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JessicaCarrillo

Ms.Alvarado
WorldStudies2
29April2016

MexicoonDrugs
I.

Introduction

Eyewitnessandgovernmentofficiatedreportstestifytowhatisnowknownas,adate
inscribedinMexicoscalendarofhistoricatrocities.143students,allfromfamiliesofdestitute
villages,
decidedtoholdaprotestrevoltingagainstPresidentEnriquePeaNietoseducational
system,inwhichpracticeddiscriminatoryhiringandfundingpractices.
Todoso,theyhijacked
busestoMexicocity,tocommemoratethe
Tlatelolcomassacre,aneventwheregovernment
forcessuppressedpoliticaloppositionbymurderinganestimationof200students.
Maradelos
ngelesPinedaVilla,thePresidentoftheSNDIF(
NationalSystemforIntegralFamily
Development),aninstitutionthatdedicatesitselftodevelopingthewelfareofMexicanfamilies,
wasspeakingataconferenceintown.Shewasworriedthatthestudentswoulddisturbit,to
whichJosLuisAbarca,herhusbandandthemayorofthetown,orderedanattack.Onroute,the
unarmedstudentswereambushedbyofficerswhothenopenedfireandshovedthemintopolice
vehicles.Uponinvestigation,itwasrevealedthatMariawasfamilytothe
BeltrnLeyvaCartel,
whowaslaterfoundtoberesponsibleforthemurderofall43students,incineratedina14hour
bonfire.
Thousandsofpeopletooktothestreetsinprotestagainsttheinjusticeofthiscase,
consideringthatitwasaunificationofalotofMexicoscurrentissues.Theallegedroleofthe
policespeakstothebrutalityofcrookedofficers.IgualaMayorJosLuisAbarcaarrestedin
1

Grillo,Ioan.
Time.
MexicosNightmare.AccessedFebruary24,2016

JessicaCarrillo
Ms.Alvarado
WorldStudies2
29April2016
MexicoCityonNov.4seems,ifthechargesagainsthimprovetrue,tosymbolizethecorrupt
politiciansunderminingthecountry.Themassgravesuncoveredinthesearchforthestudents
highlighttheviolenceandinjusticestillpervasiveinMexico,wheremorethan70,000people
havebeenkilledincartelrelatedviolenceinthepastsevenyears.2Alltheseproblemsunified
haveturnedMexicointoanunstablecountry,makingitimpossibleforpeopletolivethere.The
powerthatthedrugcartelsholdoverthepeoplehasstemmedfromwhatappearstobeagrowing
globalcorporation,andisallsolelybasedonthebillionsofdollarsmadefromnarcotrafficking
industry.Cartelsareabletopurchasethegovernment,inwhichplaysacrucialrolein
provokingfearandpreservingdomination.Withnoendinsightofcorruption,thepeopleof
Mexicoarebeingconsumedbythedrugwar,unabletolivetheirlivesinprosperity,freedomand
safety.Thereisalackofdirectauthoritytohelpthewelfareofthesepeoplewhoare
experiencingtheshortendofthedrugwar.Overthecourseofyearlongreforms,Mexicohas
attemptedtorenovatethecriminaljusticesystem,inwhichhasfailedtoaddressthehumanright
violationsthecountryisfacing.
In2013,MexicoenactedafederalVictimsLawintendedto
ensurejustice,protection,andreparationsforvictimsofcrime.Attimeofwriting,theexecutive
hadyettoadoptimplementingregulationsthatarenecessarytoprovidereparationstovictims.
AsofMarch2014,onlysixstateshadenactedlegislationincompliancewiththeVictimsLaw. 3
T
hegovernmentonthecontrarycollaborateswiththedrugcartelstolaunchdisappearanceson
anyonewhoisasuspectedpoliticalopponent.Andunfortunately,thepeoplewhoarethekeyto

Grillo,Ioan.
Time.
MexicosNightmare.AccessedFebruary24,2016

UnitedNations."HumanRights."AccessedMay29,2016

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3

JessicaCarrillo
Ms.Alvarado
WorldStudies2
29April2016
changingandputtinganendtocorruption,arethestudentsandteacherswhoareinlawschoolin
Mexico.

