Are Mexican Citizens’ Deaths Any Less Deserving of Sadness and Outrage?

It took the killing of two US citizens employed by the Consulate in Ciudad Juarez to elicit President Obama’s comment “….deeply saddened and outraged by the news of the brutal murders…” According to the Los Angeles Times, there have been 10,031 killings in Mexico since 2007 related to the war against organized drug cartels, which at no time has brought signs of sadness or outrage from the White House, be it from Obama or his predecessor. Are Mexican citizens’ deaths any less deserving of sadness and outrage?

But with the expression from Obama for the killings there is no mentioned of sadness or outrage at US citizens’ usage of drugs that according to an editorial in the Seattle Times, “These gruesome tallies are the byproduct of a lethal industry that satisfies U.S. appetites for marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine. As the wealthy consumers of illicit goods, drug-abusing Americans are complicit in these deaths.”

U.S. drug users provide Mexican drug cartels with $31 billion annually to carry out their bloody war. Why is there no outrage at this?

Drug related deaths in the US pale in comparison to the drug related killings taking place in Mexico. In just one year, 17,000 deaths due to illicit drug use are recorded in the U.S. as compared with an annual average of 3,300 killings in Mexico.

Have we in the U.S. surrendered to drug usage as inevitable and thus quasi acceptable? Are the deaths of 17,000 fellow Americans just another statistic to which we’ve become accustomed? Other than the immediate members of the family of those whose life is so needlessly struck down, is there no sadness for their passing? Is there no outrage at drug usage and local distribution as the cause?

Is condemning Mexico and its people for ‘not stopping’ the passage of drugs to our cities and towns through their territory a substitute for our nation’s indifference to our own people’s usage of the smuggled drugs?

Are the Mexican people the lawless society due to their efforts to eradicate drug traffickers and their resulting retaliation? If so, then what is our society that allows and, through our silence, encourages illicit drug usage?

Are we not, as the Seattle Times editorial argues “… complicit in these deaths…”

What is the role of our nation’s press and other news media in all of this? Why do regional and national news media report so heavily about the killings in Mexico giving the appearance that the nation is one “killing field” when such is not the case? And, why do they not report that the U.S. as a whole is losing far more lives to the “drug war” than is Mexico?

Why do editorials advise, admonish, and preach to Mexico, but not one news outlet has championed and ongoing crusade to “stop drug usage” and “report distributors” in the U.S.?

Why does the U.S. media and popular network commentators degrade Mexico as a corrupt nation, but either lightly mention or altogether ignore U.S. corruption?

How much coverage was given to the Congressional Testimony by Kevin L. Perkins, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation Division of the FBI, on March 11, 2010 on the state of corruption?

How many people throughout the nation were informed that Perkins testified that in the last two years alone there have been 1,600 convictions of federal, state and local officials, and that there are 3,200 public corruption cases pending and that more remains to be done and that the Southwest border is a particular focus of corruption-fighting efforts? According to the Perkins testimony, the result is over 400 public corruption cases originating from that region so far with 84 convictions.

Were the people informed that in July 2008, the FBI and DEA with Canadian law enforcement arrested a network of cocaine, marijuana and illegal immigrants’ smugglers over the Quebec-New York border? And, that the FBI conducted nearly 300 public corruption investigations along the Canadian border?

Is it in our nation’s best interest to place Mexico as having the sole responsibility for the war on drugs? And how does it help our nation by destroying Mexico’s economy through the creation of fear to visit, loathing dealing with, and ignoring our country’s responsibility?

Are we kept in the dark intentionally or does thinking less of Mexico makes us warm and fuzzy believing it makes us better?

Sadness? Outrage? You bet, but we are misplacing where it should be directed.

Patrick Osio is Editor of He can be reached at: Read other articles by Patrick.

4 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Danny Ray said on March 27th, 2010 at 10:52am #

    Patrick, I agree wholeheartedly with you, Mexico, as well as Columbia, Turkey and Southeast Asia are only providing for a lucrative market. If we in the United States got tough on drugs, they would soon switch to other endeavors. Take the money out of something and it no longer remains attractive.

    Here in lies the rub as Shakespeare put it. There are three alternatives to decrease our dependence.

    #1. Legalize all drugs, with the exception of marijuana and heroin, all the rest are habit forming and debilitating, No one in there right mind would advocate for the government to supply cocaine in any form, PCP, speed ( hell even junkies don’t want that back) or any other drug. We have enough trouble trying to educate our kids to compete in the world without them having ready access to crank. Therefore, the legalization route is a non-starter.

