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New Focus in the War on Drugs

La Opinin, Posted: Jan 01, 2009

LOS ANGELES -- Less than a month before leaving office, President George W. Bush warned that in order to protect the security of the country, Barack Obama will have to deal with the presence of Mexican drug cartels in the United States, writes Mara Luisa Arredondo. Barack Obama was probably already aware of this information, which was confirmed by a recent Justice Department report that found that Mexican cartels control the drug trafficking in at least 230 U.S. cities. But in order to be effective where past administrations have failed, Obama must not repeat the same mistakes, writes Arredondo. He must not fall into the Washington trap of blaming the countries that produce and distribute drugs, while ignoring that the problem lies in the U.S. demand for drugs. He must allocate resources to the rehabilitation of drug addicts, rather than treating them like criminals or abandoning them. Arredondo writes that he must work with Mexico to develop a comprehensive strategy, and stop ignoring the flow of arms from the United States into Mexico. The results of the U.S. failure to curb drug trafficking is clear, writes Arrendondo: more than 10,000 executions in Mexico in less than two years, with no signs of letting up.

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