Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The dumb war (La guerra boba)

Sabina Berman

Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat

MEXICO, D.F. (Proceso. 9-24-2012).  Global phenomena occur in the form of a net. Causes happen simultaneously in several regions of the globe and their effects in other regions, also simultaneously, and without government control. This is the case with climate change. Or the recession. With new forms of communication. Or with drug trafficking.

Mexico should be especially interested in recognizing how the causes of drug trafficking, with its peculiar characteristics, occur in Europe and the United States, and should suspend a war that attacks drug trafficking as if it were a local phenomenon. This is the equivalent of lighting bonfires in the Anahuac Valley to return our long Mexican spring, shortened in this 21st century by the melting of polar ice caps. 


Please raise your hands, those of you who have smoked marijuana or snorted cocaine, I ask the audience in the Berlin Book Fair. Six out of every ten people raise their hands.

Raise your hands, those of you that believe that drugs are the Devil. Not one hand is raised and laughter runs through the audience.

Raise your hands, those of you who have had problems with the police from having smoked marijuana or sniffed cocaine. Again, not one hand is raised and, again, the laughter. 

These are the numbers according to the UN's World Report on Drugs: 34 million Europeans consume coke or marijuana as part of their lifestyle. In the United States, the number is 44 million consumers.

If it ever did, today the police in the First World don't go after the distribution or consumption of drugs. Drugs are as near as the neighborhood pusher. Call him on his cell phone and he will bring the merchandise to the house.

In London, I visit the Queensway jail on a Saturday, a night of druggies and crazies. This is where they bring drug users who are acting strange to get over the turbulence caused by an overdose. Their girlfriends or friends, or their mothers or their neighbors call the police. The police pick them up, put them in a cell so they can act out their craziness in solitary. Yell incoherently, slam themselves against the wall, piss in a corner. In the morning, when they're sober, they get breakfast and a recommendation for treatment.

It bears repeating, this is where they bring the victims of an overdose, not any drug user. Consumption of drugs is treated as a public health matter, not a crime.


Drugs have simply lost their diabolic aura in the highly developed countries where they are consumed. That's why no politician dares launch an offensive against them. But neither does any politician propose their legalization to erase the incongruity that they are allowed but are criminalized. Nobody would applaud that. One lives with this matter in a convenient hypocrisy.

Only in this remote country called Mexico does drug trafficking provoke gunshots, people cut to pieces, bodies left in car trunks, protest marches, 95 thousand deaths, billions of dollars in costs, a social malaise that translates into hostility in daily life.

But if there's a robbery in London or Berlin, the police are there in the blink of an eye. A robbery, a homicide, a fight. The police arrive in less than ten minutes and apprehend the offenders and take care of the victims. A judge dictates sentence promptly. Punishments are given out under a reliable system that provides an ethical certainty to daily life. 


Mexico has made a mistake. Alone, it fights a war against a global phenomenon that only matters to a few. That makes the headlines in every case because of its unusual cruelty.  

Yes, President Obama declares his admiration for the Mexican Army and sends some weapons. Yes, European heads of state wrinkle their brows and congratulate the stupid relative, Mexico.

Actually, Mexico has no obligation to carry on a war to get a pat on the shoulder. We urgently need something else: to reach the level of civilization in those countries, and to achieve that, we need to emulate them, not Colombia. 

Mexico's anti-drug policy should emulate that of the First World. That is, like them, we should do nothing against the trafficking and consumption of drugs. To legalize these substances would be congruent, but it would be enough to look the other way, like the Europeans and the United States.

And, above all, we should emulate their policy against crime. Build a reliable and efficient  police and system of justice. So long as we lack that police and those judges, so long as we do not construct the circumstances to have these things for the first time in the nation's history, we will continue to lag ten degrees behind the civility that reigns in Europe or in the United States. 

In this barbarism with islands of civility.    


