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Lose the War

Half a century after the president of the United States declared the “war on drugs,” the result is a failure the size of the world.

Part of a more or less desperate attempt to stop the libertarian appetite of a good part of his own society, Richard Nixon created, 51 years ago, an anti-drug agency that, in fact, has served little to combat drug trafficking and more as a favorite battering ram. of the rudest interventionism around the planet.

As occurred with the prohibitionist effervescence of the beginning of the last century, the criminalization of the consumption and trade of illegal substances was the main engine of growth of the gigantic international organized crime business. Mexico, Colombia and the United States itself are clear examples of countries with prisons overflowing with addicts and drug dealers, extreme street violence and corruption of authorities at the highest levels.

And everything, for nothing. Although the levels of consumption of prohibited substances are lower than their historical peak – at the end of the 70’s almost a third of the US population had consumed marijuana – the emergence of synthetic drugs – much more powerful than those of natural origin– have produced death and social decomposition at industrial levels.

It is in this context that the 67th session of the United Nations Convention on Drugs and Crime, held in Vienna a few days ago, represents a possibility of a true paradigm shift: concentrating global efforts on addressing a health problem. public and, if anything, securities.

Today it is quite clear that the real big narco-series should be filmed within a geographic area of just over 10 miles: the White House, the Capitol, Pentagon City (the headquarters of the DEA) and Langley (the headquarters of the CIA ), a large majority of the 52 governments that participated in the UN meeting (including the United States and Mexico) were in favor of a new strategic approach to address the problem.

From that June 1971 – Mr. Nixon’s infamous “declaration of war” – to date, at least a couple of generations have suffered the consequences of the obtuse vision that, in many ways, defined the era of Pax Americana. The cases are multiple and repetitive: Afghanistan and the poppy, the Andean region and the coca leaf, Mexico and the United States and marijuana. That and all its consequences of social rot, violence, death and corruption.

It is difficult to imagine today’s Mexico without the consequences of Operation Condor; without the deep political crisis caused by the murder of a DEA agent; without the dark agreements between the cartels of the State “security” agencies; without official complicity in criminal violence; without the “business” empires built with dirty money.

Now that the great social winds are driving comprehensive options that place greater emphasis on health issues related to the consumption of “dangerous” narcotics, an opportunity presents itself for governments that today find themselves on their knees before criminal mafias to recover territories. “lost”, organize their accounts and fight, seriously, corruption. Hopefully.

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