Beware of Mexicans Bearing Drugs

What is the Mexican drug war but a parable for our times?  Here is the blighted and poisoned fruit of the very policies that our rulers promised us would bring growth and development, prosperity and peace, justice and the rule of law to the whole world.  Those policies were free trade, unregulated capital and labor markets, wide-open borders, and the magical elixir of democracy.  During the first Bush administration, they were trumpeted as the New World Order.  During the Clinton administration, they were rebranded as the Washington consensus.  In Latin America, they are known simply as neoliberalism.

Only one thing more was needed to achieve perfection: a unipolar power to punish disturbers of the global peace and stop those who would close a shipping lane, restrict a market, regulate a corporation, or violate the ineluctable laws of supply and demand.  So why does the trade in narcotics remain illicit?  Is there not a global demand for heroin and cocaine, and an abundance of willing suppliers in the world’s developing nations?  Is it, or is it not, the mission of the world’s policeman to help buyers and sellers meet in the global marketplace without interference by nativists, protectionists, or isolationists?

The contradiction is not noticed by Ioan Grillo, who has been living in and reporting from Mexico City since 2001.  A native...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here