Specifically, in the western state of Michoacan last November, the Mayor Maria Santo Gorrostieta was kidnapped in broad daylight in front of her daughter. Days later she was found dead in a ravine, hands and feet bound, showing signs of torture and beatings. Prior to this she survived two assassination attempts, the first of which took her husband's life. She still spoke out against cartels "continue fighting, true to my ideals and my convictions, convinced that the truth will make us free.", showing the damages of the second assassination attempt.
The truth is the more and more Latin American countries are bending to the will of the cartels power and influence. The cartel has infiltrated all forms of control insure the success of their trafficking. In a recent story, The Guardian examined Guatemala's response to the newly developed routes of running the drug by land.
Before 2008, The Guardian reports that "the favoured method of transporting drugs from South America to the US was by sea (via the Caribbean or the Pacific) or by air; land-based smuggling was rare."
Now that the air and sea were unsafe to transport drugs "...the concept of the "transit" nations was born – countries in Central America through which drugs were passed en route to the world's largest drugs market, America. "
President of Guatemala, Pérez Molina has spoken out multiple times against the "War on Drugs" since he took office last year; calling it a failure and pressing the international community to "end the taboo of debating decriminalization."
"Drug traffickers have been able to penetrate the institutions in this country by employing the resources and money they have. We are talking about the security forces, public prosecutors, judges. Drug money has penetrated these institutions and it is an activity that directly threatens the institutions and the democracy of countries."
"A message should be sent to the leaders of the countries with the biggest drug markets. They must think not only of their country, but rather of the context of what is happening in the world, in regions such as Central America, where this destruction, this weakening of democracy, is happening. They must be open to recognising that the struggle against drugs, in the way it has been conducted, has failed. That is a fact, a fact that can be analysed after 40 years."
This is how every American should be looking at the "War on Drugs", as a global effort which affects the lives of millions. Now after two states have legalized marijuana, the paradox grows as we sell marijuana yet import it from this drug trafficking.
|Photograph: Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images/The Guardian|
President Molina is the first head of state to sign the Beckley Foundation Letter, which declares the international failure of drug policy and which seeks reform. President of the Republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos has also signed. As well as former president Jimmy Carter of America, and the presidents of Brazil, Switzerland and Poland. And many more scholars, politicians, artists, full list found here.
America is behind the curb and our ignorance to acknowledge the devastation toward other nations will go down in history. Because we can't keep our noses and veins clean we need end the 'War on Drugs' for everyone involved.