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U.S. Guns Behind Cartel Killings in Mexico

Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, October 29, 2007; Page A01


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TIJUANA, Mexico -- Assassins blasted Ricardo Rosas Alvarado, a member of an elite state police force, with a blizzard of bullets pumped out of AK-47 assault rifles.

. . . Two hours later, a small army of cartel hit men descended on a federal police office and bunkhouse in this crowded city at one of the world's busiest border crossings. None of the officers, who had recently been sent here to crush the drug gangs terrorizing the city, were killed in the hail of more than 1,200 bullets, authorities said. But police veterans understood the message delivered to the newcomers: "Welcome to Tijuana. Our guns are bigger than your guns."

. . . The U.S. weapons -- as many as 2,000 enter Mexico each day, according to a Mexican government study -- are crucial tools in an astoundingly barbaric war between rival cartels that has cost 4,000 lives in the past 18 months and sent law enforcement agencies in Washington and Mexico City into crisis mode.

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Twenty years ago, when I went down to Mexico dove-hunting, it was a major operation to get a couple of shotguns into the country. But then was a time when there were enforceable laws, a time when our national War Against Drugs was merely beginning and had little traction. Nancy Reagan had not yet fully set the table

I was told privately that the reasons for such careful control of our hunting equipment related to Mexico's well founded fear of armed revolution by the have-nots. God knows they didn't have much. We had 'bird-boys' as retrievers in the field, because they were 'cheaper than dogs.'

Think about that--children who were cheaper than dogs.

Now that's a moot point in both Mexico and Colombia. The have-nots merely have less and the rich hole up in fortresses and move around like drug-lords themselves, in armored limousines and surrounded by bodyguards.

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The idiocy of American drug policy, driven by holier-than-thou evangelist Christians, has made a "Blade Runner" society within the drug producing nations of the world. In order to "just say no," which America cannot bring itself to say, we are willing and even eager to destroy Afghanistan, Colombia, Mexico and a host of small Central and South American countries.

America has much to answer for in today's world and refuses, imperially, to even take the time to hear the questions. Outfits like the "Community Anti Drug Coalition of America" put out garbage scare-articles such as "New Report Shows Teen Smoking Linked to Brain Damage, Alcohol and Drug Use and Mental Illness."

What? There was no room for AIDS and abortion frequency on that list?

No one dares stand up to these demagogues on the lunatic-right, who kill off innocent foreign citizens, undermine law enforcement and international judiciaries, impoverish indigenous people and participate in the murder of thousands. The "Drug User" ads they pop up in newspapers and web sites are a waste of time and a waste of lives--other people's lives.

It's safe on the lunatic right--a high calorie, preachy, holier-than-thou, reverential, my-brother's-keeper, view from the mount on all of fallen society kind of safety. No one guns you down, no one sends you off to prison, no one dares defy your rules. Not even your addicted children.
The incredible hypocrisy of prohibition was finally overturned because a majority of Americans like to have a drink, yet prohibition killed no foreigners and destroyed no sovereign nations.

There is no one to stand up against these far more deadly agents of destruction, these Community Anti-Drug Coalitions, who have successfully moved tens of thousands into our prisons, destroyed nations, killed thousands, wrecked tens of thousands of lives--and made not a nickel's worth of difference to our children.

What they have accomplished, is to take children who were 'cheaper than dogs' and relegate them to lives without even that canine hope.


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Jim Freeman's op-ed pieces and commentaries have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, International Herald-Tribune, CNN, The New York Review, The Jon Stewart Daily Show and a number of magazines. His thirteen published books are (more...)

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