Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Mexican Drug War: Disneyland for psychotic warrior freaks!

  What is the nastiest, meanest, most lowdown, bloodthirsty, going medieval on your ass war happening in the world right now that nobody really gives a shit about and isn't in Africa, the home of wars nobody gives a shit about? What major war has racked up 45,000 dead since 2006 and has all kinds of torture deaths and indiscriminate killings of non combatants perpetrated just for the hell of it and for pure media attention designed to make regular people shit bricks? Need a hint? One of the battlefields is a mile south of San Diego.

   Yeah, it's the Mexican Drug War.

   Ranking wars in terms of human brutality in military history never works for me. I mean, you can never out do brutality by harking back to an earlier period in human brutality. That ocean is too deep. Sure, the Greek brazen bull or the Middle Ages breaking wheel offer up hellish death from the past, but seriously, Mexican drug cartels are offering up all new kinds of horrible today like slow decapitation, death by burning tire necklace and plain old live burial in the desert; so it's hard for the American Idol voting public north of the border to process the whole thing without flipping channels. There is a vague existential unease knowing that shit like that is going down just next door but nothing more TV watching can't fix. What's most disturbing is that the Mexicans south of many a gated air conditioned community in the US, are going medieval on each other in a struggle to provide Americans with sufficient nose candy, vein tar and weed to fill out their weekends with a proper mind altering drug arsenal.

   US politicians can never say this because it requires honesty to admit that it is America's appetite for drugs that is the cause of the war south of their border.

   The city of Ciudad Juarez was recently designated the second most dangerous city in the world after Mogadishu. Yeah, that's in Somalia, where the US lost two Blackhawks and the crews got hacked up with machetes. Juarez, second best death hole on the planet today, beats out Baghdad and Kabul and adjoins the US city of El Paso. The politicians are too busy in Iraq and Afghanistan, air dumping trillions of dollars for our 'freedom', while here at home Ciudad Juarez is inches south of sovereign US territory and is a war zone? Yeah, go figure that shit.

   The Mexican Drug War is asymmetrical warfare at its finest and the combatants are multiple. It's the kind of warfare that the media gets confused reporting on because it's impossible to package into simple soundbites. The narrative, if the 'mainstream media' were ever to honestly risk reporting on shit, would prove too unsettling to report, with a headline like "Americas appetite for certain drugs deemed 'illegal' by their government fuels mega death in a bordering country".  Instead, American media reports on specific incidents in the war, like twelve teens getting gunned down at a party in Tijuana or a mass grave of untraceable headless and handless corpses getting found in the desert somewhere but without much context other than drug cartels are 'bad' and they make a lot of cash and isn't it all fucking terrible. US media coverage is like some dumb Ron Burgundy local news reporter showing up at Pickett's Charge after the fact and pointing to all the dead bodies and wondering why; while leaving out Gettysburg and the fact that there's a fucking Civil War going on. That kind of shitty journalism is par for the course these days.

Money! Humans will kill for it.

   In a nutshell, it goes like this. Drugs and brown people flow north and money and weapons flow south. And we are talking serious weaponry too. AKs, Ar-15s, G3s, Light machine guns like Russian PKMs, American M 60s and M249s, hell, in one arms seizure pic I even spotted a good old German MG 42. That's a lot of spray. A fair amount of this comes from the US but not as much as the media likes to whine about. You can get a lot of it far cheaper from other South American nations or imported from Russia, China or Africa. Hell, an AK in Somalia is cheaper than a Happy Meal, that's if you can find a quality eatery like McDonalds in that desert shithole.

  You know when American politicians passed NAFTA in the 90s it was basically every corporation's wet dream come true. Now they could send every blue collar factory job south of the border where they could pay them a buck fiddy an hour and increase profits from lower labor costs. This was somehow sold to the US population as good for everyone. Yeah, people actually believed that shit. Every sneaker, jeans and widgit factory went south and left American workers wondering what the fuck? Supposedly, it was to raise 'Mexican living standards' and somehow be good for American businesses by providing a new market for those goods produced in whatever factories that didn't abandon the US, tech jobs and the like, stuff the powers that be figured the Mexican workforce were too stupid to manufacture.

   Turns out, thanks to globalization, those tech jobs got sent to India instead.

   So now nobody up here in the US has a job anymore and we need moar drugs to cope! Lots of drugs. One thing is for sure. Americans may love their country but they sure as hell love their drugs even more because for many, it's only by being wasted that makes it possible for them to live here. Cocaine and heroin are popular enough that Big Pharma came up with some neat analogues like Adderall and Oxycontin to try to muscle in on a piece of that action.

   Who are the real players here?

   The Cartels. 

