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Countless Juarez residents flee ‘dying city’

December 30, 2010

From Yahoo.

The interest in this story is that Jaurez is, well, was, a fairly vibrant border city dependent on tourism, maquiladoras, and of course as a stop north for the stream of Mexican labor rushing to fill the lower end of the wage scale in the United States.

Instead of functioning as a traditional border town, Jaurez became the target of a takeover by a drug cartel.  That a vibrant and necessary geographic location can be subsumed by ‘vice’ and ‘crime’ is no wonder; the margins on black market trade are far more generous than those for running a convenience store, working in a factory, or filling a niche in the underground railroad of human smuggling which makes up any Mexican border economy.

People demand drugs.  Other people supply them.  Those are two irrefutable facts, and despite all efforts to the contrary, those facts remain.  No revelatory miracle in American drug-treatment, and no scorched earth campaign in Central and South America, is ever going to change that.

While the American economy withers and the Mexican cultural legacy is completely devoured by the black market, kingpins and their families become the new Latin nobility and carry entire cities and regions with them.  Jaurez is a city-state, it’s owned by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.  He decided to own the city in 2008.  The Mexican government got wind of this acquisition, and sent in the troops.  This futile effort made Jaurez “among the most dangerous places on earth”, and contested the title deed not one whit.  At this point, Mexican federal troops are reduced to census-takers, ascertaining how many people have left the city, estimates which apparently go as high as 230,000.

This entire ‘drug war’ in Mexico is nothing more than a show of force by US  and Mexican authorities, who depend on a great deal of political support from naive conservative voters in the United States itself.  In the year 2010, few are stupid enough to believe that any action by law enforcement or the medical community has any effect whatsoever in the most persistent economic reality of the 21st century.  This is not a law enforcement issue or a medical one.  If we treat it as a law enforcement issue, we get Jaurez.  If we alternate and treat it as a medical issue, we’re going to get a very, very large bill.

It’s an economic issue.  Let legitimate businessmen and our very well-developed and extremely effective regulatory structure handle what they do best, and leave law enforcement to jay-walkers and medical personell to scraped knees.

Favorite quote from the nonsensical Yahoo comment board:

The US is supposed to be a melting pot, but chef Obama is adding too many beans.

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