Monday, November 7, 2011

Mexican Poet Aims to Take Drug War Protest to US

Posted in the BB Forum by Chivis

Actually I thought about oganizing a march to Washington and request the poet join, but then I became less enthusiastic about his goal. Hopefully I was wrong in that, and I do think this is a good idea to bring awarness to the American people.....Paz, Buela
LOS ANGELES — The poet Javier Sicilia, whose son's murder inspired him to lead protest caravans against the drug war in Mexico, says he wants to resume the protest "from the other side of the problem."

Sicilia said he wants to lead another caravan, this time from the Mexican border to Washington to demand an end to the drug war.

Winner of the 2009 Aguascalientes poetry prize -- Mexico's most prestigious -- Sicilia wrote his last verse this year after his 24-year-old son Juan Francisco was tortured and killed in March with six other people by an organized crime group in Cuernavaca.

"The world is no longer the world of the word/ they drowned it inside us."

With those words, Sicilia put down his pen and turned from poetry to action, claiming that "the artist is the voice of the tribe" and leading various caravans across Mexico to demand an end to the government's US-financed counternarcotics strategy.

President Felipe Calderon launched an all-out offensive against the country's drug cartels in 2006, putting the military in charge, but the violence has spiraled to unprecedented levels.

Sicilia said he would like to march "from El Paso, Texas to Washington."

"It's a dream, but it can be done, perhaps next year," he told AFP. "It would be the same, but this time from the other side of the problem."

Such a caravan "would have a great impact" in sensitizing Americans to the failure of the war on drugs launched 40 years ago by then-president Richard Nixon, and on the effect US policies have had on their neighbor, he said.

The violence unleashed in Mexico by the internecine struggles among the cartels, and between the cartels and the security forces, has left some 50,000 dead, 10,000 disappeared and 120,000 displaced.

"These statistics are equivalent to those in Washington on the wall of the Vietnam memorial," the poet noted at a conference organized by groups like the Drug Policy Alliance, which has pushed for the decriminalization of marijuana for 20 years. "And North Americans bear a big responsibility for our dead."

The United States is the top consumer of drugs, Sicilia noted, and also has a "legal industry, the arms industry, which is arming Mexican criminals."

In addition, the war is sustained by the Merida Initiative, a US program that finances the counternarcotics campaign.

What Sicilia seeks, as with many of the groups attending the three-day conference here, is that drugs be treated as a public health problem and not a criminal matter, following the Portuguese model.

In 2001, Portugal decriminalized drug possession and took a public health approach to the scourge. Since then, consumption rates have remained flat, prisons are no longer being filled with people convicted of minor crimes and addicts are receiving medical attention.

Mexico, on the other hand, is reminiscent "of US cities like Chicago during the era when alcohol was prohibited, although rates of crime, violence and corruption are much higher than those experienced by the North Americans," said Daniel Robelo, a spokesman for the Drug Policy Alliance.

And like prohibition, the damage done by drug abuse, overdoses and addiction is growing, given that criminalization "encourages risky and dangerous behavior" and creates a lucrative black market that enriches criminal organizations, he said.

At the same time, criminalization is to blame for the 2.3 million people sitting in US prisons today for drug-related offenses, compared to 500,000 at the beginning of the 1980s, according to California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.

But Robelo said decriminalization is "gaining momentum." A Gallup poll two weeks ago found that 50 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, compared to 30 percent in 2000.

"Drugs have been with North America forever, from the Amerindians to the hippie movement, but they were turned into a problem for ideological reasons, and because they make a lot of money if they are illegal," said Sicilia.

But as long as drugs are illegal, he said, "behind their consumption will be our dead."

AFP

19 comments:

  1. 2.3 million in prison. How many in county jails waiting? The cost of prison per year per inmate is $35,000, not to mention the cost for each family for welfare. That turns into mega billions and when you look at costs of agencies, law enforcement, criminal justice systems, all the sudden it is easy to see where we are making our mistake on how to balance our budget. We can no longer afford this stupid war. We must gather our casualties and re-build all the Americas.

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  2. Another Mexican blaming the killing on the US, while Mexico does NOTHING to stop the guns coming in from every direction. The only thing Calderon has done is come to our Congress and asked us to do something about it, while they still wave you through the check point no questions asked. You want a better Mexico, start by ending corruption on every level. Find these guys and kill them. We in the US have to deal with tons of drugs on our streets, thanks to Mexico. You guys import the problem, you smuggle the problem, you fuel the problem, you guys romanticize the problem, and you guys all make money from the problem. I'm all for ending the war on drugs for the simple reason that the government shouldn't be telling people how to live their lives. These addicts need help, not prison. But when you have to go through US agents coming out and going into Mexico while Mexico doesn't do shit, is getting old.

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  3. I think the reality is that most americans no little to nothing about what exists in Mexico. Though we cannot "afford" wars at this time we cannot afford to be oblivious to our closest neighbor or we will pay a higher price later.

    isn't it better to help Mexico on their turf, than to wait and find ourselves in battle in ours?

