Journalist Jose Reveles discussed his new book, “Levantones, narcofosas y falsos positivos,” during the 11th Zocalo International Book Fair in Mexico City.
Reveles’ book is “a call for a popular and peaceful uprising by society,” which is currently asleep but “will rise up little by little,” drug war analyst Eduardo Buscaglia, who accompanied the author at the presentation, said.
“We must demand that those who govern, who we pay and are our employees, do their jobs and stop this absurd war that does not fight the roots of organized crime,” Reveles said.
The book tries to explain why the death toll from murders, kidnappings and disappearances is so high in Mexico, using first-hand accounts and expert analysis.
“I had a lot to say and I knew citizens and journalists who asked me many questions” about the situation in Mexico, Reveles said.
The war on drugs declared by President Felipe Calderon shortly after he took office in December 2006 has led to the deaths of more than 40,000 people.
The book contends that the war on drugs has become a tragedy, with the Mexican state overwhelmed by organized crime groups, citizens increasingly vulnerable and a rising number of innocent victims.
The author also warns of the appearance of “death and social cleansing squads,” and he describes abuses committed by both soldiers and drug cartel members.
Regardless of the outcome of next year’s presidential election, the policy of taking on the cartels will change because “it is erratic, dumb and leads nowhere,” Reveles said.
The book is “fundamental for understanding the situation taking place in Mexico,” Buscaglia said.
“When criminal groups divvy up the state among themselves, these tragedies happen,” Buscaglia said.
The analyst compared the current situation in Mexico to that in Colombia in the 1990s and Italy in the 1980s, noting that a corrupt business and political elite acts in complicity with the drug traffickers.
“It is impossible to understand the power of the Sinaloa cartel, of the Tijuana (cartel) or of Los Zetas without (looking at) the economic power of European and U.S. businesses which launder the money of these groups,” Buscaglia said.
“We have to start dismantling these companies that are buying the state at wholesale,” the analyst said.