Eliana Garcia, a former political prisoner
Kristen Gwyne, Mexican Drug War victims: US is responsible via Salon.com
In Mexico, many of the drug war’s dead are innocents. In the six years of drug war that have ravaged the country, more than 60,000 are dead and more than 10,000 are missing. Because only 2 percent of cases are granted judicial review, families of the lost regularly become their own investigators. They find, too often, horrors tied to the authorities themselves.
The United States spends almost $500 million a year funding Mexico’s war against cartels that sell drugs to American consumers. As the US continues to consume drugs despite attempts at prohibition, unimaginable horror multiplies in Mexico. US and Mexican forces battle against the heavily armed cartels, which are so powerful they have been labeled an insurgency by US State Department officials and journalists alike. While authorities claim to target only drug traffickers, Mexicans say the war has only made the cartels more violent and the state authorities more corrupt. The result is that innocent bystanders are often caught up in the violence, with little or no access to justice.
The victims speak now through the voices of their survivors. Family members seek answers from locals, whether they are incarcerated cartel members or private investigators, to understand their loved ones’ last minutes. And as they seek justice for the people responsible for their loved ones’ deaths, their quest reaches beyond the murderers and across borders, up to the US and Mexican governments. Their government no longer represents their best interests, nor does its rhetoric reflect the reality of innocence lost. Thus, they have come to the United States to create, as one mother called it, “some citizen diplomacy,” and stand up for the victims.
U.S. Drug War Expands to Africa, a Newer Hub for Cartels via The New York Times