PRAYER ALERT: The war on drugs can now claim some recent major gains. On Friday, April 4, US customs agents announced that they had discovered two tunnels for smuggling drugs from Mexico. Both were under the border between Tijuana and San Diego, CA. Agents arrested 73-year-old Gladys Rodriguez for arranging the construction of the tunnel they found on April 1. It was about 600 yards long, with a rail system and lighting. Its 70-foot vertical shaft that led up to a warehouse exit hatch hidden behind boxes of TV’s and plastic toys. The tunned cost millions of dollars to build. It was meant to move millions of dollars worth of marijuana and cocaine into the US. So was the second tunnel from Tijuana that was found on April 3. It had an even more sophisticated multi-tier rail system along a well-ventilated passage.
The world’s most wanted drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, has been notorious for using such hidden tunnels for making escapes. In mid-February of this year, 13 years after bribing guards help him break out of prison, Guzman was finally tracked down in mid-February 2014 in a safe house in the Mexican city of Culiacan. Agents had to break through reinforced steel doors to get inside. That gave Guzman, the head of the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel, enough time to slip into a tunnel hidden under a bathtub. It led to sewer tunnels which took him outside of the city.
But agents stayed on his trail. They located him in a seaside condo in Mazatlan, Mexico. On February 22 they staged a pre-dawn raid on the condo. The agents found Guzman sleeping with his beauty-queen wife on one side and his AK-47 on the other. They seized him before he had a chance to grab his rifle. How long will they be able to keep him in prison this time?
Many Mexicans are skeptical. They say Guzman’s whereabouts have often been an open secret. They suspect that the government has deliberately avoided capturing him and other rich and powerful drug lords. Now, Mexican vigilante groups are arising to conduct their own war on drugs.
One “Autodefensa”, or self-defense militia, has been fighting to take back Michoacan state from the “Templar Knights” cartel. In 2006 the Templar Knights conducted a violent overthrow of the state’s former dominant cartel, La Familia Michoacana. Since then The Templar Knights have terrorized the population, seized many properties and gained control of the state economy. They make as much as 74.6 million a year through drug trafficking and extortion schemes. But local militias formed over a year ago and have taken back 20 out of 113 municipalities in Michoacan. They have returned houses and farms that were extorted from their original owners.
Their success in the war on drugs has been so remarkable that on January 27 the federal government announced that it was incorporating the local militias into quasi-military groups called defense corps. But many locals distrust the federal government. It has collaborated with cartels too often in the past. Instead of building on these recent victories in the war on drugs, Mexican President Pena Nieto has called for decriminalization of the drug trade. Other Latin American and world leaders are abandoning the war on drugs and seeking to accommodate the drug trade instead…
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Tags on the war on drugs: United States, decriminalizing drugs, Mexico, drug cartels, autodefensa, US customs, US-Mexico border, San Diego, Tijuana, marijuana, cocaine, drug tunnels, war on drugs, El Chapo, Joaquin Guzman, Culiacan, Mazatlan, Templar Knights, Michoacan, Pena Nieto, drug trafficking, legalizing drugs, drug addiction, Jesus
Why do we overlook the successes in the war on drugs?