This is why our next president's upcoming visit to Colombia, to discuss with the executors of that 40 year war against drugs, is worrisome. That's why one worries over his talks with Janet Napolitano, National Security Secretary of the United States, who, with her stern face and luxurious phrases, recommends that he continue the heroic effort against the narco. 

It would be desirable for this president to have a clear vision of Mexico's place on this planet and a deep mistrust for all the bla-bla-bla that our more civilized brethren use to encourage us to keep on killing ourselves in this twice-tragic war. one, because any war is tragic. Two, because it's dumb.



  1. Remember that motto, what if they gave a war and nobody came?

  2. This has got to be the stupidest thing iv ever seen on Borderland Beat in the 2 years iv been a regular here

  3. LOL it was only a matter of time before the Cartels start to influence the journalist who write for borderlands. Thanks Sabina Berman for selling out. You are doing a great job. I hope the money the narcos give you is worth it.

    1. It's ok for alcohol and cigarettes. Why not weed and some booger sugar! It would be a great why for us Americans to get out of debt. We should stop putting drug addicts in jail. The only people that make money that way are old fat worthless politicians! Turn the drug business into a corporate business and create job's and help out the poor and needy. If you are not open to legalizing drugs then you are stupid and need to try some. Enlighten yourself and then see how you feel about them after. Drugs are already everywhere you turn, why not make it another American business. Look we rule the world in guns and sale them to every fucked up middle east shit hole. God bless America!!!

  4. Some of this reporters best friends are narcos. Where else is she going to buy her coke or weed from.

  5. Yes lets legalize all drugs. The people who are selling them are really good people. And legalizing it will mean that all those good people can live honest lives again. The cartels would just over night stop killing people who look at them wrong. Rapeing women, beating people, everything in the world would be right if we would just legalize drugs.
    This reporters brain must be damaged due to excessive drug use. Drugs turn mothers into whores. Children into theifs. Even legal they would need money to buy it. And all the criminals who push the drugs are criminals by nature. The violence will not stop. Legalizing drugs will not turn these men honest.

    1. Make sure to understand th article before you post....dummy

    2. You must have read a different article. Please re-read it and look at your comments. If you think that your comments are still relevant, then you are the one on drugs.

  6. .Typical Mexican Pride response blame everyone else but the Drug kingpins or Drug Cartels who decide what war to rage inside Mexico and decide who lives and dies.. Oh by the way Mexico blame yourself for allowing the Cartels from the beginning to operate with impunity cause their only "drug dealers" selling to gringos but look how that turned out for you

  7. There would certainly be more people doing coke if it were legalized. I have not met anyone addicted to cocaine that has not lost their entire family if they continue doing it. It is not like the prohibition of alcohol where the use was so ingrained into society where criminalizing it would not stop people from doing it. Criminalization DOES stop people (it is just not noticed because it currently is illegal) and if legalized that will be noticed when the use skyrockets. Horrible idea.

  8. Their not saying legalize'em dumb ass.. their saying that eu and the us don't do shit about it and people are diyng over a fucking war that doesn't make sense. It's almost like if they want mexico to destroy itself..

    1. They do. Mexico has alot of oil that the u.s and its mother Europe want. Why else would they want to wage a war against people who sell plants. Legalize weed and just decriminalize the other drugs. You can't tell people how they wana feel. Its wrong to lock people up cuz of how they wana feel. If you dont need drugs then good for you go built a doll house or something. I smoke cannabis cuz it keeps me mellow out and ot comes from the earth. While cocaine and all the other chemicaly engeniered drugs were made by the u.s government to enslave the black and Latino population. They have removed our chances of getting somewhere so we resort to other means. They know of this so then they lock us up cuz they hate Mexicans and blacks. Hell they hate everyone who aint an arian,

    2. You sound like such a stupid ass "weed head". You say the U.S.A developed drugs to enslave blacks & latinos. So, do blacks/latinos have different wiring from whites making them more likely to become addicted cuz I'd like to see your scientific proof of that. Too many people like you don't want to take responsibility for their actions and look for anywhere else to put the blame. Go smoke another fatty and ponder the meaning of life. Jackass

  9. the government should make a truce with the cartels too curb the step i dont know.

