Drug Policy in Mexico

Posted on September 8, 2012 • Filed under: Crime, Drug Activity, Mexico, Police/Military Activity

Jorge Hernández Tinajero
In this paper, I will try to present a general overview of drug politics and policies in México. It may be less scientific, but comes from our experience on the ground. I will refer especially to the impact of Mexican rates of consumption and violence created by the current government’s policies. This approach is from the point of view of an NGO specializing in drug policy in México. Sometimes the presentation of scientific facts is not as useful a way to ascertain a panorama of the whole scene.
The Debate
In Mexican politics, the debate on drug policy seems to be sterile and ill-posed because actors tend to confuse, or to mix, drug consumption problems with issues related to security and violence. Mexico does not have the highest rates of drug consumption in the world; but the government’s efforts to deal with organized crime are based on moral arguments about drugs that seem to leave no options
or room for maneuver in other drug policies. This moralism has strange effects: drug consumption problems are the moral basis for a militarized strategy against organized crime, a strategy that does not care very much about people’s health, human rights, or other collateral damage like corruption, money laundering or even the judicial process. The public health system remains a complementary and minor component of the security strategy implemented against drugs. Read Article

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