II.HistoricalBackgroundofHumanRight
EversinceMexicosinterventionwiththeMexicanmilitarybeganin2006,theofficial
estimateddeathtolloftheongoingMexicanDrugWaris150,000andcounting.
Throughoutthe
pastcoupleofyears,Mexicohasattemptedtopassjudicialreformsinordertoaddressthe
enforceddisappearancesandtorturebymilitaryforces
.InApril(of2014),Congressreformed
theCodeofMilitaryJustice,statingthatabusescommittedbymembersofthemilitaryagainst
civiliansshouldbehandledbytheordinarycriminaljusticesystem.Previously,thesecaseshad
beenhandledbythemilitaryjusticesystem,whichhadroutinelyfailedtoholdmembersofthe
militaryaccountableforabuses.4 Bypassingthislaw,lowerclasscivilianswouldhavebeen
abletotakepartinthesystemwithoutthefearofbiasformembersofmilitary.Except,because
thepowerwasntdirectlyhandedtothepeopleindependently,thereforeanymilitarymember
couldhaveutilizedtortureinordertoforcefalseconfessionsandextractinformation.Thismust
havemadeitdifficultforvictims,becausetheyfeltthattheyhadasenseofpowertoadvocate
thewrongdoingsofthegovernment,buthadfearofbeingpunishedfordaringtobecourageous.
InJune,militarypersonnelopenedfireonagroupof22civilianswhowereinsideanempty
warehouseinTlatlaya,stateofMexico,killingallofthem.Onesoldierwasinjuredduringthe

UnitedNations."HumanRights."AccessedMay29,2016

JessicaCarrillo
Ms.Alvarado
WorldStudies2
29April2016
incident.Stateprosecutorsdetainedtwoofthethreesurvivingwitnesses,beatthem,repeatedly
asphyxiatedthemwithabag,andthreatenedthemwithsexualabusetoforcethemtoconfessto
havinglinkstopeoplekilledintheincidents,andtosaythatthemilitarywasnotresponsiblefor
thekillings,accordingtotheCNDH.5Governmentofficialsstillfailedtoviewthisissuewith
transparency,andratherworsenedthesituation.Thefactthatlawenforcementhasfailedtoteach
civiliansselfdefense,provesthatthereformdidntserveanybenefit,sincethesepeopleare
vulnerabletoanyactsfromthecorruptMexicanGovernment.
Culturally,thepeopleofMexicoareactuallydependentonthedrugtradetohelpthem
endurethestrugglesoflivinginpoverty,anissuethatMexicohasbeenlongfacingfordecades.

Bunker(2012)estimatesthatMexicancartelsemployabout450,000people,andthelivelihood
ofabout3.2millionpeopleinMexicodependsonthedrugtrade.6 Takingthisinto
consideration,whenhumanrightsactiviststakeastandtoopposetheinjustice,theyarerather
harassedandattackedoutoffearofashakeintheinfrastructureMexicoholds
.Peoplewould
ratherepidemicsinMexicostaythesameratherthangetworse.In2012,Mexicoenactedalaw
toprotecthumanrightsdefendersandjournalists.Theprotectionmechanismcreatedbythelaw,
however,hasnotbeeneffectivelyimplemented,withprotectivemeasuresslowtoarrive,
insufficient,orincompleteinsomecases.7
WhenitcomestosexualabusefromCartelsonthe
public,womenandyoungergirlsarenotprotectedbytheMexicanlaw.Theirchastityis

UnitedNations."HumanRights."AccessedMay29,2016
A
charya,ArunKumar.FORCEDLABOUR,GENDERVIOLENCEANDTRAFFICKINGOFWOMENINMEXICO:A
STUDYFROMMONTERREY.AccessedFebruary24,2016
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U
nitedNations."HumanRights."AccessedMay29,2016
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6

JessicaCarrillo
Ms.Alvarado
WorldStudies2
29April2016
questionedduetogenderrolesinMexico,andwomenwhospeakoutabouttheinjusticeare
shameduponanddisrespected.Becauseofthiswomenresorttoworkinginthesexindustry,a
practicethatthecartelswontarguewith,butrathertakeadvantageof.TheInternational
LabourOrganizationestimatesthatcurrently12.3millionpeopleworldwidearevictimsof
forcedlabour.Aboutonefifthofallforcedlabourersaroundtheworldaretraffickedwhich
includes98percentofwomenandgirls.Nearly43percentofwomenandgirlstraffickedfor
commercialsexualexploitation,32percentforeconomicexploitationand25formixedpurposes
(ILO,2005).8 TheCartels,whoconsistofpredominantlymen,takeadvantageofbothwomen
andthetraffickingindustry.Andbecausetraffickingisnotconsideredlegitimatelabor,women
arentprotected,andbecomesubmissivetoviolencefromthecartels,slowlyformingan
acquaintanceandafamiliaritywithit.
A2012laborlawfailedtoaddressthelackof
transparencyanddemocracyinthepowerfulpromanagementunions,andfailedtoprotect
workersrighttoformindependentunionsandcarryoutcollectivebargaining.9

III.ModernDayResponses
DifferentiatingfromMexico,Switzerlandholdsadrugpolicythathasimpressively
decreasedcrimerates.Ratherthanpunishingoffenders,Switzerlandusesaharmreduction
strategythatoffersasysteminwhichsubstitutesavarietyofdrugstousers.Drugsandcrime
areinextricablylinked.Addictsneedmoneytofeedtheirhabit,sotheyoftencommittheft.