  10. Whats the down side of the WAR ON DRUGS, dopers are shit heads, Police need jobs, prisons hire workers, the entire legal system makes money, So what if low class turds kill each other,they will anyway. There is a segment of society that has never and will never be productive, by the way they do most of the crime and drugs,so why reward them?

  11. are ppl being mutilated and decapitated in your country? hung from your cities bridges and dumped in mass graves? so besides the sarcastic bullshit what would you do keep fighting, or look for an alternative? if your american ass saw a body hanging you would shit and run to get your next prescription of antidepressants. mexico is at the service of the devil, the great usa. usa will get what's coming.

  12. I personally have a lot of feelings in common with 'Anonymous commentor # 3'...

    I don't know that this so called 'war on drugs' as its being waged now is the best way to go about it especially considering the huge price tag in Mexican blood and grief...

    There is an excellent 41 minuted quality made documentry on YouTube's Vice site...(there's quite few more videos and there are 300K+ subscribers with over 50 million+ views)

    The title is The Mexican Mormon War (Drug Cartels vs. Mormons Full Length)...

    Its quite educational...

  13. if you dont agree w her just debate the points, dont attack her personally. she obv put alot of effort and thought into presenting and writing this article, and its not ok to attack a person because you dont like their ideas. el cochiloco did that to me and because they they like him better i get banned from this site. but either way its not ok its just what ignorants do when they cant debate intelligently. yes you el cochi

  14. i don't know about you guys but here in CA the weed we smoke is grown HERE and is the best of the world. Fuck the mexican cartels and their shitty skunk-full of seeds weed. they don't even know how to grow weed it looks like grass!!. I think besides cocaine that is a drug so 80s being replace by meth the cartels just have the shitties drugs.

    1. Seems like ur on some good shit right now.. if the cartels sold SHITTY DRUGS then why the Fuck are they so filthy rich?? Mmm...

    2. Cause the dumb hillbillies in the east coast buy that trash. He is right Mexico weed is garbage. Cali bud is way better and grown here by Americans you obviously have never seen weed or you would know. If you don't know about the topic don't even respond dumbass. N just because you get high it doesn't make you stupid. I took my SAT'S HIGH AS A KITE N got a 1300. Now I have a bachelors in business administration from SDSU.

    3. I don't defend drugs but there's different kinds of weed in Mexico not just one it depends on the region were is planted.

  15. "There is a segment of society that has never and will never be productive, by the way they do most of the crime and drugs,so why reward them"
    Watch out that segment don't mug your pussy ass.

  16. "Whats the down side of the WAR ON DRUGS, dopers are shit heads"
    This is the kind of cunt who would not help a woman being attacked?Can't you see it all over his faggot comments about subjects he has no experience of.I hope you never get in a confrontation with someone like me faggot.There are some dangerous guys out there,who don't give a fuck about cunts like you and your opinions.Fuck would you know about struggle and opportunities?Everyone a stoner to you.Man,i hate cunts like you and your opnions,enough to hurt you.

  17. ....@raise your hands, those of you that believe that drugs are the devil, not one hand is raised and laughter runs through the audience... i guess to people who have not experienced the horror that drugs have brought to their lives, IT COULD BE FUNNY, but to others who see the reality of it, ITS A SERIOUS SITUATION...

    ....In the Book of Enoch, there is a chapter where IT STATES THAT THE FALLEN ANGELS (DEMONS) TAUGHT THE PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT PLANTS CAN GET THEM HIGH!!! These fallen angels were seriously punished by GOD FOR INTERFERING IN HIS PLANS OF A FREE- WILL WORLD...

    ....PEOPLE ARE JUST PLAIN FOOLS, who lack knowledge and fail to get informed, They should try picking up a book, or better, look in the internet....It has alot of information!!!!

