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The Trans-Border Institute at the Univesity of San Diego has released its third annual report on the drug war in Mexico, noting that there were 50,000 organized crime murders in Mexico from 2006 through 2011.

"On average, for every day of 2011, 47 people were killed, three of whom were tortured, one of whom was decapitated, two of whom were women, and ten of whom were young people whose lives were cut short by violence."

Reporters, authorities, women and children are now frequently targeted by the cartels.

"A growing number of law enforcement personnel, officials, journalists, women, and children joined the ranks of Mexico’s dead in 2011, and many victims of violence were subject to horrifying acts of torture and mutilation.

The report says legalization of medical marijuana is only a "half-measure," and calls for "more serious consideration of alternatives to current drug policy."

The authors blast Mexican authorities for their handling of corruption cases, including last year's allegations against ex-Tijuana mayor and Xolos soccer team owner Jorge Hank Rhon, saying, "there is a need for greater prosecutorial effectiveness in Mexico."

"Indeed, in recent years, while federal authorities have made major arrests, prosecutions have lagged or experienced humiliating reversals in cases where organized crime involvement was strongly suspected.

"Examples include the case of dozens of state and local authorities arrested for corruption in Michoacán in 2009 —known as the “Michoacánazo”— and the 2011 case of former Tijuana mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, who was acquitted on charges of illegal gun possession due to insufficient investigation and improper evidence gathering."

Though drug-related crime in Mexico grew less sharply last year, according to the document, it "now causes over half of all homicides," in the country, and the violence is expanding into new regions.

"Mexican border cities accounted for 29.5% of such homicides in 2010, but only 17% in 2011.

"However, falling violence in the border states of Baja California and Chihuahua was partly offset by increases in Coahuila, Nuevo Laredo, and Tamaulipas. Southern states receiving more violence included Veracruz and Guerrero."

The report, titled "Drug Violence in Mexico, Data and Analysis through 2011," was authored by Cory Molzahn, Viridiana Ríos, and David A. Shirk.

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Comments

malcolmkyle March 16, 2012 @ 2:47 a.m.

Prohibition is an absolute scourge - The end!  The use of drugs is NOT the real problem, the system that grants exclusive distribution rights to violent cartels and terrorists IS.

If you support prohibition then you support bank-rolling criminals and terrorists. There's simply no other logical way of looking at it.

Everybody who supports prohibition needs to understand that there is a human cost associated with this dangerous and failed policy. - Every time they assert their support for it they are condemning thousands more to death.

Every-time the ghastly violence of prohibition is falsely blamed on the users, it diminishes the culpability of those who are truly responsible for maintaining the status quo. Prohibition is an absolute scourge -the end! The use of drugs is NOT the real problem, the system that grants exclusive distribution rights to violent cartels and terrorists IS.

When governments prohibit drugs they effectively and knowingly hand a monopoly on their sale to dangerous criminals and terrorists. Without a legal framework in which to operate, these black-market entities can always be expected to settle their disputes violently, while terrorizing many peaceful and innocent citizens in the process. Were the users of alcohol to blame for the St Valentines massacre in 1929? Of course not! It is just as naive to assume that one can compel all the users of Marijuana or Cocaine to simply quit, as it is to assume that all the users of Alcohol should have stopped drinking after the introduction of alcohol prohibition in 1919.

Nobody can be expected to obey bad laws, like ones that infringe on logic as well as the fundamental right to decide on what medicine or poison an individual adult may, or may not, ingest. The violence and the deaths ultimately arising from such bad public policy should always rest squarely on the shoulders of those ignorant imbeciles who are responsible for implementing and supporting such foolishness.

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monaghan March 16, 2012 @ 9:57 p.m.

Any argument will do in a pinch to legalize another dangerous substance in this country. Nice try. You don't acknowledge the human tragedy in alcohol and drug use in the United States? I do. It is everywhere.

I am sorry for the scourge of violence in Mexico, but it has more to do with a thoroughly corrupt Mexican State than it does with American federal law prohibiting the use of marijuana as "medicine" in this country.

No one in this story blamed "users" for the "ghastly violence of prohibition." And really, do you truly believe "nobody can be expected to obey (bad) laws?" I thought obeying the law was expected of everyone who wants to stay out of prison and that the judgement about what constitutes a "bad law" rests with the courts.

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David Dodd March 17, 2012 @ 4:10 a.m.

If you want to create a criminal element, all you have to do is to make something illegal. Take away a liberty and you'll create a criminal. It's such a simple concept, it blows my mind when people can't wrap their heads around this.

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