Family Feud

There is a Drug War going on in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. As you might expect, it is not going well.

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico-- Authorities battling drug traffickers in this violent border city have begun to suspect that their efforts to impede the flow of drugs into the U.S. has fostered demand--and turf wars--on their own territory.
Dang. Fighting drugs only spreads them. Which reminds me of a personal anecdote. About 15 or 25 years ago when the police in America decided they were going to drive drugs and drug gangs out of the big cities I said the result would be an infestation of drugs and gangs in our towns and villages. I told this to a police officer back then (on FIDO Net). He said I was nuts. Unfortunately, I had the last laugh.
... authorities also see an unintended result of the crackdown: Traffickers, unable to get some drugs to Americans, began to sell them in Ciudad Juarez. That has left the city of 1.3 million people--once mainly a transit center for drugs--with a pattern of mounting crime similar to that of the U.S. cities where drugs are headed, namely killings at street corners between gangs vying to be the town's principal drug dealers. Even in cases when drugs begin flowing back across the border into the U.S. again, some amount remains destined for local consumers.

"What we're seeing is a retail market here in the city," says Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz, who has run the city since 2007 and was there when the soldiers arrived. "The killings you're seeing now are one gang going after another to sell [drugs] here."

The trend hasn't gone unnoticed across the border. "What you have to understand is that if drug traffickers can't get cocaine across the border, rather than having it sit in a warehouse where they risk losing it, they'll distribute it locally," says Joseph Arabit, who heads the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's operation in El Paso.

Isn't that comforting. The DEA knows exactly how this works. And they support the drug war why? Green energy. i.e. it is a jobs program and heaven knows they will not work against their own interests. And what is that interest? It certainly isn't either ending the Drug War or stopping the flow of drugs.
In response to rising violence between drug cartels over cross-border trade in Ciudad Juarez, President Calderón sent 5,000 more soldiers into the city in early 2009. Seizures of marijuana continued to fall, as did homicide rates, which dropped from about nine a day earlier in the year to two per day, according to estimates by the city. City leaders were cautiously optimistic; for a short time, violence in Ciudad Juarez appeared to have been calmed.

Then homicide rates suddenly skyrocketed, to 12 a day, the highest level in the city's history. The year ended 2009 with about 2,750 drug-related homicides, up from 1,600 the year before.

"We didn't understand what was going on," says Mr. Reyes, the mayor.

Mr. Reyes should have consulted with the experts at the DEA. They witnessed roughly the same thing in the USA about 15 to 25 years ago. The one thing the drug warriors seem really good at is redeploying policies that are known, tested, and guaranteed not to work. As opposed to redeploying policies that are known, tested and guaranteed to work. A man has got to protect his phony baloney job.
Mexican federal officials say there are signs the violence in Ciudad Juarez, which has claimed 996 lives so far this year, has peaked.

Analysts say any such hopes are probably premature. One reason: Blood spilled by this year's turf wars won't be forgotten quickly, gang members say, meaning the fighting in Ciudad Juarez could continue even if the government succeeds in reducing drug sales and transit.

"The Aztecas have killed our families, friends and kids," says Nicolas Sosa, a leader of a Ciudad Juarez gang called The Artistic Assassins, in a jailhouse interview. Mr. Sosa said he didn't see an end to the violence anytime soon.

Our experience with alcohol prohibition in America is that it takes 15 to 25 years for the internecine warfare inspired by prohibition to die out. The clock starts as soon as we stop being stupid. The beginning of the end of stupidity could begin as soon as Nov. 2, 2010 in California.

Here is a catalog of some of the stupidity as reported in 1997! -

Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure

It is not like we didn't know.

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 05.24.10 at 03:46 AM


If Alcohol Prohibition were still in force, the present generation wouldn't repeal it.

Brett   ·  May 24, 2010 7:51 AM

Yes, and if alcohol appeared as a new substance, it would be banned, and the DEA would be treating distilleries like meth labs.

Eric Scheie   ·  May 24, 2010 9:17 AM

Wish I had something pithy to say, but when one weighs the totality of the destruction caused by the WOD over the years, snark falls woefully short.


Randy   ·  May 24, 2010 2:55 PM

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