We hear almost nothing about the more than 100 reporters who have been slaughtered by the drug cartels and their collaborators inside the Mexican government. The killers are rarely found, let alone punished: 98 percent went unsolved.
But who is doing the killing – is it just the narcos? Javier Valdez, an award winning journalist who had at least 13 bullets pumped into him, didn’t think so. Time and again he pointed to the politicians who use the cartels as their bankers and hit squads.
The US sends $3.6 billion to Mexico annually, ostensibly to help them fight the "war on drugs." But this money is going into the pockets of 1) the corrupt Mexican political class, which makes the reign of the narcos possible, and 2) our own corrupt political class, i.e. the numerous contractors who, as The Intercept points out,
“...reap enormous profits from contracts on everything from Black Hawk helicopters to armed vehicles, intelligence equipment, computer software, night-vision goggles, surveillance aircrafts, satellites systems, and more. Additionally, weapons companies benefit from direct sales of arms and other equipment, which net another billion each year for the weapons contractors.”
The US is worried that the borders of Afghanistan are insecure?
So what’s the solution? Legalize drugs?
It isn’t that simple. While I am in favor of legalizing most drugs, I’ve got to admit that it is very far from a panacea. The issue is separate from the question of the cartels: after all, the Mafia in America didn’t disappear because alcohol prohibition was lifted. Aside from that, the political reality is that drugs aren’t going to be legalized – either here or in Mexico – any time soon.