Monday, March 04, 2013

War on Drugs: Cui Bono? Cui Pacat? Cui Patitur?

 Since the Nixon presidency, the U.S. government has poured almost a trillion dollars into the “war on drugs,” and what has it produced? More drugs. More inner-city violence, and the largest prison population in the world. Since Mexico's former President Felipe Calderon initiated a large scale "war on drugs" in 2006 funded by millions, perhaps billions, of dollars in U.S. aid, the death toll in Mexico is believed to have reached at least 60,000, possibly even $80,000, with more than 26,000 people missing. As the murder rate has dramatically increased, with Ciudad Juárez on the northern border recognised, not too long ago, pinpointed as the most dangerous city on the planet, the supply of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine from Mexico continues to increase.

So, without doing much research, it's easy to answer questions such as these when it comes to the "war on drugs," Although, to be sure, research will most definitely support the answers we can see right in front of our eyes: escalated race and class warfare--in effect, a new Jim Crow; mass incarceration of American citizens (1100% increase for drug law violations); unimaginable violence, especially in Mexico; more drugs than ever before; wealthier than wealthy banksters, politicians, CEOs, multinational corporations, etc.;  unprecedented wealth and power, and the list goes on  and on. 

In other words:

Cui bono? Who benefits? Why, the capstone elite, of course. No, I'm not talking Illuminati, I'm just referring to those few special people who reside at the top of the socioeconomic pyramid.

Cui pacat? Who pays? We, the taxpayers, as usual. 

Cui patitur? Who suffers? The people who reside at the bottom of the socioeconomic pyramid.

Another question you might want to ask yourself is, which kills more people? Marijuana? War on drugs?  To my knowledge, pure marijuana has never killed anyone, while the war on drugs is responsible for millions of deaths.  In fact, marijuana has numerous health benefits, but that's another story.

Let's take a look at Mexico for a clear cut example. Not only who gets what, that's fairly obvious; but are the results of this "war on drugs"-- that just so happens to coincide with neo-liberal "reform"--purely an accident, making the "war on drugs" a complete failure?  Or, was/is the "war on drugs" really quite successful when you dig a little deeper and discover the true motive/agenda?  Remember, Mexico's war on drugs is using the same model used in Columbia: Plan Columbia

Warning: If you believe everything is a coincidence, and that the predator ruling class, no matter what political party they attach themselves, are mostly benevolent creatures, who are only looking out for our best interest, there is no need to read any further.

While Carlo Slim Helu, world's richest man according to Forbes, takes in $27 million per day--yes, that's per day--half of all Mexican citizens barely take in $2 per day. In fact, it's so bad in Mexico-- innocent people are kidnapped, tortured and brutally murdered, then displayed for public consumption by viscous rivaling drug cartels on a daily basis--right now that many of its citizens have two choices: sneak into America, or work for what's turned Mexico into the the horrific war zone that it is: the drug cartels.  The cartels have gained so much power, they could be considered a de facto and/or "parallel government."  After all, in too many areas throughout Mexico, the heavily armed cartels are implementing their own brand of law and order.

As for defending oneself in this living hell, it's almost impossible because legally owning a gun  is nearly impossible, and most of law enforcement/military/government are corrupt, or indistinguishable from the cartels, leaving Mexican citizens to live their daily lives like pop-up figures in a shooting gallery.

Now if Mexico were solely responsible for this unimaginable tragedy, one could argue, "it's their problem...let them deal with it," and tough immigration laws might make sense.  However, not only are most of the drugs sold to Americans, and not only is America providing 90% of the estimated 15 million illegal assault weapons--an arsenal of highly sophisticated weaponry-- the U.S. participated in setting up the conditions that would facilitate the drug cartels' slaughter of Mexican citizens...from the very beginning--and conditions we continue to facilitate

While Mexico most certainly took part, the Clinton administration, and other western imperial powers pushed NAFTA, which accelerated the neo-liberal "reforms" widening the already huge wealth gap in Mexico, pauperizing the working class, and pushing the already poverty-stricken Mexicans into even deeper poverty. Of course, this ensured that the drug cartels would have a vast population from which to recruit foot soldiers

Moreover, Clinton  refused to allow the subject of narco-trafficking, in relation to NAFTA, into public debate, even though, for example, the DEA, voiced its concerns that by improving infrastructure (road/rail system, removal of tariffs for goods going northwards), for the increased trade from Mexico into the U.S. would make it that much easier for drug traffickers.

