Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mexico's Cult(ure) of Death

Mexico’s Cult(ure) of Death
Mexico has a long and bloody history, as well as a murderous and very bloody present.

The ancient Aztecs once offered bloody human sacrifices to the war god Huitzilopochtli; the Spanish conquistadors once slaughtered thousands of Aztecs; Mexicans once fought a bloody war to gain independence from Spain; Mexicans once fought a bloody revolution to gain a constitutional republic; and the Mexican drug cartels are now wreaking bloody havoc upon the Mexican people and authorities, plunging some cities into a murderous anarchy, thanks to the (failed) “War on Drugs”.

It’s no wonder that many Mexican people have now developed a devotion to the new (and unofficial) patron saint of the murderous narco-traffickers: Santa Muerte (Saint Death).

Another phenomenon of Mexican narco-culture has been the rise of a new music genre: narcocoorridos, or drug ballads. Mexico’s narco-culture of murder and violence has also given birth to a new genre of film: narco cinema.

In short, the murderous Mexican drug cartels have virtually taken over Mexico; even to the point of influencing the Mexican culture’s religion, music, and film.

Cuidad Juarez, especially, has become a murderous free-for-all.

A large Mexican city, which borders the US, Juarez is just across the Rio Grande from its sister city: El Paso, Texas. From the air, the two cities are indistinguishable and appear to be one, large city (with a combined population of 2.4 million people).

I realize that, to most people, Juarez, Mexico is a very far-off place; but it’s really not—it’s right on the US – Mexico border.

Being a border city, Juarez has always been a violent place because of all the thugs who tend to congregate in border cities. But recently, due to the narco-traffickers, the violence has gotten out of control.

I used to live in El Paso, and I’ve been to Juarez; most recently back in 2002. Even then, Juarez was known as the city of disappearing women, so it probably wasn’t the best idea for me and my girlfriend (at the time) to visit Juarez, but we did . . . and we also had a wonderful time there. With her long blond hair, she stood out like a sore thumb. Thankfully no one snatched her off the street—pushing her into a car, never to be seen or heard from again—as so often happens to many of the women (and men) who live in Juarez. Today Juarez is so violent and out of control that the people who live there are living in a constant state of fear.

Human life is very cheap in Mexico these days, thanks to the narco-traffickers.

I believe human life is precious, and it breaks my heart to know that the people of Mexico are suffering under the murderous oppression of the violent drug cartels. I think we need to help the Mexican people take control of their country in order to gain their own safety and security. There’s no excuse for us allowing what continues to go on there, and things are only getting worse.

Let’s help the Mexican people build the culture of life they deserve.

The drug-related violence in Mexico is directly related to the US market demand for illegal drugs, and the best—and only—way to end the murderous violence in Mexico is for the US to decriminalize these drugs. One drug in particular, marijuana, which is simply a plant, should be completely legalized. Because the Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) use the money they make smuggling marijuana into the US to fund their narcotics trafficking, weapons purchases, and bribery money, the elimination of the venture capital cash flow from their marijuana sales would effectively put them out of business. Cut-off the DTO’s venture capital by legalizing marijuana and these violent businesses will fold up.

According to FBI testimony before the US Congress, May 5, 2010:

“Mexico is the number one foreign supplier of marijuana abused in the United States. In fact, according to a 2008 inter-agency report, marijuana is the top revenue generator for Mexican DTOs—a cash crop that finances corruption and the carnage of violence year after year. The profits derived from marijuana trafficking—an industry with minimal overhead costs, controlled entirely by the traffickers—are used not only to finance other drug enterprises by Mexico’s poly-drug cartels, but also to pay recurring “business” expenses, purchase weapons, and bribe corrupt officials.”

The US needs to co-opt this cash crop. Take this money out of the hands of the Mexican DTOs and put it into the hands of the American tax-payers. The US economy could really use that money right now and the Mexican people could really benefit from the defunding of the murderous Mexican drug cartels, which have made their lives a living hell.

If you disagree with me, if you don’t believe that marijuana should be legalized, then I’m sorry, but you’re not thinking about this issue you’re just reacting to it. Marijuana use is nowhere near as bad for people, health-wise, as is the use of alcohol. Yet alcohol is legal. Nor does marijuana use impair people to the extent that alcohol use does. Yet alcohol is legal. But alcohol used to be illegal in the US, during prohibition.

Despite its prohibition, alcohol continued to manufactured and delivered by organized crime syndicates and it continued to be consumed by the American people. The organized crime syndicates that manufactured and distributed alcohol made huge profits from their illegal trade, controlled their trade through violence and murder, and used their profits to fund other illegal ventures and to corrupt police and elected officials. In short, the same thing is happening with marijuana prohibition today that once happened with alcohol prohibition. So it doesn’t take an Einstein to figure this one out: legalize marijuana.

The good people of Juarez, who are suffering, are begging us to.
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