Overseas/Interdiction

Government-Sponsored Torture, Illegal Raids, Disappearances

|

No, not another Dick Cheney black ops scandal. It's Mexico's drug war. And you're helping to pay for it.

The Mexican army has carried out forced disappearances, acts of torture and illegal raids in pursuit of drug traffickers, according to documents and interviews with victims, their families, political leaders and human rights monitors.

From the violent border cities where drugs are brought into the United States to the remote highland regions where poppies and marijuana are harvested, residents and human rights groups describe an increasingly brutal war in which the government, led by the army, is using harsh measures to battle the cartels that continue to terrorize much of the country.

In Puerto Las Ollas, a mountain village of 50 people in the southern state of Guerrero, residents recounted how soldiers seeking information last month stuck needles under the fingernails of a disabled 37-year-old farmer, jabbed a knife into the back of his 13-year-old nephew, fired on a pastor, and stole food, milk, clothing and medication.

In Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, two dozen policemen who were arrested on drug charges in March alleged that, to extract confessions, soldiers beat them, held plastic bags over their heads until some lost consciousness, strapped their feet to a ceiling while dunking their heads in water and applied electric shocks, according to court documents, letters and interviews with their relatives and defense lawyers.

None of this is particularly new. The tactics between the Mexican army and the drug cartels have grown increasingly brutal since 2006, when Mexican President Felipe Calderon quite literally made the drug war a military operation. 

So far, he's won nothing but praise and continued funding from American politicians.

Advertisement

NEXT: "Sanitizing American agriculture, aside from being impossible, is foolhardy"

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Barack Obama put his imprimatur on Plan Merida when he and his top national security and Department of State thugs made some of their first foreign visits to Mexico. Since Obama ask for and got another $400 million supplemental to the Plan’s $1.5-bn. He is al asking for fifteen hundred national guard “volunteers” to work the border for drug interdiction support.

    And Obama wants us to stop calling it a war on drugs. What the fuck is it when trillions of dollars are spent on police, prisons and military in the name of zero tolerance toward an unpopular social trait?

    All we need to do is legalize the drug distribution and this bunch of criminal anarchists will suddenly no longer have drugs which are their biggest profit center.

  2. Yeah, but this is torture Obama and the Dems get off on. They jack off to this shit. They love the drug war.

  3. And Obama wants us to stop calling it a war on drugs. What the fuck is it when trillions of dollars are spent on police, prisons and military in the name of zero tolerance toward an unpopular social trait?

    A war on individual human beings.

  4. When is Calderon up for re”election?”

  5. So far, he’s won nothing but praise and continued funding from American politicians.

    I’m sure that Hillary, Obama and Bush all think that they are doing the good and moral thing here.

    And they all have their heads so far up their asses that aqualungs are required for breathing, as snorkels just won’t fucking reach.

    All of this to make it a little harder for dopers to get their high. Fuck me running! This is the goddam stupidest policy in all of American history.

    The Obama fellators are never around when I get into one of my ranting moods. That fucking sucks.

  6. Ought Juanita not show up and point out that it’s a good thing that the government is preventing people from experiencing pleasure without having had to work hard for it first?

  7. Jaybird,
    Don’t fuck with my lovely Juanita or I’ll be on you like stink on shit.

  8. Well, I followed joe’s advice and did my own research. That piece of wang’s term does not end until 2012. The good news is that (for now) he will not be able to run for re”election.”

  9. Another Dick Cheney black ops scandal?

  10. On the upside, at least there’s no Wrong Door raids in Mexico. Wrong house? No problem, just extract a confession and it turns out they got the right house, after all.

  11. Let’s be serious for a minute here–the abuses, corruption, and murder perpetrated by the narcos was a major threat to the Mexican state. This article does nothing to put into context the actions of the Mexican government. The Government is using the army b/c the local polic and federales were considered too weak/corrupt/scared to be effective. Tell me how the US would react if a dozen cops heads were rolled across a dance floor in a night club? It’s always nice to take shots from the sidelines, but at least be a little aware of the context.

  12. Unless the US legalized drugs, Mexico, like Colombia, will have to fight powerful criminals who think that they’re more powerful than the state.

  13. Tell me how the US would react if a dozen cops heads were rolled across a dance floor in a night club?

    Cops? Major backlash.

    Congressmen? Hmmm . . . .

  14. Unless the US legalized drugs, Mexico, like Colombia, will have to fight powerful criminals who think that they’re more powerful than the state.

    Bullshit. Mexico could man up and tell the US to piss off. If Mexico makes the drugs legal, Mexico no longer has a problem with the cartels killing people in Mexico. Nobody gets shot in Mexico over cigarette distribution disagreements, do they?

    However, doing that would mean giving up that sweet, sweet Washington cash. And Calderon ain’t gonna do that.

  15. Also, as an aside, much of the bullshit like cash transaction reporting requirements and asset forfeiture resulted from our attempts to fight the cocaine cartels in the 80s. We won, in part because we have stronger civil institutions than Mexico does. But in doing so, the US simply set up another escalating round where the only way to win is to further erode the bill of rights. Addressing the root cause, the black market in drugs, is never even considered.

  16. It’s not just cash that Mexico would have to give up if it legalized drugs (there is some movement towards decriminalization of users in Mexico), but I think that the US would react with trade sanctions, duties, etc. which would weaken Mexico’s large manufacturing base, agricultural exports and other industries.

  17. Fuck the war on drugs, though. If the WoD were a person, I’d hate-crime the fuck out of it.

  18. “I’m sure that Hillary, Obama and Bush all think that they are doing the good and moral thing here.”

    As long as they profit — politically and otherwise — from the black market, they don’t care who is hurt or killed. They just want their cut.

  19. nice post..
    ___________________
    Britney
    Entertainment at one stop

  20. With Obama putting a drug warrior authoritarian onto the Supreme Court and re-invigorating the corrupt Byrne Criminal Justice Grant program you can bet that America will soon have Mexican drug gang reps, who are already on American streets, bringing the militarized drug war to the U.S. sooner rather than later.

  21. >nice post..

    Britney, please die.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.