A Little Problem in Mexico
In a news story entitled Bodies of 35 People Dumped in Veracruz, Mexico and dated 21 September 2011, NPR reports
“More than 35,000 people have been killed in Mexico in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the cartels in December of 2006. President Calderon, addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations today in New York, said violence in Mexico is being fueled by the insatiable global demand for narcotics.
“Calderon said drug-consuming countries have a moral obligation to reduce the huge profits criminal groups make each year on the narcotics trade. According to various estimates, the Mexican cartels generate between $15- and $30 billion a year smuggling drugs into the United States.
“President Calderon stopped short of explicitly calling on the US to legalize drugs, but he said rich nations must consider all options to undermine the economic power of these brutal criminal organizations.”
Wikipedia says that the death toll from December 2006, when the Mexican Drug War was escalated, through September 2011 is 43,000 people.
Clearly, our neighbor to the south is having some serious problems. I heard on the radio yesterday that Calderon himself is being investigated by the international community. I can’t find the article, but I believe it boiled down to inefficiency, corruption, and the inappropriate use of police and the armed forces.
Although sometimes Mexican drug violence crosses into the US, I am thankful that drug related violence is not as widespread here as it is there. However, as Americans, and as Christians, I don’t think that kind of thankfulness should be our first response to what is happening a few hundred miles away.
Approval or disapproval is most effectively expressed with one’s wallet. Therefore I would express my displeasure with the distributors of the substances that create or facilitate violence by boycotting the product. I guess I should say here, that if you must use an illegal substance, please make sure that it’s domestic in origin. However, since I use neither marijuana nor cocaine, I can’t make much of a statement by refusing to buy it now.
I’m not sure whether legalizing marijuana in the US will really help the Mexican problem, as Calderon insinuated. I hope that sharper minds than mine are looking into it.
Since I can’t really think of anything that I can do for the people impacted by drug violence in Mexico, I am going to remember them in my prayers. I am going to pray for the families of victims. I am going to pray for would-be victims, that they would be spared. I am going to pray that the hearts of drug buyers would be made aware of the industry that feeds their habits and that the market would dry up. I am going to pray that young people at risk of becoming cogs in the cartel machine would find other jobs and not become a perpetrator or victim of cartel violence.
Father, please help our neighbors.