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by Peter Moskos

April 23, 2011

Mexican Poet Against the Drug War

I'm back from Mexico City, happy to have been there. No, I didn't get sick (or mugged). Yes, I ate everything (including grasshopper quesadillas, which I can say are tasty, but it's still best not to lift the tortilla and look at the critters melted in with the cheese). But I'm also happy to be back at low altitude. Seriously, it's strange and disconcerting to feel out of breath while doing nothing. Also of note: it's the first trip I've ever taken where I didn't, not even once, hear "Hotel California."

Back home, I'm greeting with this BBC headline: "Mexico poet Javier Sicilia leads anger at drug violence." No, I've never heard of him, but he's taken up the cause following his son's murder:
His harsh criticism of what he calls President Felipe Calderon's "stupid strategy" to fight drug cartels has resounded with large sections of Mexican society who are increasingly frustrated by the rising violence in many parts of the country.
More and more innocent civilians like his son are being killed as "collateral damage of the drugs war", Mr Sicilia believes. So he focuses his criticism on President Calderon's strategy.

"I think Felipe Calderon is responsible for launching a war in a stupid way," he says, combining rage with frustration.

"What this war has done is allow the corruption of institutions which had been taking place for years to emerge, but leaving those institutions completely defenceless to face organised crime."
President Calderon - who received Mr Sicilia at the presidential palace after the murders - made an overt reference to the issue in the wake of the demonstrations.

"Let us not be confused," said Mr Calderon at a lunch with business leaders earlier this month.

"We should say 'Enough!' to the criminals who kidnap and murder. They are the enemy, not those who fight against them," he added.
At what point do people in power ever admit: "Maybe, just maybe, what we're doing isn't working." Remember, when Calderon took office, there were about two deaths each day related to the drug war. Now, after five years of "getting tough" and ramping up the drug war, there are more than 40 drug-war deaths each day.

1 comment:

Gotti Rules said...

Hey Buddy,
Are you sure it was the altitude that had you out of breath and not the few extra pounds you packed on?