Mexican journalists are protesting the recent drug-gang killing of Mexican award-winning journalist Javier Valdez, who spent his career investigating and reporting on drug cartels. The protesting journalists want the Mexican government to crack down and bring the killers to justice.
With all due respect, that’s just journalistic idiocy. What do these journalists think the Mexican government has been doing for the last decade or so? Playing tiddlywinks? Short of shooting suspected drug-law violators on sight, like drug warriors are doing in the Philippines, the Mexican government has pulled out all the stops in waging the war on drugs, even bringing the military in the fray.
What has the Mexican government’s drug-war crackdown produced? No, not victory in the war on drugs, as the family of Javier Valdez and all those protesting Mexican journalists can attest. Instead, the crackdown has brought the exact opposite — ever-increasing violence and corruption in Mexico, including the murder of at least 42 journalists since 1992.
Let’s face it: The drug war has destroyed the entire country. Mexico is now a bastion of violence and corruption, mostly because of the drug war.
When I grew up in the border town of Laredo, Texas, in the 1950s and 1960s, the city was a big tourist attraction for people all across the state and the nation. Tourists, including lots of college students, would come to Laredo and cross into Nuevo Laredo for a fun day at the market, restaurants, stores, and night clubs. It was possible to get a feel of “Old Mexico” without going into the interior of the country.
It was the same for those of us living in Laredo. Although some parents objected (and, therefore, weren’t told), many of us would take our dates into Nuevo Laredo for a fun evening of eating and nightclubbing. (There was no drinking age.)
Not anymore. Few people now go to Laredo for tourism into Nuevo Laredo. Few people living in Laredo go into Nuevo Laredo for a day or evening of fun. It’s just too dangerous.
Why is it dangerous now when it wasn’t back then? Very simple: Drug laws and the drug war. No other reason.