Why is Mexico’s ‘war on drugs’ proving to be the longest and most deadly battle in the nation’s history? Columnist Luis Javier Garrido of Mexico’s La Jornada outlines in great detail how the companies and government agencies which are supposed to battle narco-trafficking are proving so profitable, neither governments nor the companies they pay wish it to end.
For La Jornada, Luis Javier Garrido writes in small part:
The so called “war on drugs” is, in addition to whatever else it is, a terrific business for a number of huge corporations near and dear to American Democrats, as well as for many businessmen linked to the Felipe Calderón Government. From their point of view, extreme violence is good for business.
From its origins, in addition to a series of imperial political, strategic and military objectives, the notion of a “war on drugs” concealed very clear economic interests on the part of certain business consortia associated with these interests and the federal government, which could count on extraordinary funding approved by Capitol Hill. Experts on Washington drug policy all agree that even after the commotion of Nixon, nothing about broader U.S. policy has changed, which continued to be governed by the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, which was nothing but an expansion of the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Act. And nothing changed, even after the “war” was elevated to the status of law on January 28, 1972.The only novelty is that since then, business has flourished.
Consequently, in the last few years, Washington drug policy has followed this contradictory path. On the one hand, the United States has been engaged in a permanent campaign to fight drugs and provide “aid” to other countries, supposedly to discourage and reduce drug production, which at times has even involved military intervention. On the other, it invariably tended to preserve the drug trade as a great business, overseen and directed from Washington, which has illicitly benefited even senior-level politicians; while on the legal side, it has showered ever-greater state resources on the issue and allowed multiple companies to develop a series of “illegitimate” businesses.
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