Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I don't wanna go to Mexico no more more more

One big news story in the last couple of days has been the rising violence between Mexican drug cartels, and the smuggling of guns from the USA down across the border. Not knowing much about it in the first place, I wasn't really paying attention while listening to a story about it on NPR until suddenly the word 'Iraq' got thrown in, during a comparison of the number of deaths.

In the last year there have been more deaths (some 6000) because of this drug cartel violence than the last six years of military deaths (i.e., deaths of US military personnel, a number around 4250) in Iraq. (Link) That's just a totally bizarre comparison, if you ask me. One year vs six years, violence on side vs. violence on multiple sides. The point, I suppose, was to sensationalize the number of deaths because of the drug trade. I wonder how many people died in Iraq total, in the last year--not just "military deaths."

Another interesting thing about the story was someone who had been a drug trafficker earlier in his life was trying to explain the drug trade. The BBC World Service anchor asked him if he were made "Drug Czar" what would he do to tackle the drug problem. His solution? Make it all legal. People who propose that sort of answer really baffle me--drug addiction is a disease. It is a disease. And the more people that use a drug, the more become addicted. And the more available a drug is, the more people will use it. It opens up a whole new can of worms!

Now, forgetting all the talk about Mexico being a "failed state," it's worthwhile to point out the view that the rising violence is actually a sign of success in the crackdown on the drug trade. Do we really need to be reminded that Allah tells us in the Qur'an that the harm outweighs the benefit when it comes to intoxicants?

The users get addicted and sick, sometimes falling into poverty, which drains the state of resources to take care of them. They hurt themselves and their families. The sellers and transporters have to break various laws, even end up just fighting with each other to keep their business going. Is it any wonder that buying, selling, using, transporting, even growing and processing intoxicants (alcohol, and therefore all intoxicants, right?) is all prohibited for Muslims?


*Midnight Star* said...

Hey Amy, I keep on reading ur blog and since u are talking about my conutry I think I should answer.... Yep, we are having a really hard fight against drug dealers, that´s what our president is trying to do mostly this days, we need security and that´s a way to have it back, unfortunately there are people death on that way, but is not all like that, yeah there are big groups of those people who deals with drugs, and they are strong groups, hard to break, but mostly all mexican people is trying to fight against that.
Past presidents left security as something that shouldnt be that important, also cause they have aliances with the drug dealers, but our president is trying to do something now. I know is hard, my cousin´s husband is a soldier and he´s now over there working against all that. And everyday we pray for his safety, specially cause they both have a 1 year old baby, my nephew.
So dont be afraid of comming if u are thinking of, is not like drug land here :D and hopefully it´ll be over in a couple of years if our president continues with the fight against it.
Have a nice day my friend!

Amy said...

Thanks for the comment Carla!

I'm sorry if my post made it seem like I thought Mexico was a bad place. And I hope that our governments actually are able to bring security to both sides of the border, and to end the smuggling of both drugs and guns.

I was listening just today on my way home (after writing this post) to Janet Napolitano (sp?) on NPR talking about this as being the second most important security concern for the USA (after terrorism, which is a laugh, but anyway.) Her view is that the violence actually demonstrates success on the part of the Mexican government in taking down the cartels. I definitely hope it will be over in a few years though, just like you.

And I think I'd like to visit Mexico at least once--the closest I've ever been was a cruise to the Bahamas, but maybe I'll get there one day inshaaAllaah.

BTW--How is the study of Islam going for you?

Amber said...


I think their theory on the legalization of drugs is that it would move them into the light, as it were. No more dealers, loaded for bear against each other and the police. Now you can buy your heroin or pot in the pharmacy. They can regulate quality and quantity of the drugs.

And it also takes the forbidden out of it. People like to do things, sometimes, because their told not to. So, remove that, and some people won't take drugs.

I don't agree with them, but those are some of the arguments, in very watered down form, that I've heard for the legalization.

Coolred38 said...

if they make drugs against the law then alcohol and tobacco should be against the law as they all do harm and all cause death.

i believe they should be made legal as well...because even if the demand goes up...the deaths due to drug cartels fighting over territory etc would fall drastically

the jails are full of criminals who sold marijuana or had some on them...or some other drug etc...they are so full that hardened criminals are set free early in order to make room for more druggies...legalize drugs and marajuana and you will halve the jail murders and rapitst etc plenty of space to stretch out and get comfortable and serve their entire term...just an opinion..

btw nice blog

batoor102 said...

I don't believe that there is a good answer to the drug issue. The only good choice is not to use drugs. I do feel that the 'war on drugs' has been largely a failure, with a lot of collateral damage to families and communities.
But do spare me the mindless liberal blather about how we could solve the problem if we just spent the money on treatment programs that we spend on interdiction.

This from someone who married a crack addict...