Recent Attack in Ciudad Juarez Proves as Another Reason to Stop the Military’s War on Drugs

They are just happy to find work.

Seven policemen and a 17-year-old boy were killed during an armed ambush in downtown Ciudad Juarez on Friday, April 23. And though the event is tragic, it is merely just the latest installment of a rampant drug war that is now flooding Mexico with open-air violence, which now blatantly appears as an American-endorsed strategy for military-centric action.

While experts and politicians dispute the origins of such violence, it is impossible for either side of the opposition to deny the 23,000 people who have lost their lives since 2006; or the concrete notion that these poor souls have suffered as a direct result of an impotent military operation, which has been whole-heartedly supported by the Mexican president, Felipe Calderon.

The standard outcome to the military's War on Drugs

It is apparent that this is yet another example of how the militarization of the drug war has only accelerated social disintegration; more specifically, the 1.4 billion dollar Merida initiative, which most recently intensified military action. As the Mexican public demands jobs, security and social programs, their government is only hiring for check-point personnel, crackdown officers, and other cogs meant to facilitate state repression.

It is time to realize (in the global context) that this war on drugs is only a symptom of deep social discordance, rampant political corruption, soaring poverty, widespread unemployment, and the slow disintegration of confidence in public institutions; unfortunately, president Obama is as interested in a one-size-fits all military strategy, which has persuaded the likes of Calderon to continue with his massacre of civilization, without ever stopping to consider, re-consider, or express remorse for his catastrophic errors.

Cooperation is Key To Keeping Drug Smugglers Out of the Caribbean

David Thompson expresses the shrinking window of opportunity for Caribbean drug traffic

As Americans scramble to erect an effective border between the US and Mexico, Caribbean leaders are pleading for the War on Drugs to reconsider a lackluster handle on the rampant drug traffic that presently seeps through many Caribbean island nations. Recently, a regional security conference was held in Barbados, where the hosting island-nation’s Prime Minister , David Thompson, asserted that all Caribbean nations viewed the increased frequency of drug smuggling as threatening not just the well-being of the individual, but that there are also regional, and national consequences.

US defense secretary, Robert Gates, insisted that coordinating the anti-drug efforts of Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States is the best option in scaling back the ever-present smuggling schemes. He mentioned that the US government has dedicated $70 million to help fund Caribbean police and social programs, though they aren’t expected to take effect until 2011; however, at least the money is now available, since such funding was turned down under the Bush administration.

Drug Trafficking in the Americas

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported that three-quarters of South American cocaine travels through Central America as it makes its way north. And, though the report also considers a significantly smaller amount to be passing through the Caribbean, Gates himself said that he was informed (by Caribbean leaders) that the situation has taken a turn for the worse; a situation which is directly linked to the 1.4-billion-dollar program – Plan Merida – which was put into action by the United States back in 2007. Gates closed the discussion with hopes that recent efforts illustrated the US’s reconsideration of the Caribbean issue, and that intercontinental cooperation is the ultimate solution for addressing these predicaments.