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Are Mexican Lives Worth Less?

HispanicVista, Commentary, Patrick Osio Posted: Mar 30, 2010

It took the killing of two U.S. citizens employed by the Consulate in Ciudad Juarez to elicit President Obamas comment that he was 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?

Even with Obama's expression of sadness over the killings, there is no mention of outrage at U.S. citizens usage of drugs. 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 United States pale in comparison to the drug-related killings taking place in Mexico. In just one year, 17,000 deaths due to illicit drug use were recorded in the United States as compared to an annual average of 3,300 killings in Mexico.

Have we in the United States surrendered to drug usage as inevitable and thus quasi-acceptable? Are the deaths of 17,000 of our fellow Americans just another statistic to which weve become accustomed? 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 a substitute for our nations indifference to our own peoples usage of the smuggled drugs?

Are the Mexican people a "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?

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? Why do they not report that the United States 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 an ongoing crusade to stop drug usage and report distributors in the United States?

Why do the U.S. media and popular network commentators degrade Mexico as a corrupt nation, but ignore U.S. corruption?

How much coverage was given to the March 11 Congressional testimony by Kevin L. Perkins, assistant director of the Criminal Investigation Division of the FBI, on the state of corruption?

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. The Southwest border, he said, is a particular focus of corruption-fighting efforts. According to Perkins' testimony, more than 400 public corruption cases have originated from that region, with 84 convictions so far.

In July 2008, the FBI, DEA and Canadian law enforcement arrested a network of cocaine, marijuana and illegal immigrant smugglers over the Quebec-New York border. The FBI has conducted nearly 300 public corruption investigations along the Canadian border.

Is it in our nations best interest to place Mexico as having the sole responsibility for the war on drugs? And how does it help our nation by destroying Mexicos economy through the creation of fear to visit that country?

Does thinking less of Mexico make us feel better about ourselves?

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

Related Articles:

Mexico Army Arrests Suspect in Killing of Americans

Activists See Irony in Calderons Speedy Response to American Killings

U.S. Drug Users: Main Cause for Mexicos Bloodbath

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