  18. *71,OOO confirmed executions. Mexico as of 2006.

    *109,142+ negligent or intentional homicides are classified by the federal Government as "Without data" and "Other".


    *4448 causalties in iraq war since 2003, 34000 wounded.
    *2,000, casualties afghnstan operation enduring freedom since 2003. And over 17,619 wounded.

    In 2011 there were 24,068 OFFICAL executions roughly equating to 2006 OFFICIAL murders a month.

    *Five of the world's 10 deadliest cities in 2011 are in Mexico,

    Read more:

    *In 2010, some 3,100 people were killed in city of Juarez alone. one of mexicos most notriously infmaous known now ghost town metropolis.

    According to the FBI, 617 people were murdered in Los Angeles COUNTY!!!! California in 2010. And Murders in Detroit jumped from 308 in 2010. These are americas so "notoriously known" 'gang capital' (los angeels) and 'murder city' (detroit). Mere childs play compared to mexicos ONGOING drug war. Now tell me where the real gangsters at ladies and gentlemen.

    Now tell me where the real war is and where the real murder rates are high. Not in the united states but in mexico. Right next door to us. Under our noses. We need to get out of the middle east and let them motherfuckers kill each other just like they have for the past 2500 years over Jerusalem.
    This is the idiot you FOOLS wanna put in office that godamn monkey Barack Obama. Hes keeping us into debt investing billions of dollars a month the U.S. doesnt have and giving it to a bunch of towelheads and cameljackies. Tell me the last person of arab descent has even been nice to to you. Thse dirty asses come over here being used to the sahara desert and they come over to the U.S run a liquor store and think they're sultans. Most them damn arabs is cowards and so are you guys who support the drug trades.
    And most of these damn wetbacks are the same cowards too. they come over here from generations of cutting grass and laying cement in the wack ass desert they invest in a shitty ass 2 bedroom 10,000 equity house here and think they're on top of the world with their noses up with rims worth more than their kids insurance and cars themselves.
    How is the drug war going to stop I don't know. i don't think it will ever end. Crooked U.s selling missile launchers to cartels, and crooked asss border patrol payed to turn their noses when theres tons coming thru in semis. I wish I knew the answer to this question. The problem is cartels are paying off whole police forces and here in the united states you can't do that.

  19. Legalize weed, tax like cigs. Use the tax $ to fund research into anti-addiction drugs against cocaine, amphetamines & opiates. This would possibly reduce drug violence. Have farmers grow weed instead of hard drugs so they won't lose their drug producing jobs. Everyone happy except mafia, so don't expect much.

  20. I disagree with the author about the US not punishing drug addicts. I have seen a lot of people jailed for drug abuse. The last I heard the numbers, 80% of the people in prison in the US were there for something drug-related (or alcohol). Most of the drug sentences are not even for violence.

    I think it is so strange that people think legalization is the answer to the drug war. The Cartels are not just into drugs but also extortion, kidnapping, murder-for-hire, black market oil and all kinds of other stuff. The Zetas in particular have broadened their horizons. One of the problems with legalization, is that it would free them up to focus on all these other things.

  21. I agree with this article. I'm a white-guy and a veteran, not that it should matter or ever has to the so-called "illegals" but it sure does to some "Americans"! I've worked ALL MY LIFE with Mexicans and Central Americans doing the menial jobs that most Americans were too proud, "educated", entitled or lazy to do... unlike so many of you I love being bilingual in Spanish.
    The biggest trolls that blog all of their anti-Mexican hate here sound to me exactly like what they probabley are; a cross-section of America's choice scumbags, and a GIGANTIC PART OF THE PROBLEM! You know... the meth-head-biker-trash, the 60's-throwback-by night-yuppie-by-day crowd, and the selfish-reverse-disriminating-biggoted-angry&urban-African-American(*not ALL blacks, just the negative-stereotype that you wannabees love to jock!) You are the ones who take the drugs that the Narcos supply and you are also the ones who talk shit about "illegals".
    THE NERVE OF YOU HYPOCRITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You do not weep for the innocents whose RIVER OF BLOOD has paid for your DRUGS. At least the Narcos suffer for their sins but you... THE GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZES REHABS AND JOBS for you! And you punks have the nerve to bitch and whine and complain WHEN AFTER ALL YOU LAZY PAYASOS benefit from their burro trabajo perro no tiene the ganas to do it in the first place or the heart in the last place either! Gente sin verguenza, you should change your tune. I wonder what will it take...

