Mexicans Protest the Quagmire

As cartel violence continues to sweep Mexico, the people are banding together to say enough:

Last week thousands of people marched from Cuernavaca, the capital of Mexico’s Morelos state, to Mexico City’s Zocalo square to protest the violence that has erupted in the country since President Felipe Calderon launched a drug war against gangs in late 2006. The marchers say that 38,000 have been lost in the battle with drug lords.

The countrywide protest was sparked by the March 28 slaying of Juan Francisco Sicilia, the son of poet Javier Sicilia. He was killed by suspected drug traffickers.

“If we have walked and arrived here in silence it’s because our pain is so great and so profound, and the horror that causes it so immense, that there are no words to describe it,” Sicilia said in a speech reported by the Associated Press. “We still believe that it is possible to the country to be reborn and rise from ruin and show the agents of death that the sons and daughters of this country are standing up.”

Yesterday, NPR had a good discussion on this issue, but my main disagreement with the guests is their placing the blame on drug consumers. Drugs themselves don’t create a violent black market – government policy does. Just as alcohol didn’t give rise to Al Capone but rather prohibition did, drug violence is a result of policy. Until the distinction is made, I don’t believe progress will be made on this issue, and sadly it’s the Mexican people who will continue to pay.

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