Killing & Dying for America’s Addiction
Last week I was sent an article from a newspaper (Guanajuato Informa) in the State of Guanajuato, Mexico, a place with which I have a connection. The article shows a banner that had be hung over one of the bridges in the City Leon that crossed a busy road. It named a couple of officials who they claimed had a deal with one of the drug cartels that are operational in that area.
I knew one of the people named on the banner, the state justice minister, Carlos Zamarripa. I had met him when I was working in the state training various police units, I know he did not care for us being there and we were happy he kept a distance. Saying that in 2008 when videos from one of the courses were leaked, and we made international media headlines for “Teaching Torture Techniques” to one of the tactical units, he came out and stated the facts, it was training and the media needed to mind its own business. But, the damage was done, I will be writing more about this incident in the future.
The fact Zamarripa was accused of dealing with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) on a painted banner is no proof of guilt. I am sure he has plenty of political and personal enemies who would love to cause problems for him and see him discredited. I am also sure if he has problems with CJNG his days on this earth are numbered.
It’s easy these days to make false and sensational accusations against a person or organization and in many cases the mainstream media will run with it, without checking the facts, I speak from experience due to the accusations of human rights abuses made against me in 2008. I think to date I am the only foreigner that has ever been accused to torturing Mexican police…
Look at the recent US, UK and French bombings of Syria, triggered by and based on social media videos from the White Helmets, a group that’s been proven to stage photo shoots time and time again and to be connected to terrorist groups. When independent journalists reached the location, Douma, where the alleged chemical attack took place there was no evidence and all the witnesses stated it was a staged event. So, these days just because something appears on social media or the TV headlines it is more likely to be misinformation rather than fact.
The Mexican police and security forces have an extremely difficult job, they are criticized by the public, demonized by the media, murdered by the criminals and often directed by corrupt officials at the bequest of the drug cartels. Those that join the security forces in Mexico do so for the same reason as those in other countries, for a career, for job security and to make a difference. But the reality in many places is that they end up getting caught up in the middle of turf disputes between rival cartels that are far better armed and equipped than they are, to start with.
If they choose to take a side then they and their families will be targets for rival cartels, if they choose to stay neutral they are targeted for not being cooperative or being suspected of working for rival cartels. Then they are also accountable to the law, state and federal…
One of the issues that most people outside of Mexico don’t comprehend is the power and influence of the drug Cartels, not only are they very well armed but also very well politically connected. At a basic level if people do not cooperate they are killed, their family members are killed. There are parts of Mexico where the Cartels are the law enforcement, and what municipal, state and federal forces are in the areas are outmanned and outgunned.
Guanajuato had a very good police academy and spent money on training their officers and trying to get them adequate weaponry, this a lot more than some states even attempt. The vast majority of police officers are not allowed to even take their service pistols home and carry off duty, so how can they protect themselves and their families when the Narcos come to ask for a favor?
The Mexican police I have worked with, many of whom I class as friends today, are far from the Hollywood stereotypes, they are very diligent men and women that work and train to the best of their abilities. Many a time they have gone willingly into situations that their critics north of the border can talk and dream about while sipping their Latte’s, but cannot even begin to comprehend.
When trying to solve a problem I always look to the source, so what is the source of the problems in Mexico that is causing the killings and the immigration problems for the US? Well, the Cartels get the majority of their money from the US, the majority of weapons used by the cartels also comes from the US… So, the Cartels are funded and armed by the US, they spread terror in Mexico which drives out industry, so a lot of Mexicans have to flee to safer areas or areas where there are at least jobs, like the US… Are we beginning to see a pattern?
In simple terms the source of Narco Terrorism in Mexico and Latin America is the US’s drug addiction. If you take illegal narcotics out of the US economy then how many jobs will be lost for police officer’s, prison staff, lawyers and rehab workers on the surface, to start with and how would this affect the US economy? The US’s drug addiction even motivated family doctors and pharmaceutical companies to get in on the market, that why the US is now suffering a major opioid epidemic.
So, what are the first steps to helping and addict? From what I understand the addicts must help themselves by first admitting they have an addiction. The addict cannot see that they have a problem, meanwhile they cause chaos for, destroy and push away those close to them. The signs are there for those who want to see but, I don’t think the US’s ego will allow them to admit, they have a problem, a very big problem…
Now, back to basics… Let’s put things into context from the reality that is Mexico. The Narcos have asked you once to do them a favor and you declined, because you are a decent family man, you have a good job and all you want is a peaceful life. Now they ask a second time, to refuse could put you and your family at risk, will you help them or? You can try calling the police, but do you think they want to risk their and their families’ lives for you? Even if you are a cop you will be on your own… So, will you comply, will you fight or will you flee? Refusing is an option, but so is committing suicide to save your family… Think about this my friend, my answer would be easy, but I don’t have a family!