Sunday, June 20, 2010

circling drugs

Harry Chapin warbles in the background as I thumb through this week's Economist.

"It seems like I've been here before;
I can't remember when;
But I have this funny feeling;
That we'll all be together again."

Fitting lyrics for pyrrhic news.

According to The Economist, the Zetas (formerly the strong arm of the Gulf cartel, and now a force unto themselves -- almost as if Goering had split off of the Nazis to form a rival -- and scarier -- terror force) have started setting up shop in poor little Guatemala.  Recruiting strong arms.

It was inevitable.  I was part of a very successful operation to cut off the flow of drugs from South America to the United States through the Caribbean.  Successful because the stream stopped -- through the Caribbean.

If the goal is restated as stopping the flow of drugs -- it was a disastrous failure.  Because, like any other stream of commerce with a supply on one end and a strong demand on the other, the flow will find a way.

And it did.  Right up Central America, through Mexico, and across the border.

For a moment, let's assume President Calderón will be successful in beating the snot out of the drug cartels in Mexico (something I find inconceivable -- even with my hypothetical-besotted legal mind).  Will the drugs stop?  Of course not.  The operations will move elsewhere. 

And it appears poor war-ravaged, corruption-infused Guatemala is a great spot to set up alternative operations.  Mexico will then simply become part of the drug freeway.

But, the drug market is just like life.  Simply another circle.


Tancho said...

You mean the war on drugs isn't working?
Just think of what they could have done with all that money.

Babs said...

Most of the drugs don't come through Mexico and never have! Surprised? When I was involved with the AWAKS planes at Offutt, the majority did and still does come in by large freighters from Columbia. What you see in the big drug busts on land are for media coverage. Lots and lots comes in by air also.

Anonymous said...

I find it even more inconceivable that our very weak 'leader' President O will even try to do anything about the demand. US addicts are entitled to their dope no matter what the cost to themselves, their families, society in general and the producing countries.

Croft said...

Interesting! Now my question is, does the USA really WANT to cut off the drug supply? If so then why are they not willing to spend a fraction of what they are spending on foreign wars to stop the war on their own border? And while we are solving these questions, did Humpty Dumpty really "fall" of the wall? Were only two bullets fired in Daley Plaza?

Felipe said...

Drugs must be legalized. Ain´t no other solution. None. Zip. Zed. Zero.

NWexican said...

Drugs!! what drugs???
Hopefully you are not referring to the billions of "prescriptions" that pass through the border at Algadones each year?????? :)

Steve Cotton said...

Tancho -- Spent it in some other ridiculous way?

Babs -- The routes are impossible to close. The only solution I can see is legalization. But you know my spiel on that issue.

Anonymous -- Or maybe it is just another market where government has decided to over-regulate.

Croft -- My preferred option (legalization) is not going to happen in the current political envioronment. And that is too bad.

Felipe -- Preach it, brother -- says the choir.

NWexican -- I am surprised that we have not jacked up those gray-haired grannies. Don't they know there is a drug way going on? Where is The Man when you need him?

norm said...

I was driving down a main road in northern Guatemala about ten years ago and smelled fresh pot, thought it was a pot farm hidden in the orchards along the road but the smell was with me for the next 50 miles. My next guess was the army truck in front of me with the four guys sitting on top of a tarp. Nothing new with drugs in Guate and those Zeta fells may be biting on a bigger dog than they did in Mexico.

Steve Cotton said...

Norm -- Driving on a HIGH-way?