    #2. Increase the penalties. Our jails are full of drug convicts now. On this web site, there is a constant clamor for the release of drug offenders. We are forced to hear the incessant refrain of, the penalties are too harsh, it was only recreational use. So let us face it, there will be no meaningful increase of drug penalties.

    #3. Drug intervention, AKA drug treatment, or drug education. Well that has never worked, never has and never will. Once an addict always an addict. I have known addicts who have been clean for years only to fall back when something in their psyche prompts them to do so. Addiction is a mental disorder and the only treatment is to keep drugs away from the addiction.

    #4. Seal the border, and I mean seal it as tight as the old iron curtain ever was. Nothing through that has not been scanned, x-rayed and sniffed by dogs; make it a capital offence to brings drugs into this country.

    All these make the hair curl on the weak spine of the left in this country, many here on this site advocate that there be no borders at all, many want all drug convicts released immediately, and the majority will not execute a murderer.

    Therefore, now I ask, how would you combat drug use in this country?

  2. lichen said on March 27th, 2010 at 3:28pm #

    I don’t know why you watch and listen to the mainstream media in the first place? Your reaction to it is quite lacking. Drugs are a medical problem, which is how they should be treated here; people who have had emotional and physical trauma seeking to numb themselves via available substances. Read Gabor Mate. NAFTA and the disgusting ‘war on drugs’ and economic imperialism are indeed implicit in the deaths in Mexico.

  3. Jonas Rand said on March 29th, 2010 at 12:41am #

    Danny, this is not what the article was saying. I implore you to read it. Mexico has tried one of your strategies, namely increasing punishment. Note how this is the only criticism of the criminal justice system allowed to be aired in the mainstream media. See how much it has helped Mexico? Many of the people committing the crimes are police officers, and Mexico is a second world country due to the deleterious effects of the “war on drugs” and authoritarian political structure.

  4. malcolmkyle said on March 29th, 2010 at 1:46am #

    Prohibition is a sickening horror and the ocean of human wreckage it has left in its wake is almost endless.

    Prohibition has decimated generations and criminalized millions for a behavior which is entwined in human existence, and for what other purpose than to uphold the defunct and corrupt thinking of a minority of misguided, self-righteous Neo-Puritans and degenerate demagogues who wish nothing but unadulterated destruction on the rest of us.

    Based on the unalterable proviso that drug use is essentially an unstoppable and ongoing human behavior which has been with us since the dawn of time, any serious reading on the subject of past attempts at any form of drug prohibition would point most normal thinking people in the direction of sensible regulation.

    By its very nature prohibition cannot fail but create a vast increase in criminal activity, and rather than preventing society from descending into anarchy, it actually fosters an anarchic business model – the international Drug Trade. Any decisions concerning quality, quantity, distribution and availability are then left in the hands of unregulated, anonymous, ruthless drug dealers, who are interested only in the huge profits involved.

    Many of us have now finally wised up to the fact that the best avenue towards realistically dealing with drug use and addiction is through proper regulation, which is what we already do with alcohol & tobacco –two of our most dangerous mood altering substances. But for those of you whose ignorant and irrational minds traverse a fantasy plane of existence, you will no doubt remain sorely upset with any type of solution that does not seem to lead to the absurd and unattainable utopia of a drug free society.

    There is an irrefutable connection between drug prohibition and the crime, corruption, disease and death it causes. If you are not capable of understanding this connection, then maybe you’re using something far stronger than the rest of us. Anybody ‘halfway bright’ and who’s not psychologically challenged, should be capable of understanding, that it is not simply the demand for drugs that creates the mayhem; it is our refusal to allow legal businesses to meet that demand.

    No amount of money, police powers, weaponry, diminution of rights and liberties, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safer; only an end to prohibition can do that. How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution?

    If you still support the kool aid mass suicide cult of prohibition, and erroneously believe that you can win a war without logic and practical solutions, then prepare yourself for even more death, corruption, terrorism, sickness, imprisonment, unemployment, foreclosed homes, and the complete loss of the rule of law and the Bill of Rights.

    “A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”
    Abraham Lincoln

    The only thing prohibition successfully does is prohibit regulation & taxation while ceding control to the cartels and terrorists, regulation would mean the opposite!