There is a war on. Reporters are being targeted for violence and murder. The targeting is so effective that the reporters are no longer reporting the events that are getting reporters killed. Sound a lot like Iraq? If you said yes you would be wrong. The country in question is much closer to home. Mexico.
And what war is going on in Mexico? Haven't you heard? We are having a drug war.
NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico - A drug war is ripping apart northern Mexico, but you won't find many details about who's behind it in the local newspapers. Journalists, after their colleagues have been killed, kidnapped and threatened with death, have stopped investigating organized crime.Killing reporters is pretty bad. However there is worse going on:
"It's the new trend of drug gangs: Journalists are warned, paid off or killed," said Daniel Rosas, the managing editor of the daily El Manana, the oldest newspaper in this border city south of Laredo, Texas. "Drug battles have become bloodier, and gangs have no code of ethics. They don't respect human life; why should they respect reporters?"
El Manana, founded in 1932 after the Mexican revolution with a motto to promote freedom of expression, has been self-censoring itself since its editor, Roberto Javier Mora Garcia, was stabbed to death on March 19, 2004.
MEXICO CITY -- Nobody wanted the job of police chief in Nuevo Laredo, a city on the U.S.-Mexico border plagued by drug gangs and violence. Finally, Alejandro Dominguez, 52, a businessman and father of three, volunteered to take the post to help his besieged city. Last Wednesday, hours after being sworn in, Dominguez was assassinated by men firing assault rifles from a convoy of Chevrolet Suburbans.Funny this never made the national news. At least not in the sense of being given day in day out coverage. And yet:
The human cost of Mexico's aggressive war on drug trafficking is skyrocketing as the country suffers through the worst barrage of drug-related violence in years. More than 600 people have been killed this year, often in remarkably bold and bloody executions, according to national press tallies and state-by-state crime reports.And yet this carnage is not being covered in depth by our DOM (Dinosaurs Of the Media). Why?
Nuevo Laredo is just one hot spot in a grisly conflict that has spread across the country. In recent months, a farmer in the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa was gunned down as he visited his parents' grave, and a father in Monterrey, in northern Mexico, was shot dead in front of his son in a video arcade. Authorities have found corpses with limbs chopped off and drums of acid they believe traffickers used to dissolve the bodies of their victims.
Perhaps what we see is the real truth about reporters. For most of them it is just a job. They have the courage to handle occasional danger. Permanent danger is not in the job specs.
The other truth here is that what goes on South of the Border cannot be permanently confined to South of the Border. The killing will be moving north as soon as it becomes profitable.
In a recent interview, Fox likened Mexico's "explosion of organized crime killing" to the Al Capone era in Chicago. "Let's recall Chicago in the early '20s. I mean it took years to get rid of the mafias, it took years to get rid of organized crime," he said. Fox said U.S. and Mexican authorities were working jointly to confront criminals who control "millions and millions and millions of dollars."In the discussion of Al Capone notice anything important left out? That is right. The only way the government was able to reduce organized crime was to end prohibition. Why? Because there are two iron rules of prohibition. The harder the enforcement the harder the drugs. The harder the enforcement the harder the criminals.
Federal officials said that frequently their enemies are not just the drug cartels, but local police who have been corrupted by drug money. That problem has unleashed a growing battle between federal police officers, many of them trained by U.S. law enforcement, and their local counterparts, underscored by the recent clash in Nuevo Laredo.Local police corrupted by drug money? You do see it in America from time to time. What happens when it becomes systematic? Well it is not good.
And what are American drug enforcers up to these days given the violence of the drug trade in Mexico? They are doing what any rational person would do: focusing on drugs in Canada.The Canadians are such nice folks, especially the pot heads; but them Mexican cartel folks? A feller could get himself killed.
"Apparently, one of [the U.S. government's] objectives, and this is unbelievably offensive, is to alter and modify Canadian criminal justice policy in relation to drugs," said Alan Young, a law professor and marijuana advocate at York University. "Whether or not this is part and parcel of that exercise I have no clue ... but they've clearly stated this is the direction they want Canada to go in."In all likelyhood you have heard nothing of this unless you are as interested in the Drug War as I am.
He suggested Canada's approval of a U.S. request to begin extradition hearings against Vancouver pot merchant Marc Emery, a close friend of Mr. Young's who was arrested last month in Halifax, is another example of attempts to appease the Americans.
Mr. Emery's shop was raided after an undercover operation in which authorities allege he sold marijuana seeds at an annual profit of $3-million to customers, 75% of whom were American. The allegations also constitute an offence in Canada, but such cases have rarely been prosecuted.
We know from history that more enforcement is not the answer to the problems caused by prohibition. However, until we get some reporters with courage and a historical sense in America civil disorder will increase, corruption will increase, and the bodies will continue to pile up.
Welcome Instapundit readers.
For my take on the drug problem from a medical/chemistry point of view:
Addiction or Self Medication?
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