Aug 10, 2011

Mexican Peace Movement: A poet rewrites the War on Drugs

Madhu Suri Prakash, a contributing editor to YES! Magazine, interviews Javier Sicilia on the power of poetry to confront people with reality and move them to action.

Straight Goods - A poet rewrites the War on Drugs:  (Prakash) "Javier, people in the North know that they are implicated in the violence of Mexico's drug wars. Some of them are now talking of decriminalizing drugs. What would you say in response to that suggestion?

Javier Sicilia: I believe that something like that should have been done from the very beginning. The politicians are formulating the drug problem as an issue of national security, but it is an issue of public health. If from the very beginning drugs were decriminalized, drug lords would be subjected to the iron laws of the market. That would have controlled them. That would have allowed us to discover our drug addicts and offer them our love and our support. That would not have left us with 40,000 dead, 10,000 disappeared and 120,000 displaced...

The war is caused by puritan mentalities: like those of [Mexican President Felipe] Calderón and [former US President George] Bush. In the name of abstractions — the abstraction of saving youth from drug addiction — they have brutally assassinated thousands of young people, while transforming others into delinquents."

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