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21 February 2010

I have a family to support... somebody listen to me!

Cartoonist “Gritón” summarizes objections to the Calderón administration’s fixation on the “drug war” better than anything I could write.

Basically, the narcos are the only secure employment opportunity for many here in Sinaloa, and other rural communities  where — aside from farm subsidies for narcosnot much has been done other than to throw more soldiers at the underemployed people, so I can understand exactly where “Gritón” is coming from.

IN urban areas, as has been noted several times, the “drug war” is really a frontier war.  Maggie’s Madness, looking at the growing frustration with narcotics trafficking at the California frontier posts, writes from Tijuana:

…it’s the disaffected population who may or may not be involved in narcotics trafficking that are unemployed who have been forced into a life of crime and more tragically, it is the children who are being swept away by the current conditions which Archbishop Rafael Ramon Munoz of Tijuana describes as a “breakdown in social values.”

Victor Clark Alfaro believes that, “…if there were many jobs in this country and everyone was working this phenomenon [the teens fueling the operational basis of criminal groups in the country] would not exist.” But, he adds, under these conditions, labor is cheap and disposable.

And, on that other besieged outpost of civilization Ganchoblog writes:

According to an UNAM study, 64 percent of Juárez residents between 15 and 24 years old neither study nor work. That leaves around 150,000 with nothing to do occupy themselves, which of course offers a fertile market for gang recruitment.

People mean well when they float the simplistic idea that legalizing drug use would somehow end the problem with violence in OUR society, but not being a particularly major drug using country (even in our frontier towns).  More soldiers, even better paid ones, has so far meant just more deaths.    Maybe throwing school teachers and good paying jobs into the conflict zones isn’t such a radical idea.

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