Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

This is your government on drugs

Posted by Charles II on July 21, 2009

The human rights groups notice that something is amiss in the drug war in Mexico. Howard LaFranchi, Christian Science Monitor (via t/o):

Human-rights groups are calling on the United States to hold back millions of dollars in counternarcotics assistance to Mexico’s military, concerned about what they say is a rise in abuse cases in conjunction with Mexico’s drug war.

President Obama has so far resisted the demand, but the advocates’ campaign threatens to revive old tensions between the US and Mexico over American influence south of the border. …Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission reports a huge jump in reported human-rights violations by Mexican security forces: from 182 in 2006 to 1,230 last year. The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) notes that such cases continue to be transferred to Mexico’s “notoriously opaque military justice system.”

Translation for the phrase “human-rights violation:” any murders, rapes, or kidnappings which cannot be covered up because the victim or the victim’s surviving family refuse to be intimidated into silence. I wouldn’t be surprised if the real number were 10 times greater– or more.

Now, what happens if a country refuses to militarize the drug war? From the BBC:

Venezuela provides “a safe haven” for Colombian armed groups operating along its border, the report says.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has dismissed the report’s findings, labelling it “a new lie” from the US.

Mr Chavez, speaking on Friday after a copy of the report was leaked, said the US was “the top drug trafficking country on the entire planet”.

Co-operation between Venezuelan and American drug enforcement agencies has declined sharply since 2005, when Mr Chavez accused US officials of spying, a charge they denied.

This is getting to be old. Aristide refusing to permit American sweatshops completely unrestricted exploitation of Haitian labor? Call him a drug trafficker. Zelaya raises the minimum wage? Call him a drug trafficker. Chavez tells the US, “Yanqui go home?” Call him a drug trafficker. Indeed, there’s an increasing question whether the US is funding separatist movements in Venezuela and Bolivia that promote lawlessness, exacerbate poverty, and thereby cause the rise of armed citizen movements that fund their resistance by selling drugs and committing other crimes.

The people who really are on drugs are the people in Washington who think that substance addiction and abuse can be cured with troops.

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