Clinton can't say he didn't know of the consequences NAFTA would create for the Mexican people because he had already created and implemented Operation Gatekeeper, aimed at halting illegal immigration at the United States–Mexico border. He knew NAFTA would not only impoverish Mexicans, but it could be said the U.S. government was well aware of the war-zone it would create. In fact, it could be said that is exactly what they wanted.

Crazy? Not so much. There is no doubt that preparing Mexico and laying the foundation for NAFTA were in the works a long time ago. In the 1980s, as Mexico was coerced to implement a more neo-liberal approach toward politics and government, abandoning the social arena, and creating, more or less, a social vacuum that the cartels were/are more than happy to fill, that is, along with the brutal violence.

“From 1980 to 1991, Mexico received thirteen structural adjustment loans from the World Bank, more than any other country. It also signed six agreements with the IMF, all of which brought increased pressure to liberalize trade and investment.”-- Tom Barry, Zapata’s Revenge.
NAFTA reshaped Mexico's  land ownership laws, slashed tarrifs on U.S. imports, and allowed subsidized U.S. corn to flood the country, devastating Mexico's agricultural sector.  Ironically, lured by the promise of work, border towns like Ciudad Juarez, now murder capital of the world,  attracted many of the Mexicans who could no longer find work after NAFTA was implemented.  The factories located there that provided cheap labor (equivalent of approximately $5/day) to foreign manufacturers offered employment, albeit, at slave wages.

The violence the drug cartels and the Mexican government have created is a bonus as it controls workers and displaces communities from territories of interest, that is, with valuable resources, to transnational corporate expansion. Corporatized conflict or disaster capitalism, where people are the collateral damage to keep capital moving through the feudal system.
"This notion of “security” calls up the Colombia model: paramilitarization in the service of capital. This model includes the formation of paramilitary death squads, the displacement of civilian populations, and an increase in violence. In the commercial sector, it is workers, small businesses and a sector of the local elite who are hit hardest by drug war policies.
Consider the links between the drug war and struggles around areas with natural resources:
• Residents of Ciudad Mier, a small community in Tamaulipas, left en masse because of paramilitary violence. The town sits on top of Mexico’s largest gas field, as does a large portion of the violence-ridden state.

• In the Juárez Valley, considered the most dangerous place in Mexico, killings and threats have forced many to leave, just as a new border crossing between the U.S. and Mexico is being constructed.

• In Santa Maria Ostula, a small Indigenous Nahuatl community in coastal Mexico, at least 28 people have been killed (and four others disappeared) by paramilitary and state violence since 2009. Their territory is in a mineral rich and strategically located area.

• In the Sierra Madre mountain range in northern Mexico, Canadian mining companies operate in areas where even government officials fear to enter because of the presence of armed narcotraffickers.

• In Petén, Guatemala, government officials militarized the area and declared a state of emergency because of the presence of Zetas that lasted eight months, ending in early 2012. Recent announcements indicate that a new oil rush is taking place in the same region.
 The "war on drugs" is not about drugs; rather, it's a smokescreen. It "may be better understood as being about increased social and territorial control over lands and people, in the interest of capitalist expansion."
“In this context, the current offensive follows the neo-liberal manual on indigenous territories. It is about sowing terror with a baseline of murders and disappearances until families abandon their lands…”--columnist and indigenous rights activist Gloria Munoz Ramirez

Cartel Kidnapping in Chihuahua Mexico


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