   But who are they?

   Basically, they're the bastard children of Pablo Escobar.

   Escobar was a legend in the South American drug business. A true fucking badass if ever there was one. In 1989 he was ranked by Forbes as the seventh richest man in the world. That's a serious amount of blow profits. Seriously, by that metric it puts cocaine as the most prized commodity on the world market after oil. Fuck, the eighties were fun! Escobar even attempted to buy himself a seat in the Colombian government by paying off the country's entire national debt from his petty cash jar. I shit you not! Obviously, you don't get to that position without murdering shitloads of people but hey, that's how this fucked up world rolls right? Of course, this painted a pretty big target on Escobar's head especially in the US. The CIA wanted a piece of that black ops untracable drug money for themselves and him dead.  They triangulated his position for Colombian cops and Escobar went down fighting Tony Montana style, getting shot to shit on the roof of a house in his home village of Medellin.

   So that should have been the end of the whole thing, right? The boss man is dead. Actually that's when the whole thing went even more out of control like they'd just cut off one of the proverbial Hydra's heads and watched two new ones grow back in their place. Only, in this case, it wasn't heads but today's drug cartels. This factioning of the trade into numerous groups vying for a piece of the action soon turned into a war for more money, and, in 2006, against the Mexican authorities themselves when President Calderon followed the Americans 'advice' and declared a 'war' on drugs and the cartels.

   That's been working out fucking awesome, right?

  The Americans think they can solve everything by declaring 'war' on it, like the dumb bully who's been held back a year and finds himself the only big guy left on the playground because everyone else his age has moved on to high school. The bully's now pissed and declaring war on every little guy with a bag of Cheetos. But every little guy knows what happens to the bully long term.  He ends up on  meth  in a trailer park. That's America in 20 years if it doesn't get its shit together

Cartel Territory and where not to plan your Mexican vacation!

   But the Mexican Drug War is just really fucking nasty all around. When the Cartels declared war on the Mexican authorities they didn't join up together and fight. There's no honor among thieves here, they're quite adept at bribing cops to go after rival gangs, ratting each other up to the DEA, or going head to head with each other. They'll mow down a birthday party full of teenagers cos one guy in there owes them a few bucks  for an eight ball. They'll start a battle in a suburb using an SUV mounted grenade launcher and kill 12 and wound 100. All civilians.

   And nobody gives a shit.

   You see that's another problem with this war. For instance, in 2008 there were 1600 murders in Mexican border towns and 34 arrests. So basically the message sent out by that statistic is, you kill someone, you walk. There are no consequences. And in the drug business good old ultra violence is the only means of settling disputes. It's not like you can go to the cops, they are as likely to sell you out to the guy trying to kill you for cash then help you. Court system? He-he, just kidding.

   That's when you hear two words floating around that makes US politicians shit bricks... failed state.

   This is especially true in the border towns like Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Nogales and Nuevo Laredo because this is the bottleneck, the crossing point into the main market for the cocaine flowing up from Colombia, black tar heroin from southern Mexico, meth from factories in Mexico city and weed from just about everywhere in Mexico with access to sunlight. For the cartels, controlling the border crossing points is key and why they're such clusterfucks.

   There are quite a few Cartels controlling different areas but by far my favourite group are Los Zetas. These motherfuckers scare the shit out of me. These guys started out as a legit group of elite Mexican military officers trained in counter insurgency ops, small group and aerial assault, advanced comms, fuck, you name it, these guys have gotten training in it at Bragg and at the euphemistically named "School of the Americas" which is basically a South American assassin training school in Georgia that makes Amnesty International want to rage quit the whole game.

   They went rogue in the late 80s after witnessing the huge profits they were missing out on by staying legit. These guys are even better equipped then the Mexican army, wearing body armor, fielding AKs, ARs, 50cals, Stinger missiles and RPGs. They also operate helos and have shitloads of up armored SUVs and are experts in demo and advanced comms. These guys wiretap the Mexican government to make sure any bribes made get delivered on. They also employ armies of teen look out kids and hordes of prostitutes who suck cock for intel from unsuspecting targeted customers. Los Zetas are not only involved in drug smuggling, but extortion rackets, kidnapping, jail breakouts and human trafficking.

    Mexico is like Disneyland for psychotic warrior freaks.

   So what's the solution here? The Mexicans got heavy heat from the US when they decriminalized the possession of small amounts of coke, heroin and ecstasy last year but this isn't likely to affect much since the primary market for all drugs is in the US. Legalization in the US so as to kill demand and bring the trade out of the hands of criminals and hand if over legally to big pharma corporations? Sure, the CEOs of Pfizer and Glaxo Smith Kline would jizz their pants if they could sell coke legally but the public are too dumb, distracted and misinformed for this to happen in the foreseeable future. Hell, California couldn't even pass a marijuana legalization ballot measure in November, lobbied against heavily by the cop unions, the prison unions, the DEA and the Mexican drug cartels. Nice to see  all of the people making money off the drug war all on the same side for once. 

