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"Profits Violence" "Greed Violence" "Prohibition Violence" NOT "Drug Violence"

Submitted by Thinking CAP on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 - 2:55 am

CNN has an article about gang warfare over both turf and money. However, the headline is misleading. The headline is, “Drug violence spins Mexico toward ‘civil war’.”

There is some sense espoused by former Latin America national security adviser for President Jimmy Carter,
Robert Pastor.

Pastor calls the problem in Mexico “even worse than Chicago during the Prohibition era" and said a solution similar to what ended that violence is needed now.

“What worked in the U.S. was not Eliot Ness,” he said, referring to the federal agent famous for fighting gangsters in 1920s and ‘30s. “It was the repeal of Prohibition.”

Here are some quick facts from the article:

  • “[Mexico’s] homicide rate reached a record level in 2008 and indications are that the carnage could be exceeded this year.”
  • “Drug traffickers used a bazooka in Tuesday’s shootout...”
  • “Noe Ramirez Mandujano, who was the nation’s top anti-drug official from 2006 until August 2008, was arrested on charges that he accepted $450,000 a month in bribes from drug traffickers while in office.”
  • “Wednesday, the Mexican cities of Correon and Gomez Palacio reported at least eight shootouts involving heavily armed men.”

Fortunately the article goes on to point out that last week “former presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Brazil called for the decriminalization of marijuana for personal use and a change in strategy on the war on drugs at a meeting in Brazil of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy.” (See this article for the link to that CNN article.)