Mexican President says 'impossible" to end drug trade


Magic tunnel: Put drugs in one end in Tijuana, Mexico, and zoom through the tunnel! The package arrives in San Diego, California. Mexican authorities found this tunnel in November 2011. Dozens of others have popped up over the years.


Francisco Vega

Outgoing President Felipe Calderón, the man who began Mexico's military anti-crime strategy to combat the drug cartels in 2006, said in a recent interview with the Economist that it's impossible to end the deadly drug trade.

Calderón said:

"it has never been the objective...of the public-security strategy, to end something that it is impossible to end, namely the consumption of drugs or their trafficking. The fundamental objective is to establish the rule of law through an integral strategy that involves combating the criminals, constructing reliable and effective security and justice institutions, and reconstructing the social fabric."

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The president went on to talk about the American consumption of drugs imported from Mexico:

"[E]ither the United States and its society, its government and its congress decide to drastically reduce their consumption of drugs, or if they are not going to reduce it they at least have the moral responsibility to reduce the flow of money towards Mexico, which goes into the hands of criminals. They have to explore even market mechanisms to see if that can allow the flow of money to reduce.

He added, "If they want to take all the drugs they want, as far as I’m concerned let them take them. I don’t agree with it but it’s their decision, as consumers and as a society. What I do not accept is that they continue passing their money to the hands of killers."

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Calderón was repeating what he said in October 2011. He told the BBC that as long as the United States consumed Mexican imported drugs, the drug trade would continue.

"They (the Americans) have a clear responsibility in this because they are providing the market for the drug dealers and the criminals," Calderon said.

Since 2006, over 55,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico. 

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