The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-Drug war rages on our doorstep

A man is found with his hands severed.

Bodies are found decapitated.

Severed heads are found in sewage canals.

Gunmen target police officers and journalists.

People are abducted for the purpose of extortion.

Families flee the country, leaving everything behind.

Relentless shootings occur in daylight.

Shops and restaurants close early.

Citizens are afraid to go out at night.

That part of the world is too dangerous for Americans to visit.

Many government officials and police officers are corrupt.

Soldiers are dying.

Although this could describe Iraq, Afghanistan or Colombia, it also describes Juarez, Mexico­, just across the Rio Grande from El Paso­, Texas.

This war pits the drug cartels against the Mexican government and, in some cases, the cartels against each other.

The cartels use money from marijuana and cocaine purchases in this country to buy automatic weapons to fight this war.

According to the El Paso Times, homicide has become the leading cause of death in Juarez, passing cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

The National Drug Threat Assessment 2009, a recently released report from the U.S. Department of Justice, said, “Mexican drug-trafficking organizations represent the greatest organized crime threat to the United States.”

Soldiers at El Paso’s Fort Bliss, one of the largest military installations in the country, are no longer allowed to visit Juarez, whose nightclubs were once popular.

In November, Armando Rodriguez, a crime reporter for El Diario de Juarez, was murdered in his car in front of his house as he took his daughter to school.

His was one of more than 1,800 murders that occurred in Juarez last year.

According to an Associated Press report, the border city of 1.5 million people had more murders than New York and Chicago combined in 2007.

Mexican officials are concerned that the violence will only worsen.

One of Rodriguez’ recent stories was about a headless body located on a Juarez overpass. The head was found later on a statue of a newsboy in the Plaza del Perodista — the Plaza of the Journalist.

With so many people murdered and lives destroyed, including women, children, young and old, does the statement “marijuana doesn’t hurt anybody” still apply?

Regardless of where or whom users purchase marijuana, whether for recreational or habitual use, the supply chain could start with the cartels.

The murdering and violence against Juarez citizens must stop, but as long as the American appetite for illegal drugs grows, this war will not end anytime soon.

But the cartels are winning.

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