Your Typical Drug War Outrage


Here's a horrifying story from the Guardian:

These documents, which form a dossier several inches thick, are the main source for the facts in this article. They suggest that while the eyes of the world have been largely averted, America's 'war on drugs' has moved to a new phase of cynicism and amorality, in which the loss of human life has lost all importance—especially if the victims are Hispanic. The US agencies and officials in this saga—all of which refused to comment, citing pending lawsuits—appear to have thought it more important to get information about drugs trafficking than to stop its perpetrators killing people.

The article details how the U.S. government was complicit in several murders carried out by Juarez drug cartel, including the kidnapping and murder of El Paso resident Luis Padilla—who appears to have been a victim of mistaken identity.  U.S. drug cops apparently took no action as their trusted informant helped in several homicides, including helping to purchase lime to dissolve the bodies of the victims.  And when one highly-decorated DEA agent wrote an outraged letter of protest, high-ranking officials at the Department of Justice—including DEA Administrator Karen Tandy—chastised him, demoted him, and basically forced him to resign.

If true, this ought to be a scandal on par with Abu Ghraib.  But in the three years since Luis Padilla's death, the Guardian reports that not a single American media outlet has spoken to his widow, and only the Dallas Morning News has given the case any coverage at all.   It's certainly the first I've heard of it, and I follow drug war stories pretty closely.

Sad thing is, terrifying as this story may be, nothing in it is all that surprising.  Same for the American media's apparent lack of interest in it. 

Thanks to reader James Williams for the tip.