    1. I'm Mexican/ American (mom= Guanajuato dad= Jalisco) but some of you posters on here are amazing and not in a good way. I'm starting to compare the people who actually live in mexico to the people in the middle east. Even though most of them aren't strapping bombs on themselves and killing themselves along with innocent lives, they are just as guilty for knowing who these people are and where they're at don't do a fucking thing about it. People everywhere should stop making excuses and take on some responsibility and conviction. Stop allowing this shit to happen or you're just as guilty.

  22. "mexico is at the service of the devil, the great usa. usa will get what's coming"
    You are talking utter and absolute nonsense.
    How may times will this go around and around in endless circles of blame?Your response is not based on any fact.I have come to realize that a lot of these kind of statements have nothing to do with truth,but more to do with general antipathy and racism directed at the stereotypical"gringo"Most people in the US don't wish to see any country in this situation,but continuing to blame the US for the endemic problems of Mexico is absolutely counterproductive and just elicits negative responses like mine.Do you not think it is counterproductive to blame the US,when the US is trying to help?

  23. "i don't know about you guys but here in CA the weed we smoke is grown HERE and is the best of the world"
    This is an absolute fact that cannot be disproved.
    It is known in most of the European cities that the best research into seed stock and offspring's have been conducted in the US/Cali.
    The best greens are in the US with the best research.Simply a statement of fact.

  24. "Only in this remote country called Mexico does drug trafficking provoke gunshots, people cut to pieces, bodies left in car trunks, protest marches, 95 thousand deaths, billions of dollars in costs, a social malaise that translates into hostility in daily life."

    I wonder if Sabina Berman has any sources to back that astonishingly false statement THAT ONLY IN Mexico those atrocities occur because of drug trafficking. With the sole exceptions of video beheadings and hanging bodies of bridges I can cite published sources of gunshots, people cut to pieces, and bodies left in car trunks all because of drug trafficking occurring in other countries as well, including the U.S..

  25. @12;00 dude U.S.Forces were in the middle East way before Obama won Office,wasnt that the bush era...

  26. yes. the gulf war.

  27. El gingo campasino .
    Typical anti US bullshit
    Suckaaaa,stop lying.You got an agenda,pretending to be a"gringo"you a Mexican stop lying?You actually believe that nonsense about drugs and its causes?You actually believe it would stop endemic corruption if drugs were taken out of the equation?Drugs are a by-product of that corruption,you are on an anti US rant,you are not saying anything productive or truth-full or insight-full.It is negative and non-productive in the extreme to keep blaming the US.When will people look at themselves for their own faults?

  28. "I agree with this article. I'm a white-guy and a veteran"
    Liar.Bitter and twisted,the most racist comments you see on here are without doubt from Mexicans.And it is matter of fact,they just do it.It pisses even"white people"off.
    Here we have you,flapping about racism by whites,by blacks,but you make no mention of the Mexican kind?You full of shit man.

  29. El gingo campasino
    "I'm a white-guy and a veteran"
    Ye so am i,i wouldn't want you at my side.

  30. This story is written by Sabina Berman,somehow i am not surprised by her ridiculous sentiments.
    She must have done an in depth story from her desk.With her vast experience of drugs,violence,and the root causes of the ills of the world,she knows it all.Now i know not to read any more of her shit.Absolute bullshit,as long as it serves a particular agenda,it will be used.


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