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  4. Anonymous said.. November 7, 2011 11:07 PM
    "all the sudden it is easy to see where we are making our mistake on how to balance our budget. We can no longer afford this stupid war. We must gather our casualties and re-build all the Americas."

    wait what? america actually helped mexico besides getting them to hell? or wait, america needs drugs and since mexicans have this "reputation" at the moment when your world opens beyond the borders. do you realize america drops prisoners in mexico?.. well just to get rid of them and mexico is and will always be a hell right? good thing you dont live there... imagine living in a hell that produces the devilish product you use to get high on..
    so you know what you cost being free against you randomly kidnapping and murdering people? iraq was waaaaay more important nearer than mexico ofcouse.
    its always this "silly mexicans....", "these silly mexicans dont know what they are doing", "these silly mexicans can handle it all", "these mexicans cant be helped like, he. look! see? they are corrupt (even though they cant be corrupt when there is a gun pointing to their head". silly mexicans.
    law enforcement¿ that isnt infinite either. whats harder to identify ; a mexican or a mexican drug cartel member?. they all look the same, lets treat them all the same.
    worried about the cost of inmates in jail? better let them go and let them take revenge for the sake of the economy. or shoot them on sight, ye great option, another one will scream "inhumane!". is there a good solution? yes they can! as long as you arent involved...... WE AMERICANS, dont do anything useful. main reason, cus the mexicans with a gun on their head just dont want to..
    ye, imagine the impact on welfare, as if there is any. at some point it becomes fight or loose, not rich or poor. BUT there is a bright side, THE MEXICANS have a high probability to die before they get to the age for pensions, so no welfare problem there...
    its cynical, as long as you see "in another country they make drugs! we must kill them!", *5 minutes later on the corner of the street "i wanna buy 1 gram of your best cocaine" and forgot how it really all started*. dont be so close minded.
    americans are like "see the shit that happens outside! hate them! burn them!" and now its like "ye well they spend so much money on prisoners... its THE problem why they fail".
    the moment it hits you it would be like "the mexicans are invading! stop them!* while you didnt get furder than your backdoor. americans are like "we can handle everything in the world!" except when it hits locally everywhere and follow the same doom.
    how stupid can you be and post "We can no longer afford this stupid war" YES WE...... cannot...
    hypocrite to the bone, its not like you take your self defensive gun to gun down criminals. rather you scream from the backline "do this better! do that better!, pfff our mighty country doesnt have the budget now". criminals dont respond to the law, so you can make criminal acts illegal and demonize an entire population cus they have that much criminals, doesnt help solving the problem.
    ofcourse YOU made the mistake to invest in prevention while YOU are the cause of demand. but THEY make the drugs right? and THEY deliver supply on demand... ye even if you manage to clean out mexico, it goes furder somewhere else, why? cus YOU still demand.
    cartels got nearly infinity money (whos money was it? gods money¿ or the money ppl give for drugs), you know why? because YOU want your high, sure you can blame it on THEM, cus its not directly YOU.
    either legalize everything or stop using drugs would be a GLOBAL solution.

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  5. It is always easier to look for others to blame, instead of yourself. Mexico is the way it is because of generations of corruption, not because of American guns or interests.

    So, here's the challenge. If the US is SO BAD, close the border from Mexico's side....yeah...like that will EVER happen.

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  6. As long as there is a demand, there will always be supply..

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  7. O K give up, no more "war on drugs" now what? All this bitching and speculation about taxing drugs,end the illegal status what is the alternative? There will always be a demand and supply greed corruption killing bullying, there will never be a perfect world. Should govts even attempt to manage society? Remember the law of the ghetto is the law of the jungle-- only the strong survive-i Liberals,poets,writers, you want the govt out, who is going to protect your weak asses??

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  8. I have a hard time understanding how will legalizing drugs, diminish drug violence. Drug violence is simply the method used by criminal organizations to put and manage their drug business wether or not, drug is taxed or illegal. I rather believe, if drugs are made legal, there will simply be ... more drug business. I can't imagine all these street businesses in Mexico selling drugs like selling tortillas and candies and chocolates. And the fact that there are many people walking on the streets, sufficient behaviour issues exist already because of alcohol, now add stones, marihuana and all sorts of versions and flavors of legal drugs into their system. I find it a bit caotic. It will lead to a more disfunctional society and can almost visual an exodus of people moving to the states, moving away from a more disfunctional and violent people among them.

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  9. November 8, 2011 11:51 AM
    ROFL, protect our weak asses?
    I bet you go to church on Sundays to become holier than thou, and be an SOB the rest of the week.

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  10. You want to march against the end of the drug war, how about starting with your pals in occupy wall street. People like is were your demand is coming from.

