Mexican journalists are protesting the recent drug-gang killing of Mexican award-winning journalist Javier Valdez, who spent his career investigating and reporting on drug cartels. The protesting journalists want the Mexican government to crack down and bring the killers to justice.
With all due respect, that’s just journalistic idiocy. What do these journalists think the Mexican government has been doing for the last decade or so? Playing tiddlywinks? Short of shooting suspected drug-law violators on sight, like drug warriors are doing in the Philippines, the Mexican government has pulled out all the stops in waging the war on drugs, even bringing the military in the fray.
What has the Mexican government’s drug-war crackdown produced? No, not victory in the war on drugs, as the family of Javier Valdez and all those protesting Mexican journalists can attest. Instead, the crackdown has brought the exact opposite — ever-increasing violence and corruption in Mexico, including the murder of at least 42 journalists since 1992.
Let’s face it: The drug war has destroyed the entire country. Mexico is now a bastion of violence and corruption, mostly because of the drug war.
When I grew up in the border town of Laredo, Texas, in the 1950s and 1960s, the city was a big tourist attraction for people all across the state and the nation. Tourists, including lots of college students, would come to Laredo and cross into Nuevo Laredo for a fun day at the market, restaurants, stores, and night clubs. It was possible to get a feel of “Old Mexico” without going into the interior of the country.
It was the same for those of us living in Laredo. Although some parents objected (and, therefore, weren’t told), many of us would take our dates into Nuevo Laredo for a fun evening of eating and nightclubbing. (There was no drinking age.)
Not anymore. Few people now go to Laredo for tourism into Nuevo Laredo. Few people living in Laredo go into Nuevo Laredo for a day or evening of fun. It’s just too dangerous.
Why is it dangerous now when it wasn’t back then? Very simple: Drug laws and the drug war. No other reason.
This is what those protesting Mexican journalists just don’t get: The more that drug laws are enforced and the more fiercely the drug war is waged, the greater will be the violence and corruption within society. Don’t forget, after all, that Valdez was murdered notwithstanding the fact that notorious drug lord “El Chapo” is currently residing in a U.S. penitentiary. What good did his arrest and extradition do? They certainly didn’t prevent the murder of Javier Valdez, did they?
There is only one way to bring an end to the drug war murders of Mexican journalists. There is only one way to restore peace and stability to Mexico and make it the nice and safe tourist destination that it once was. There is only one way to put all the drug lords and drug gangs out of business instantaneously.
The one way is bring an end to the death, destruction, and corruption is end the drug war by legalizing drugs immediately — all drugs, not just marijuana.
The best thing that Mexican journalists could ever do to honor the memory of Javier Valdez and all the other journalists who have lost their lives reporting on the drug war is to reorient their protest to one that calls on the Mexican government (and the U.S. government) to repeal their drug laws and end their massively deadly, destrucive, and failed drug war. Calling on the Mexican government to do otherwise is equivalent to supporting the murder of even more drug-war journalists.