Thursday, November 4, 2010

This Is What Happens When You Prosecute a Senseless War on a Commodity

Although I had said that I was going to change the focus of this blog to more criminal justice issues, I haven't really done so to date, save adding the tagline "bellum medicamenti delenda est" to most of my blogposts. This is just crude Latin for "The Drug War Must End."

I have, however, focused my reading to more criminal justice and drug war issues. One of the blogs I read is El Blog Del Narco, a Spanish language blog that chronicles the drug war in Mexico--which, of course, is just America's drug war exported.

The blog is run anonymously, as one would expect when dealing with people who murder en masse with impunity. And not just simple murder: they make a spectacle of it. [N.B.: gruesome details of murders follow. Most links NSFW. ]

Take for example the latest entry: It's entitled "Fotos de ocho ejecutados en cd mante" which translates to "Pictures of Eight Beheaded [people] in Ciudad Mante, Tamaulipas."  The pics are as gruesome as they sound, yet having followed this blog for several weeks now, I can tell you it's not shocking to me anymore.

The heads are laid out, eyes closed--some blindfolded--on the opened tailgate of a pickup truck. The bodies of the victims are laid out behind them in the flatbed, with the gaping wounds, left behind by the blades that severed the heads, pointed outward. Underneath the heads is a banner--which often accompany these murders--that reads, very roughly*, "This is what happens when you work for the Zetas. Here are your dirty fucking hawks. Sincerely, the Gulf Cartel."

Other posts this week have included, inter alia, pictures of a group of men going down to authorities Bonnie and Clyde style, video of an ultimately successful but botched two-man hit on one man in what appears to be the entrance to a shopping mall, photo of one guy wearing beachwear in Acapulco shot 14 times at close range--with a three shot coup de grĂ¢ce--a mass grave in Acapulco that contained 18 bodies, a story of two informants killed in the same clothes in which they made their statements to police, and a video of an interrogation and beheading of another man confessing to working for another dealer. This is in addition to recent photos of a woman decapitated and put on display with her severed head between her legs and several people strung up on an overpass--both with banners explaining their murders.

Since January of 2007, there have been an estimated 28,228 drug-war related deaths in Mexico. Notice they are not drug-related-- they drug-war related. Our prohibitionist policy, exported around the globe via treaty and trade agreements, has cost countless lives in our country and around the world. El Blog Del Narco is a remarkable source that brings home the unspeakable brutality of the consequences of our misguided moralist policy. That Proposition 19 went down to defeat Tuesday because people are afraid of the consequences of legalization would be laughable if it were not enabling further this ongoing tragedy.

This is Mexico on America's War on Drugs. Any questions?

bellum medicamenti delenda est

*I can't speak Spanish, and only can read it on a very basic level thanks to my fading acquaintance with Latin. I used the site's auto-translate and asked my wonderful girlfriend, Dara, to fill in the gaps.  

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