Drug-runners are also exploiting the extreme poverty that dominates both sides of the border area. They have found that the lack of development is the ideal context for cultivating control of border populations, corrupting their police, recruiting their adolescents, increasing their drug sales, and developing routes of transport. Twenty-one out of 23 border counties in the US are considered areas of economic crisis. Close to 432,000 people are in these circumstances, many of them undocumented, who live in the 1,200 "colonias" in southern Texas and New Mexico.
President Obama's new anti-drug strategy includes more security, but not more development along the border. It's still too early to know how far that policy can go. For now, we can say that the idea that drug trafficking is an external evil that has to be contained predominates. The new circumstances indicate that drug traffic is also an internal evil that is growing inexorably.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
More on the US's Drug Problem
Piggy-backing on the El Universal reports mentioned below, Jorge Luis Sierra argues that while drug trafficking in the United States is a growing danger, official attention lies firmly focused elsewhere. I don't entirely agree with the premise that drug-trafficking is more of a menace now than, say, the late 1980s, but there's no question that there is an incongruity in the intensity of American diagnoses of the problem in Mexico, and its willingness to look in the mirror. There is also a lot to agree with here: