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I thought we were taking down the drug lords

January 2, 2013
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Mexico’s President Alters Tactics Against Drug Crimes

Mexico’s new attorney general says there are now 60 to 80 drug cartels operating in the country, a sharp rise from the 10 that existed when outgoing President Calderon took office in 2006. President Enrique Pena Nieto says he wants to go after crime associated with drug trafficking instead of taking down crime bosses.

You mean… we spent all that effort and all those lives taking down the cartels and now, instead of 10 of them, there are 60-80 of them? What a surprise!!!

Not.

We could have told people that would happen. In fact, we did, to anyone who would listen.

Of course, there are those who simply don’t want to listen because they don’t care — the drug war is their game regardless of the outcome.

But what bothers me is those who only seem to be able to think in simplistic terms of the evil drug lords as a finite closed group that can be dismantled, instead of understanding the dynamics of either fueling or starving an environment that recruits, develops, and encourages violent criminal activity.

(By the way, it isn’t just in the drug war that this basic fault predominates — it’s also the foundation for much of the war on terror.)

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

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