The part of the video about guns being bought at American gun shops, and the fact’s portrayal as this outrageous betrayal, is definitely the weak spot in the video. Who cares where the drug runners bought guns? They buy some of them here because one of the very few ways in which the US is more free than Mexico is in its gun laws. That’s hardly the root of the problem. Again, the violence wouldn’t even exist without the scourge of prohibition.
But reader L.D. has some good observations:
The truth is, 90% of the guns that can actually be traced come from the U.S. The rest can’t be traced. According to the article linked below, only 17% come from the U.S. I wonder how many of those are supplied by our own government to the Mexican police and/or military that fall in to (other) criminal hands.
9:49 pm on September 24, 2010 Email Ryan McMaken
I’ve been living here in Culicán, Sinaloa, Mexico for about the past year. I spent a lot of time down here for the two years previous to that. I was here when Calderon first rolled the tanks through. The soldiers just showed up one day. I told my girlfriend (she’s the reason I’m here) that it was a very, very bad idea to have the military involved in this problem and it’s only going to increase the violence. How did I know this?
First of all, military units are not trained for civil policing; it’s simply not in the nature of a military unit to be patrolling the streets of its own cities and have a mission that puts it at war with its own citizens.
Secondly, Mexican soldiers are largely uneducated, poor and come from rural areas. They are easily corrupted. Hey, just take some money from the cartels, send it back home and leave us alone. I believe entire units have been compromised this way. The alternative to accepting bribes is of course that either you or your family will be killed. The main bribes go to the commanders of course, but I’m positive that many an infantryman stopping a car at a checkpoint failed to apprehend known criminals when a wad of cash was placed in his hand. “Pase señor.”
There are not nearly as many soldiers here in Sinaloa as there were 1.5 years ago. Sinaloa, if you didn’t know it is home to the most powerful drug cartel. The violence is still appalling though. In the near-by town of Navolato, all but 3 policemen quit their jobs in that town. It’s a small town on the outskirts of Culiacan but the murder rate there is insane.
The only solution to the entire problem is for America to end the stupid war on drugs. It would mostly strip the cartels of their power as well as hundreds of Mexican politicians at all levels of government. American politicians are far too corrupted by the drug war lobbying (after all, who’s in favor of drugs?) to see past the campaign contributions in to the destruction it leaves in its wake.
I was in Mazatlan in early August. I expected to see a fair amount of American tourists there despite the violence. Nope. Nary a gringo to be found (except me). Well, there were a couple of American girls promoting a club there, and I think I saw a couple more gringos but I couldn’t be sure and I didn’t have a chance to talk to them to find out.
American government contractors, Mexican politicians, military leaders, police captains and narco bosses are getting rich from this drug war. Everyone else is suffering.
The sad part is, the law abiding Mexican citizens are completely disarmed and have no means of taking control of the situation on their own.