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  11. @ anon November 8, 2011 4:39 PM

    it is easy to explain...illegal things cost more than legal things...more risk in supply..more cost to consumers...if mota was legal to grow in the USA overnight the bottom would drop out of the price...BUT..i am willing to wager that MJ is the least profitable of the big four margin wise ...heroin, coca, meth...meth is probably the most profitable because you can make it with household chemicals..no plant to grow and process ...pot is bulky stinky heavy etc ...but more people use it..so a drastic price drop would have a real effect...coke and heroin used to be legal, and cheap..it could be easily regulated as it was before...meth ...meth is self regulating ..short life span of the user..consider oxycodeine..it is cheap when the scrip holder buys it ..BUT..when they sell it illegally ...up goes the price...the very fact of it being transferred from one hand to another illegally transmutes it into a real money maker..i used to know a guy ho could get a scrip of 30 10 mg valiums for $12.00...he could sell them for 1.00 a piece...bought legally for cheap...sold illegally for twice the price...legal = cheap...illegal = expensive

    simple economics...supply costs determines the price

    think about it ...how else could you turn a common weed ..growing all over this earth for thousands and thousands of years ...into a cash crop...

    two groups usually avidly oppose legalization...cops and criminals..need i say more?

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  12. Anonymous said...

    You want to march against the end of the drug war, how about starting with your pals in occupy wall street. People like is were your demand is coming from.
    November 8, 2011 6:39 PM


    dumb and dumber...jajajjajaaa

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  13. Narco traffic is 40% of gross income. Other is trafficking in people and most of the 60 is extortion. Shame, shame, you cartels think you are God on this earth. Watch, peace is coming and those who catch you will treat you much better than you treat us. Then you will cry from shame.

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  14. The US is an empire. Under the Geneva Convention, you in the US have responsibility to stand up and tell your government when they are not performing correctly. Ask the Germans who played stupid and then were made to clean up the dead bodies of the concentration camps. Many were convicted.

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  15. A grieving father trying to fill his days. What does he want from the US? Does he know?

    If your Customs agency had one honest employee no guns would enter Mexico. But Mexico doesn't enforce any of her laws. The innocent are jailed, the guilty are released and no crimes are ever solved. Mexicans don't seek protection from the police because the police are the criminals. Does the US bear that responsibility as well?

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  16. so it seems that some of you (Mexican citizens) want Mexico to be declared incompetent ...

    it is a legal designation that excuses a person from responsibility or liability for their actions, the same as when a child has to have an elderly parent declared incompetent because of senility or some other issue that renders them incapable of conducting their own affairs...what follows is that the elderly person relinquishes their right to conduct any legal affairs to said child or legal representative..that person is said to "power of attorney" in relation to their parent

    ok

    so if Mexico wants to grant power of attorney to the USA, in effect all assets would become the legal province of the USA...the USA would be legally entitled to perform any actions both foreign or domestic, and Mexico would exist as a mental invalid, and client state

    laying blame on a third party and persistent
    unwillingness to accept responsibility for one's own actions can have serious repercussions

    on the other hand Americans can play the same game and blame Mexico for our failings as a society, our inability to adequately secure our borders, our unwillingness to come face to face with the fact that the "drug war"(war on certain people who use certain drugs) has only served to establish, entrench and enrich an army of professional criminals both inside and outside of the USA etc.

    it is not the fault of the USA that Mexicans have allowed their country to become a drug pipeline, complete with all the attendant miseries

    it is not the fault of Mexico that the USA has become a degenerate immoral society of drug addicts

    pointing the finger is never very productive...but probably is what is gonna happen

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  17. Legalizing drugs only tells me: drugs are "okay" to consume and are cheaper to buy. Does not that lead to more -drug-addicts? More drug-addicts leads to a more -dysfunctional society. That is a society struggling more to cope with all the consequences of dysfunctional people. Okay, so let's say that 1gm of coke costs $10 bucks and once it's legal, it goes down to $1 buck. Does not that make me more addicted to coke the fact I can buy 10 times the same amount? Will I not create more issues to myself, to my family, to my friends, to my neighborhood to society in general? It does not take to have a master's degree to understand how drugs destroy your neurons and other cells in your body. Does not that make me even more incapable of creating or finding and sustaining a decent job? Does not that add to poverty in society in general?

    It only makes sense to think that legalizing and taxing drug business will make a corrupted government -richer.

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  18. A junkie needs his fix no matter from who. The root is.colombia , usa has military presence there ,but they need dat money to finance da venezuela invasion,remember dat jet that crashed in mexico wit tons of coke and it belong to c.i.a? How abour the rick ross story? terrorist cant get in, but thousands and thousands of TONS OF DRUGS MAKE IT ACROSS EVERY YEAR? Corruption is on both sides realy,realy high level.why that mostly street dealer get caught in usa streets, u never hear they confiscated at least one ton in the usa side.or catch a big fish? Dollars not pesos is buying corruption in mexico and colombia. U.S.A has had troops there for decades but not a dent.weird ugh? Mexicans cant blame entirely the problem on the usa and viceversa,but they got to blame themselves on the kidnping extortion,etc u need knowledge of geopolitics to see the real big picture.

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