Common Sense letter to NY Times on the ‘Drug War’ in Mexico

To the Editor:
Re “Mexico’s New Blood Politics” (Sunday Review, Jan. 17):
Ioan Grillo’s conclusion that the United States (and American taxpayers) “should use its drug-war aid to push harder” for anti-corruption and judicial reforms is off base.
As a political analyst living and working in Mexico for the last three decades, I have watched with horror how the United States-Mexico drug war strategy has led to the explosion of violence and criminal activity here. The deep-rooted complicity between government officials and security forces on the one hand and cartels on the other means that the training, equipment and firepower given in aid and sold to the Mexican government fuel violence on both sides.
The lines blur. The cartels are not fighting the state for political power; they are seeking to protect a $40 billion drug-trafficking business that has been converted into a war for control of territory, a war against the people.
Victim organizations that have organized throughout the country demand that the United States stop funding the drug war under any guise. They are the ones who have lost the most, and have the most at stake. We should finally listen to them.
Director, Americas Program
Center for International Policy
Mexico City

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