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News (Media Awareness Project) - US MI: PUB LTE: US- Led Drug War Is Destabilizing Latin
Title:US MI: PUB LTE: US- Led Drug War Is Destabilizing Latin
Published On:2011-12-06
Source:Holland Sentinel (MI)
Fetched On:2011-12-09 06:00:20
U.S.- LED DRUG WAR IS DESTABILIZING LATIN AMERICA

Last month I wrote a letter postulating that by decriminalizing
prostitution and drug use and treating these things as health issues
that we would actually decrease the number of addicts, reduce prison
overcrowding and increase public safety. In fact the experiment in
Portugal, where possession and use of illicit street drugs has been
decriminalized, has shown the validity of this approach. Recent news
of record marijuana busts in tunnels supplying the United States from
Mexico have prompted me to write again.

Delivery of illegal drugs (primarily marijuana) from Mexico to the
United States is higher than ever. Also, drug war violence is at an
all-time high and continues to escalate; in spite of (or perhaps
because of) ever-increasing aid to Mexico to fight the war. Since
December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon made the decision to
begin escalating the drug war, it is estimated that there have been
45,000 casualties in Mexico.

The more that we spend fighting the war, the more the price of drugs
is increased. This in turn provides greater income for the cartels,
which then buy more weapons, of which a majority come from U.S.
firearms dealers.

Sadly, attempts to limit sales of semi-automatic weapons greater than
.22 caliber and with the ability to accept a detachable magazine,
have been opposed by lobbying groups for the gun dealers, while the
National Sport Shooting Federation has stated, "we applaud President
Calderon's willingness to take on his country's powerful drug ," but
that is another letter.

According to former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil,
Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and Cesar Gaviria of Colombia, the U.S.-led
drug war is pushing Latin America into a downward spiral. The Council
on Hemispheric Affairs states it is time to seriously consider drug
decriminalization and legalization, a policy initiative that would be
in direct opposition to the interests of criminal gangs. Because of
the vast amounts of money at the disposal of the cartels, bribery of
law enforcement and military is a common practice. This results in
human rights violations including illegal arrests, secret and
prolonged detention, torture, rape, extrajudicial execution and
fabrication of evidence.

The policies of our government are directly responsible for creating
a hellish environment in Mexico and it is spreading to other Latin
American countries.

Bob Schultz

Holland Township
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