Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Drug wars in Mexico is our responsibility

It is an old cliché that is attributed to Einstein that goes, “if you keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results, you are ignorant of reality”. Well, yes, I did add the ignorant part because sometimes reality is right in front of us and we fritter away at treating symptoms.

The University of Michigan issued an order banning all travel to Mexico on University paid trips. The university, like many other organizations, have banned travel because of the extreme drug violence all across Mexico but especially in the border towns with the United States.

Drug violence in Mexico is getting out of hand, or in this case, out of country. The violence in Juarez is so bad, that up to 20 people a day are murdered. Sometimes four or five are killed at once, in the middle of town in clear daylight. Two cartels have decided that Juarez is to be their battle ground for control of drugs moving into the United States.

This is our responsibility. No, not that we should go storming into Mexico like we did in the early 1800’s. But drug consumption in the United States is causing this problem in Mexico. Our inability to deal with the consumption of drugs is hurting not only us, but also Mexico and every other country that produces the drugs.

The law enforcement approach is failing. Arrests, jail time, court ordered probation and other authority based approaches have not stopped drug use in America. Will drug use ever go away completely? No, it will not. But we could set realistic goals and develop plans to get there.

Communities should come together and hold discussions on the problem. Families, schools, local police and businesses need all work with each other. This may sound idealistic and a set up for failure but unless this happens, drug use will be here to stay and violence will become a long term part of life along the border with Mexico.