Monday, June 02, 2008

my brother's keeper

"There is only one basic human right and that is the right to do as you damn well please, and with that right comes the only human duty: the duty to take the consequences."
P.J. O'Rourke

Last week Billie wrote a piece on "What About the Drug Wars?" responding to an article in The Houston Chronicle. Nancy posted "México's War on Drugs" that same day, but commenting on an article from The New York Times.

Billie suspected she would receive comments knowing that the topic was controversial. But there was no deluge -- at least, not from the tone of the posted comments.

Both posts got me thinking about this topic, though. Illegal drug commerce may be a topic as important, or more important, than immigration policy. I fear that Mexico may tear itself apart before the drug issue gets resolved.

For that reason it is an apt topic for this blog. I started to write a short piece. It has now grown to the point where it needs to be severely pruned. Even then, it will violate the Calypso word-restriction guideline (1000 words).

On Tuesday, I will start posting. I would appreciate your thoughts and your comments.


Islagringo said...

As always, I will be reading every word you write. Sometimes even with a dictionary by my side! I must say though, the drug war news down here is probably like the elections up there. Enough already. I hardly look at the local paper anymore because of the gross pictures. (maybe I should cut them out, scan them and show people the REAL news) Just last Saturday some gang battle resulted in a guy getting decapitated and his head replaced with that of a pig. Graphic pics included. That said, it is a serious problem. Just witness the exorbitant protection surrounding Calderone's visit to the island. The more I write here, the more I am thinking maybe we do need to discuss it. I will be very interested to here what you have to say.

Nancy said...

It does need discussing, I agree. I was surprised to have no comments on my post.

We read the paper every day here and there are always deaths...bodies wrapped in plastic and tape and dumped here and there. Pretty much all of the violence is up near Culican - but a high ranking police official in Mazatlan was killed a few days ago, too.

The struggle between longstanding police/mafia alliances and the new crackdown by Calderon is the root of what is going on now.

The topic is a big one and should be important to all of us in Mexico.

Anonymous said...


I am as ambivalent and then not as Wayne on the drug subject.

I do think the drug problems in Mexico are disproportionately portrayed in the US news.

But, all still it is in fact an important and controversial subject well worth covering for we that live or plan to live in Mexico.

So write on Amigo - as to my self ascribed 1000 word maximum (which I break upon occasion) - well it is not a hard and fast rule hombre - you decide ;-)

J. Calypso

Steve Cotton said...

Juan -- I usually follow your rule. After 1000 words, my mind starts to wander. But that may have to do with other factors -- like, age.

Wayne and Nancy -- I am just finishing up the piece. It may not be as tightly-reasoned as I would like, but I hope to at least start some thought on the matter.

1st Mate said...

Steve - looking forward to reading your thoughts on the drug topic. I have been peering at the issue out of the corner of my eye, feeling it's one of those things I have no control over, other than not to get involved with them myself, and try to avoid places where people do. Here in Sonora it's reportedly meth, sales and production both, that people are worried about. I'm only beginning to read the local papers and haven't seen many reports on it here on the coast. But I can understand your wanting to have a clear idea of what's going on, as you plan your move to Mexico.

Nancy said...


I should mention that many of us don't know too much about how Mexico's drug war is being portrayed in the US media...we don't get US television, and while we check out several online newspapers every day we don't get the full extent of what may be being said without television and radio.


Steve Cotton said...

Nancy -- I do not have television. So, I am somewhat in the same boat with you. I see some sensational headlines in newspapers, but my main source of news is The Economist where hysteria is a rare commodity. I suspect we may all learn something through this exercise. I know I am looking forward to it.

Bliss -- I have friends in England who were shocked when they visited me in Salem that we would not witness any shootouts between the police and the perps. American television had conditioned them to believe that shootings were common. They were doubly surprised when I told them in 59 years I had never seen a gun fired in anger in America; only in Greece and Northern Ireland. I suspect that is what it is like living in Mexico. Shooting is going on somewhere, but not near any of us.

Billie Mercer said...

Steve, I look forward to your thoughts on this issue.

Anonymous said...

I am horribly lazy about keeping up with the current 'state of affairs', both here in MX, and in the USofA. I look forward to your exploration, and keep those O'Rourke quotes a comin.