[La Jornada, Mexico]

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La Jornada, Mexico

Mexico Drug Violence: 'Business is Business'


"The most serious element of these policies of war and business is not only the fact that such massive expenditures are being spent on the destruction of our country, but that it is now a business that benefits Mexican 'entrepreneurs' who are in collusion with President Calderón. … Obama's 'war on drugs' has resulted in gigantic business opportunities for companies tied to the interests of the U.S. Democratic Party."


By Luis Javier Garrido


Translated By Halszka Czarnocka


January 27, 2012


Mexico - La Jornada - Original Article (Spanish)

Raymundo Mateo Cruz, alias 'El Mata', after his arrest on charges of killing twelve people. Cruz is a suspected leader of the 'Michoacana Family' drug cartel. What can be done when a beauracracy created to battle a scourge becomes part of the scourge - by seeking to perpetuate itself? Fighting drugs is so profitable, there seems to be little desire to solve the problem.


teleSUR VIDEO, VENEZUELA: 2011 was Meixoc's most violent year, Jan. 19, 00:00:41RealVideo

The so called "war on drugs" is, in addition to whatever else it is, a terrific business for a number of huge corporations near and dear to American Democrats, as well as for many businessmen linked to the Felipe Calderón Government. From their point of view, extreme violence is good for business.


1.  It should not be forgotten that U.S. President Richard M. Nixon coined the term "war on drugs" in a speech he gave on July 17, 1971, in which he pretended to be concerned by the rise in drug consumption among soldiers in Vietnam. In fact, he was looking to take advantage of the alarm he created by claiming that addiction had reached the level of a "national emergency," which he did in order to ask Congress for significant resources for, among other things, continuing to generate new businesses centered on a supposed war on drug trafficking.


2.  Therefore, from its origins, in addition to a series of imperial political, strategic and military objectives, the notion of a "war on drugs" concealed very clear economic interests on the part of certain business consortiums associated with these interests and the federal government, which could count on extraordinary funding approved by Capitol Hill. Experts on Washington drug policy all agree that even after the commotion of Nixon, nothing about broader U.S. policy has changed, which continued to be governed by the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, which was nothing but an expansion of the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Act. And nothing changed, even after the "war" was elevated to the status of law on January 28, 1972.The only novelty is that since then, business has flourished.


3.  Consequently, in the last few years, Washington drug policy has followed this contradictory path. On the one hand, the United States has been engaged in a permanent campaign to fight drugs and provide “aid” to other countries, supposedly to discourage and reduce drug production, which at times has even involved military intervention. On the other, it invariably tended to preserve the drug trade as a great business, overseen and directed from Washington, which has illicitly benefited even senior-level politicians; while on the legal side, it has showered ever-greater state resources on the issue and allowed multiple companies to develop a series of “illegitimate” businesses.


4.  The politics of the Barack Obama Government in this matter have scrupulously followed the Nixonian model. And every time the president has a political problem, he invokes Mexican drug cartels as a threat of "national dimensions” to ask Congress for fresh resources - without, however, cutting off support for the multinational corporations making billions on "war on drugs" related business. In 2006, the weakness of the spurious Felipe Calderón allowed Washington to maximize its domination of Mexico while expanding its business network here.



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5.  Obama's “war on drugs” in Mexico has resulted in gigantic business opportunities for a number of companies tied to the interests of the U.S. Democratic Party. In a recent interview, author Jorge Carrasco Araizaga tells of how private corporations long associated with the U.S. military industry, in addition to some newer ones, have obtained lucrative contracts from Washington to provide military equipment and materiel as well as other products to both Mexico and the United States. This state of affairs has been reinforced by the presence on Mexican territory of other U.S. government agencies that have been authorized by Calderón to operate here, and which are overseen by Rear Admiral Colin J. Kilrain, who is also a business expert.


6.  Calderon's war policies have enormously benefited multinationals - but not only them. Thanks to its intervention in Mexico, the Pentagon has obtained even more resources from Congress: In October 2011, it asked for an additional $1.2 billion to operate on Mexican territory. Meanwhile, the contracts for private companies keep on growing. At its birth, the Mérida Initiative contained an “aid package” of $1.4 billion, but by 2008, contracts with U.S. companies had reached $6.4 billion.


7.  The most serious element of these policies of war and business is not only the fact that such massive expenditures are being spent on the destruction of our country, but that it is now a business that benefits Mexican “entrepreneurs” who are in collusion with Calderón. It is a scenario in which Mexican maquiladora produce U.S. military equipment (which Calderón has failed to show off in Davos) and, in a deal that openly contradicts the Constitution, immediately re-exports them back to the United States. According to reports, last year Aero Company of Indianapolis received $12 million to produce combat arms ear plugs in San Luis Potosí; JDS Uniphase won $6 and $12 million contracts from the U.S. Marines to produce sophisticated weapons and develop weapons testing systems in its plant in Guadalajara; and Lockheed Martin of Orlando received $145 million to develop military vehicle systems for Tijuana.


8.  U.S. migration policies also support a huge amount of business, from the construction of a border wall to detention centers being built along the border. Why shouldn't the “war on narco-trafficking” be big business, too? For that and other reasons, Calderón was terrified when on May 13, 2009, Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, declared that because it is counterproductive, the Obama Administration would never again use the concept of a "war on drugs." Since then, after denying ever used the term himself, Obama has since sought to implement his policies of terror by other means.  



9.  Inordinate spending on anti-drug policy has done anything but help end a business that is booming more than ever before. In fact, the only thing that has happened is a massive reorganization that has managed to sow a climate of violence and terror in the country and kill Mexicans by the tens of thousands. It also gave a boost to a series of illegal businesses that involve politicians and business leaders on both sides of the border, which is why any future dismantling of this network of illegitimate interests will be an extremely complicated task.


10. This confusion of public and private interests, which is suffocating the peoples' cries of “enough!” should be more openly described if we want to build a different country.




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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US Jan. 28, 7:19pm]


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