   And so like all miserable, shitty South American wars, the atrocities are bound to continue without respite until maybe the cartels start shooting up government buildings inside the US and even then the US will just declare more hysterical war and throw more tanks and bombers at it, hell anything but some common sense.


  1. So....the sound of crickets.

    This has easily been the biggest clear and present threat to US citizens that has developed in the past 10 years. The numbers aren't clear cut. The drug lords know to carefully weigh the effects of direct action on US citizens, or in areas frequented by the businesses they depend on to launder their money, tourism areas, etc. Yet the attacks on civilians and public servants in Mexico is running at a fever pitch outside of these areas. Let's look at the facts: By any credible estimate, and there are many, mexico is utterly dependent on narcotraffic. Essentially, the 1/3 of the Mexican economy that is as close as we could come to "legitimate" is acting as a giant critical washing machine for the other 2/3 of the economy that is drugs or drug-related. Let's look at that again: the illicit economy is twice as large as the licit economy. Economics graduate students are getting PhD's for examining in detail the balance that exists between the relative sizes of these two segments of the Mexican economy. Their dissertations are completely free of any judgement on how this dynamic affects the price of human flesh, but oh well- they are the new information workers we are supposed to adulate, after all. The smart ones. They'll soon be working on Wal Street, where the government will bail them out, reduce their taxes, and they can go to the Bull & Bear after work and fantasize how smart they are, how the government subsidization has nothing to do with their Italian suit collections....

    As the legitimate economy fails to keep up with the growth in the drug economy, expect the violence to increase. In other words, the drug economy will continue to become more public as the comfortable washing machine becomes inadequate. This means more direct government involvement in tacit approval of drug activity, greater military confrontation, and more violence. Also expect this war to move to the US. Other Mexican neighbors cannot absorb the volume of drug money laundering. US banks already do, and the business model will necessarily become distributed financially in the US. Nobody, not the US government, not the Mexican Government, not eh drug lords, will allow the economy to be shrunk by 2/3. By comparison, the Iraqi GDP was reduced by only one third at the height of its decline during the current war.

    As an aside, we have spent 330 billion US on new scanners at the airports. The total investment is expected to rise over 2 billion US within a few years for this effort alone. Not one, but several well-supported estimates have indicated that if 330 million US was spent to screen people with CRP tests and stethoscopes listening for heart issues, we would probably save a few thousand lives every year from cardiac failure deaths alone, let alone other causes. This is a few thousands of times more effective than any potential risk reduction from terrorism. This isn't ironic, it's criminal.

    So perhaps the TSA should be more concerned about testing men for hernias (turn your head and cough) during the pat down. Perhaps they can do breast palpation test on women. It would make sense than than what we are currently doing. We clearly aren't going to be worried about 24,000 people being murdered each year a rifle shot form our own border.

    We'd rather feel sorry for ourselves about 9-11 like a 1980's Top 40 torch song, selling commemorative WTC gold coins and ceramic plates, and send money to Chertof and company, than face reality.

    The US economy currently depends on 4.5% of its economy for arms exports. It depends on roughly an equivalent amount from illicit drugs, and this is growing far faster than the growth in arms exports. Just wait until drugs hot 10% or 15%. But people aren't the least bit rational. This alone is a tremendous business opportunity for the drug lords, terrorists out there. And its all coming to a neighborhood near you...

  2. This is especially true in the border towns like Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Nogales and Nuevo Laredo because this is the bottleneck, the crossing point into the main market for the cocaine flowing up from Colombia, black tar heroin from southern Mexico, meth from factories in Mexico city and weed from just about everywhere in Mexico with access to sunlight. For the cartels, controlling the border crossing points is key and why they're such clusterfucks.

  3. Cool article. Build a wall and put the army on the border is the only thing to do to stop this.

  4. No, you fucktards--just legalize drugs.

  5. Build a wall? Is that a joke? How can anyone really read wartard's extensive breakdown, or hell, even the ending summary and say that?

    Apparently, Wartard is correct ... "the public are too dumb, distracted and misinformed for [legalization] to happen in the foreseeable future".

  6. War Tard splains that shit better than NBC!

  7. The "Mexican" drug war? Since when was this the responsibility of Mexico? They are collateral damage in the USA's insane "war on drugs" and blaming them and saying it is their problem is a cnuts trick. But who cares eh Elmer? As long as we have tastee lite dubble bacon pizzas we are OK.

