The fact that President Obama has yet to take any action in assisting the Mexican government in ending the violence that has been directly fueled by the war on drugs makes me sick to my stomach. The recent president-elect of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, has officially called for a debate to consider legalizing and regulating drugs in order to combat the cartel violence that has plagued the country for years and doesn’t seem to have an end in sight.
“While insisting he was not in favor of legalizing drugs himself, he said, “I’m in favor of opening a new debate in the strategy in the way we fight drug trafficking. It is quite clear that after several years of this fight against drug trafficking, we have more drug consumption, drug use and drug trafficking. That means we are not moving in the right direction. Things are not working.”
Sadly this is not the first cry for help that has come from the higher ranks of Mexican government. The U.S. Has always taken a deaf ear to the number of deaths that are exponentially growing due to cartel violence, which also happens to be directly fueled by the ATF under failed operations such as the most recent scandal surrounding the debacle
So what exactly was the Fast and Furious operation?
In a nutshell, the goal of the Fast and Furious operation was to sell guns to Mexican cartels in order to track them, hoping that the guns would lead to high ranking cartel members. Instead, the ATF managed to lose track of a large majority of the guns only to have them turn up at cartel murder scenes throughout the country. American guns are killing innocent Mexican citizens, and our government could care less. The worst part about this entire gun running operation (other than it lead to the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent Mexican citizens) is that Obama has yet to follow through with his promise that he would hold those who made these decisions accountable for their actions.
What did the white house know about Fast and Furious, and did they do anything?
From CBS News:
“President Obama has consistently said he knew nothing of any gunwalking while it was occurring. When asked about the gunwalking allegations by a reporter from Univision on March 22, 2011, President Obama stated that “a serious mistake may have been made.” He also stated that there would be an investigation and whoever was found to be responsible would be held accountable.“
It is important to point out that, once again, Obama is doing exactly the opposite of what he had promised the American and Mexican people, by withholding specific information from Congress in the midst of an investigation into Attorney General Eric Holders involvement with the case. The Obama Administration’s secrecy in this matter begs some questions: “Did President Obama have a hand in the Fast and Furious case?” “Is this an issue that his campaign team thinks could cost him his second term as president if it was exposed to the public?” These are all questions that deserve further research. If Obama did indeed play a role in the Fast and Furious operation, or even if he was simply aware of how it was being carried out, we must hold him accountable for his lack of political action.
Recently there has been talk within the media about how Obama will focus more on new strategies to put an end to the war on drugs if he wins a second term in office. It certainly sounds dandy, and even makes a bit of sense to assume that in his second term Obama would make a legitimate effort to correct the ways in which the U.S. has been failing to properly address the the failed war on drugs. All I can say at this point is that I’ll believe it when I see it. At this point Obama’s word isn’t worth a dime.
I know it sounds cynical, but the rising death toll in Mexico has yet to force the U.S. to take any kind of pragmatic action on changing current failed drug war tactics. How many Americans are going to have to die before the U.S. takes the war on drugs in Mexico seriously?
The people of Mexico have been unable to combat the ongoing cartel violence since it’s acceleration around six years ago. To no one’s surprise, Obama has continued to pretend that the war on drugs in Mexico is either a tremendous success, and thus merits no attention at all, or that it’s a complete failure and the potential exposure of said failure could cost him some serious political points in his upcoming election. The lack of sympathy for human life is a trait that has been instilled within American politics for far too long, it’s time to hold Obama’s feet to the fire in the name of saving lives.
Amidst Obama’s complacency, there is something YOU can do to help call attention to this pressing issue. Javier Sicilia is leading a peace caravan through the U.S. this summer to bring the issue to the front steps of the American people. Sicilia’s son was brutally murdered on March 28, 2011 after a fight broke out in a night club associated with cartel violence. Since his son’s death, Javier has ceased writing poetry and has become a full time activist against the war on drugs in Mexico and around the world.
The stated goals of the Peace Caravan are“to promote dialogue with American civil society and its government regarding the following themes: the need to stop gun trafficking; the need to debate alternatives to drug prohibition; the need for better tools to combat money laundering; and the need to promote bilateral cooperation in human rights and human security in two priority areas: promotion of civil society and safety, as well as protection and safety for migrants.”
The Caravan for Peace and Dignity will travel 5,600 miles, hitting 25 cities, from San Diego to Washington D.C., between Aug. 12 and Sep. 12 this summer. Please considering joining the caravan by clicking here to see how you can get involved.
Sam Chapman has dedicated the last seven years of his life to leadership, activism, progressive legal reform, and social media. He has been a crucial member of the End Prohibition Again Campaign, Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, as well as a strategic framer for Occupy Eugene. Beyond drug policy reform, Chapman has served as the Associated Students of the University of Oregon Campaign Manager, College Outreach Coordinator for the Measure 74 Campaign, and currently runs a social justice organization, the Interpretive Framing Group. Chapman’s expertise also includes his ability to develop diverse networks of people through the power of social media. Chapman seeks to challenge outdated status quos and policies through his public speaking, leadership, and social media skills.
Published with special permission from the National Cannabis Coalition