Mexican Drug War
Since Felipe Calderon became the president of Mexico in December of 2006, more than 30,000 people have died in this nationwide turf war. A large majority of these murders are happening in the states of Chihuahua and Baja, California both of which border the United States. Soon after Calderon took office he launched a military-led war on drugs and that set off conflicts all over the country between rivaling cartels.
Not only has there been a war between the cartels, there’s an overall threat to all of the citizens of Mexico because nobody is above the hell these savages are unleashing.
All across the southwest United States the drug cartels have been smuggling drugs and weapons between countries illegally. Within the last month U. S. and Mexican authorities unearthed a 2200 ft. long tunnel under the border. This tunnel was used to smuggle drugs into San Diego, California where cartel commanders distribute the marijuana throughout the country. Then going back into Tijuana, “mules” would carry guns back. This tunnel was state-of-the-art with air conditioning, ventilation, and tongue-and-groove boarding to keep the ground level for the safe transportation of the weed.
Other than weed; heroin, cocaine, and guns are also transferred between borders. 70,000 U. S. -originated firearms were recovered between 2007 and 2009. Along the two thousand mile long border between the United States and Mexico there are over seven thousand licensed gun dealers on the U. S. side. Just like the drugs moving North, the guns are flowing South in the trunks of cars, under the beds of truck, and sometimes hidden by clothing in the floorboards of cars. The main thing issue with these cartels is that innocent men and women are dying every day for the sake of a dollar.
Some of these people that are dying were totally in the clear and had nothing to do with Mexico, they were just vacationing. Two students who attended the University of Texas in El Paso were hiking through the mountains and accidentally crossed over the wrong hill at the wrong time and that cost them their lives. Along with those two students, the US State Department released a statement saying eighty other American travelers had been murdered in Chihuahua alone. Even Mexican citizens are dying for no reason. A group of twenty vacationers from
Michoacan, Mexico were visiting Acapulco and a group of armed assailants snatched them up and took them away. The only reason the men’s bodies were found is because two severely beaten men made a video and broadcast it on YouTube in hopes that somebody would find the mass grave. This group of men died all because their kidnappers thought they were henchmen for a rival cartel. The United States being involved in the Mexican Drug War shows all six steps of the government function: Foreign relations and diplomacy to help with military defense while they try to gain control of the country.
Developing business strength while controlling the cartel interactions is another part of the government function. Oil is a major natural resource in Mexico, so helping keep it protected also while keeping its use under control. Another thing is the enforcement and regulation of fair and responsible business practice to handle the legalities of NAFTA in check when necessary. Since the United States feels the need to be a global police state, we also help determine and enforce the laws and help citizens gain more rights.
And most importantly, provide public goods and services for the well-being of the community as a whole. Things that the National Guard is there to help with, like vaccination programs, disaster relief, and basic healthcare. The primary policy that would have helped our nation and the drug war was California’s Proposition 19. Proposition 19 also known as the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act was wanted for the decriminalization of marijuana for specific purposes.
Many people argued that it would help with cut off the funding to the violent cartels along with helping out California’s budget shortfall and redirecting law enforcement’s resources to more dangerous crimes. While opponents claimed that it contains gaps and flaws that may have serious unintended consequences on public safety, workplaces, and federal funding. However, even if the proposition had passed, the sale of cannabis would have remained illegal under federal law via the Controlled Substance Act.
Being active in the Mexican Drug War hasn’t helped the approval rating of the government much at all. Two things dealing with Mexico and its citizens that aren’t helping the public opinion are the DREAM Act and the US Merida Initiative. The DREAM Act is a bill proposed by the House of Representatives that would give citizenship to immigrants who moved into the United States as a minor, have graduated from high school, and are on good moral standings.
And the U. S. Merida Initiative s planned cooperation between the United States, Mexico, and countries in Central America with the aim of combating drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, and money laundering. It may sound good, but the government has funneled more than $1. 4 billion into this initiative. Yet the US Department of Education has to cut spending in half? Our government is obviously overstepping its boundaries, when is it not? For example Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division (ICE) was created to shore up the borders after September 11th.
But forced drugging and warrantless raids weren’t part of the mandate and in May of 2008, the Washington Post reported that there have been more than 250 cases of the government giving deportees psychiatric drugs with no medical excuse or reason. Yet ICE itself disputes that number of cases and says that only 180 out of close to 600,000 were involuntarily sedated. Another way the government is overstepping its boundaries is with the legalization of medical marijuana in California. Not the fact that it’s legal, but what happens to those who need it and use it.
Those who are medically permitted to have marijuana and travel within seventy-five miles of the Mexican border have to deal with Border Patrol and their “Fourth Amendment-free Zone”. That permits warrantless searches to any and all comers in a bid to stop illegal immigration and drug smuggling. Patients and advocacy groups are complaining that the border area checkpoints operated by the Border Patrol are sweeping up patients, detaining them, seizing their medicine, and sometimes arresting them on federal drug possession charges.