killed thousands is beginning to cross border, officials say
The death toll is spiraling throughout Mexico as a war between the country’s government and the drug cartels intensifies. 
By Alex Johnson
updated 6:03 a.m. ET, Mon., March. 9, 2009

One victim of Mexico’s escalating violence
‘My wife wasn’t afraid,’ husband says after her death in drug-related crime
By F. Brinley Bruton
updated 6:07 a.m. ET, Mon., March. 9, 2009

Cf. the video clip accessible via this page:  "[T]two Mexican drug cartels now have 100,000 soldiers under their control and that violence in Mexico is growing."

Mexico morgues crowded with drug-war dead
Bodies awaiting autopsies tell the story of an escalating drug war 
Associated Press
updated 2:02 p.m. ET, Sun., March. 8, 2009

Cf. he video clip accessible via this page:  "March 1: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates discusses the possibility of the U.S. military helping Mexico fight drug cartels operating near the U.S. border with NBC’s David Gregory on 'Meet the Press'":http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/29452359#29452359.

Source: Mullen offers Obama update on Mexico
Head of Joint Chiefs of Staff discusses escalating drug-related violence 
Associated Press
updated 5:58 a.m. ET, Sun., March. 8, 2009

5,000 soldiers to patrol Mexican border city
Mayor urges residents to drive with interior lights on at night
Associated Press
updated 8:50 p.m. ET, Sat., March. 7, 2009

Mayor: Vancouver plagued by ‘brutal’ gang war
Host of 2010 Olympics has seen 29 shootings since late January
Associated Press
updated 10:21 p.m. ET, Fri., March. 6, 2009
"Police have blamed a hike in violence in part on a drug turf war spawned by a Mexican crackdown on drug cartels — local gangs battling over a dwindling supply of smuggled drugs reaching Canada from Mexico."

Mexico under siege amid war on drug cartels
More than 5,300 thought to have been killed in 2008, double that in 2007  
By F. Brinley Bruton
updated 12:00 p.m. ET, Mon., March. 2, 2009

Mexico's fierce drug war looms large for U.S.
Can U.S. gun laws, immigration rules and drug control policies help? 
By Shannon K. O'Neil
Council on Foreign Relations
updated 11:15 a.m. ET, Tues., Feb. 24, 2009

State Department warning:  

U.S. guns arming Mexican drug traffickers
Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 10:30 AM by Daily Nightly Editor
Filed Under: Notes from the field
By Mark Potter, NBC News Correspondent

The Age of Innocents
Violence is rising in Mexico's drug war, and the victims include cartel members—and now children.
By Michael Miller | NEWSWEEK
Published Oct 25, 2008
From the magazine issue dated Nov 3, 2008

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