Drug Wars in Mexico Rage On
Americans use drugs, some of them illegal. Americans use guns, and sometimes they even ship arms to foreign countries. Those are unfortunate realities. Another reality is that the Mexican government, despite all of the promised financial aid from the Mérida Initiative to fight the drug problem in Mexico, is unable to control the gang violence. The death toll has reached over 4,000 since Calderon started his anti-drug offensive (some estimates reach 4,500 with 1,300 in Juarez alone). Unfortunately, because of disagreements over how to prevent corruption and protect human rights, none of the money has yet reached Mexico.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, said delayed assistance might jeopardize Mexico's offensive against vicious drug cartels in domestic warfare that has killed nearly 5,000 people over the last two years as gangs battle for turf to smuggle billions of dollars worth of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines into the United States.
"Mexico is an important ally," Jackson Lee said. "We should support our strong alliance with them as quickly as we can."
A State Department official, speaking to the Houston Chronicle on condition of anonymity, said bureaucratic hurdles will still be in place when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meets with Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa in Washington near the end of November for what may be their last summit.
Rice had assured her Mexican counterpart in late October that the bureaucratic process would be completed "quite soon" because the United States considers implementation "an urgent task."A Mexican diplomat said his government remains realistic about red tape delays.
"I wouldn't say people in Mexico are disappointed or frustrated. They understand that this is just bureaucracy," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Still, the violence from the Mexican drug war is now spilling over the U.S. border. What is even more disturbing is the extent to which the influence of the Mexican drug cartels has spread around the country. If you look carefully, you may find your own town in the path of the Mexican drug lords.
We face a serious problem. Making it worse is that the youth gangs are now involved in trafficking and enforcement for the cartels on the U.S. side of the border. Further, there are reports of increased anti-law enforcement activities on the U.S. side of the border, especially following recent raids against cartel warehouses.
Part of the problem I have with all of this is that some people in Congress actually “Blame America” for this problem. This, despite some reports that drug use among American youth has declined by over 20% since 2001.