Jul 22, 2011

Whack-a-mole Drug War: Hyper-Violence in Mexico: An Interview with Howard Campbell

Excellent interview

Hyper-Violence in Mexico: An Interview with Howard Campbell | North American Congress on Latin America: In the most recent issue of NACLA, anthropologist Howard Campbell examines how Ciudad Juárez became the world’s most violent city after Mexican President Felipe Calderón deployed thousands of soldiers and federal police to fight the cartels. Campbell, a professor at the University of Texas-El Paso, just across the border from Ciudad Juárez, spoke with NACLA to further explain the political, social, and economic forces that led to this hyper-violence in Mexico.

From the interview: "The objective of the U.S. and Mexican Drug Wars may have some good intentions, such as reducing the supply of illegal drugs available to youth and various groups who abuse drugs. In practice, however, the war on drugs is wasteful of money since as currently conceived, the war is not winnable. It is nearly impossible to stop people from getting access to many of these drugs. Prohibition also raises the price of the drugs. This strategy militarizes what are essentially health, social, and moral issues. The result is the incarceration of poor and minority users and the deaths of thousands of mostly young poor people who work in the drug trade or are the innocent victims of it. The strategy has also militarized much of Mexico, produced more violence not less, and been an utter failure. Those who benefit from the drug war are largely anti-drug warriors, politicians in both countries, and elite drug traffickers who profit from prohibition."

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