  8. I wonder what the reaction would be once the first atrocities happened north of the border.

  9. @Anon: Same propaganda as usual-- "This is DRUGS's fault, we must work harder to FIGHT DRUGS and CONTROL BORDERS, etc"

  10. I guess that the US government has to be involved in the drug trade. How can it be possible for so many drugs to make it into virtually ALL the cities in there? And how do the hundreds of TONS of dollars make it to Latin America?

    If the US government cannot stop shipments of tons of cocaine from getting inside the country, how will they stop terrorist from getting bombs in? They cannot stop illegal immigration, how will they stop actual terrorist from coming in the same way? Why molest its own citizens with TSA checks?

    I will tell you why. It is bullshit. They want to keep the citizenry controlled and tame, and at the same time keep the drugs coming in. There´s BIG money to be made.

    They do not want to stop the drug trade, and they want to keep fighting the fake war on terror until the US joins the ranks of 3rd world countries. What other explanation exists?

  11. So Mexico is the new Columbia? So what? A few decades and trillions more wasted to clean up that place, then the drugs will come from somewhere else. The only solution to it is legalization.

  12. i hate to break it to you, but neither the Mexican government nor its "economic elite" have any movitation in stopping the drug war.

    Why? Money, plain and simple.

    Their economy sees a boost of nearly $40 billion a year as a result of drug money being introduced into it. At a time where economic recession is a worldwide trend, they've decided to take the good (stabilizing Mexico's economy) with the bad (losing control of their border towns). All they do is posture for the U.S. that they're "declaring war" on cartels when, in reality, they have more interest in letting it rage on.

    Read up on it here: http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2010/04/06/mexico_and_the_failed_state_revisited_98903.html

  13. You got a fact wrong. Escobar never paid off Columbia's debt he offered to pay for it in exchange for immunity. The Columbian govt. never accepted. Also, you fail to mention that Baja California has been the only bright spot in this war, as it has been cleaned up by Tijuana's new chief of police. otherwise good article

  14. Thank you for posting this!!!!

  15. Please, War Tard, make war fun again and write about Fast and Furious. Not to say the US is the primary supplier of small arms to Mexico. Hell, Guatemala has an IMI CAGE.

  16. Also, it's called a Joburg necklace (tyre with burning petrol pinning someone's arms.) Unless you've been to Joburg, it's highly instructive (read gift him a 7.62x51)

  17. I stumbled across this article by accident using Google.

    Then I read the whole blog.

    Wartard, you're a genius.

  18. Good shit WT. Friend referred me to your blog and you do not disappoint!

    Yea, pretty fucking shitty. We (Americans) are not going to do shit about it. Why would we care if darkies are killing each other in the process of delivering our "fun supplies". Just as long as they keep delivering and giving us a cut of the profits...

    Sad, but just legalizing things would solve the problem and we could take all the profits (Pharmatopia). Kinda surprised it hasn't been done yet. Sure would boost the econ.

  19. I am surprised that so many gentle readers have missed the 'deep' point of WT's article. Please read this section again...

    " You know when American politicians passed NAFTA in the 90s it was basically every corporation's wet dream come true. Now they could send every blue collar factory job south of the border where they could pay them a buck fiddy an hour and increase profits from lower labor costs. This was somehow sold to the US population as good for everyone. Yeah, people actually believed that shit. Every sneaker, jeans and widgit factory went south and left American workers wondering what the fuck? Supposedly, it was to raise 'Mexican living standards' and somehow be good for American businesses by providing a new market for those goods produced in whatever factories that didn't abandon the US, tech jobs and the like, stuff the powers that be figured the Mexican workforce were too stupid to manufacture.

    Turns out, thanks to globalization, those tech jobs got sent to India instead.

    So now nobody up here in the US has a job anymore and we need more drugs to cope! Lots of drugs. One thing is for sure. Americans may love their country but they sure as hell love their drugs even more because for many, it's only by being wasted that makes it possible for them to live here."

    I worked in a state (un)Employment Department in the last year or so, and I can testify how bad things really are. First, the blue collar jobs went away, and then the tech jobs left. Service jobs (which tend to be un-exportable) are mainly what remains. I have seen the emotional desperation of those cast off to the ice flows. Drugs are indeed one way out.

    However, it gives me comfort to know corporate profits are at an all-time high. And, the 'too big to fail' banks have been propped up with our children's futures. God bless them all!

    You know, neo-cons have it right. 'Trickle down' does work. In the old days, though, they called it by another name. Feudalism. Good if you're a Noble; not so good if you're a Serf.

    Please wake up to what is being done...