Criminal Cartels And The Rule Of Law In Mexico: Summary, PDF
The cartels have thousands of gunmen and have morphed into diversified crime groups that not only traffic drugs, but also conduct mass kidnappings, oversee extortion rackets and steal from the state oil industry. The military still fights them in much of the country on controversial missions too often ending in shooting rather than prosecutions. If Peña Nieto does not build an effective police and justice system, the violence may continue or worsen. But major institutional improvements and more efficient, comprehensive social programs could mean real hope for sustainable peace and justice.[more inside]
Sarah Stillman for the New Yorker on confidential informants and the ends they meet -- "Gaither was tortured, beaten with a bat, shot with a pistol and a shotgun, run over by a car, and dragged by a chain through the woods." [more inside]
Is legalization or at least ending the war on drugs a solution to gang violence? Drug Business is not the Key to Gangs And Organized Crime: With a Prognosis for the Mexican Cartel Wars explores the idea of gangs and other crime organizations as mainly political actors. (previous mention of sociologist Randall Collins)
"I realized that I was one of those extremely rare individuals who was a former POW of the drug war, and who got out and had the opportunity to share his story with the world." "It kind of makes an activist out of you when 3 helicopters land in your backyard and guys jump out with guns and destroy your place before your very eyes." Exile Nation is a documentary [complete film] [trailer] and an ongoing memoir, a work of “spiritual journalism”, and eventually "a documentary archive of interviews and testimonies […] revealing the far-ranging consequences of the War on Drugs to the American Criminal Justice System." [more inside]
Without much fanfare, the Global War on Terror has ended. The new name for these military interventions is the Overseas Contingency Operation. Press Q&A. Some Republican representatives discuss. (SPOILER: They are not pleased.) Military blogs discuss. Similarly, the War on Drugs also looks to be on the way out, though no new name for the project has been announced at this time.
The poppy is bitterly ironic this Remembrance Day. Borrowed from John McRae's classic In Flanders' Fields, the poppy has shifted from a symbolic meaning to the central subject of an ongoing conflict. As international intervention in Afghanistan continues, opium production has reached record-breaking heights, with this single country now producing 90% of the world's total supply (utterly dwarfing global licit supply). Meanwhile, the world suffers a global opiate shortage(pdf), Canada's heroin maintenance project is threatened by politics, and the National Review of Medicine suggests that prescription opiates are far more dangerous than the "usual suspects".
America's forgotten war. Are we winning?
What does the DEA say about drugs in your state? (Some states take a very hard line against gateway drugs...)
Newsweek delivers a chilling tale of non-rural, non-gays -- affluent suburbia (the horrors!) doing methamphetamine. Not as sexy, or yuppie, as its cocaine counterpart, it leads to poor oral hygiene and super-AIDS myths. Some surprisingly good Wikipedia articles appeared (Crystal and Sex and Meth). Even the more drug liberal Viceland sums up the sentiment about meth, "Speed is the bastard child of the drug family, cocaine’s ugly retarded stepbrother."
Hot on the heels of the critically-acclaimed War on Drugs and its blockbuster sequel, the War on Terror, an alliance of U.S. and Canadian organizations sets its sights on yet another noun, this time with the War on Pornography. The first salvo in the conflict was, naturally, fired in Utah.
Want war without remorse? Take only as directed.