Acharya,ArunKumar.FORCEDLABOUR,GENDERVIOLENCEANDTRAFFICKINGOFWOMENINMEXICO:A
STUDYFROMMONTERREY.AccessedFebruary24,2016
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UnitedNations."HumanRights."AccessedMay29,2016
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JessicaCarrillo
Ms.Alvarado
WorldStudies2
29April2016
However,byprescribingaddictsheroin,analystshaveseenareductioninseriouscrimesofupto
90%againstpropertycommittedbydrugusers.10Mexicoisntbattlinginsiderconsumptionof
drugsbyitsowncountry,butrathersufferingtheconsequencesofsupplyingrichcountrieslike
theU.S.However,ifMexicoweretolegalizedrugs,itwouldserveasachainaffectandpush
theircustomerstodothesame.Andoncethisisdone,pricesofdrugswoulddecrease,
consideringthatallpowerthatcomesfromthedrugwarishowexpensivetheproductsare.This
wouldweakenthecartelsandtakethemotiveofprofitoutofnarcotrafficking.Also,criminals
whoareactuallyworthyofcapitalpunishment,suchascartels,wouldbesearchedandputinjail
ratherthandrugabusers.
Whenitcomestohumantrafficking,NewZealandhaspassedlawstodecriminalize
prostitutionandsexwork.Decriminalizationhasresultedinhigherratesofcondomuseand
enablessexworkerstoorganizecommunitybasedhealthpracticesthatdemonstrablyimprove
healthandreduceHIVrisk.Italsomakesitpossibleforsexworkerstoreportandforthepolice
toaddressillegalactsastheyoccur,suchasassault,theftofservices,employmentofminors,or
clientcoercion.11IfMexicoweretofollowinSwitzerlandsfootsteps,womenwhoresorttosex
workforsurvivalwouldbeprotected,bothfinanciallyandphysically.Then,theywouldbuildup
thecouragetoworkagainsttrafficking,andspeakoutabouttheabuseofpolicebrutalityfroma
firsthandexperiencewithoutbeingafraidofbeingharmed.

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11

TheBeckleyFoundation.GlobalInitiativeforDrugReformPolicy.AccessedApril26,2016
A
nnaForbes.
DecriminalizingSexWorkCouldReduceHIVInfections,SoWhyIsntEveryoneonBoard?

AccessedApril27,2016

JessicaCarrillo
Ms.Alvarado
WorldStudies2
29April2016
Toaddresspolicebrutality,Britainhasworkedoutasolutionthatislargelyviewedas
therightbalancebetweenkeepingpolicingcommunityorientedandkeepingthenationsafe,
saysPeterSquires,aprofessorofcriminologyandpublicpolicyattheUniversityofBrighton.
Whilemostbobbiesonthebeatdonotcarryguns,armedpoliceareneverfaraway.Armed
responseteamsandvehiclesoftenpatrolorareonstandby.ItstheclassicBritishcompromise,
Squiressays.IfthepoliceofMexicowererestrictedtousingtheirweaponsonlyincasesof
emergencies,crimesratewoulddecreasesignificantly.Todothis,theywouldhavetostop
militarylawenforcingactsinwhichcooperatewithcivilianlawenforcement.Therewouldalso
havetobeastoptothepentagons1033program,inwhichdistributesabout4.3billiondollars
ofsurplusweaponrytothemilitarytowhichtheythenuseoncivilians.Toensurethisfurther,
officersshouldbepaidhighersalariessothattheydonotfallunderthecorruptionofthecartels.

IV.Conclusion
BystrengtheningExternalControloverpolice,legalizingdrugsandofferingprotectionto
sexworkers,Mexicowouldevolvefrombeingoutofcontroltoslightlymoreorganized.To
strengthencontroloverthepolice,theywouldhavetobetrainedsotheyarepreppedfordutyand
monitoredbycivilianforcessotheydontbecomesubjecttothecartels.Thisway,theirmotive
forworkisaninsightdedicatedtokeepingthepeoplemexicosafeandnotmanipulatingthem.
PresidentEnriquePeaNietowouldhavetoimplementalawthatgrantsdirectauthorityoverthe
Mexicanpolice,andnotasystemthathastimeandtimeagainproventofail.Disappearance

JessicaCarrillo
Ms.Alvarado
WorldStudies2
29April2016
rateswouldlower,andwhentheydohappen,thegovernmentwouldlaunchinvestigationsinto
thesystemtofindwhosresponsible.
Protectingsexworkerswillnotonlybenefitthewelfareofthevictimsofsexualabuse
andpovertyinMexico,butitwillalsomotivatethemtospeakoutagainstthemalfeasanceofthe
government.Genderroleswouldchange,andfeministswouldbeabletoadvocatefortheirown
rightswithoutthefearofbeingsilencedduetopoliticalconflict.Governmentofficialscouldstart
campaignsinwhichadvocateforlawsthatpasssexworkasregularlabor,gatheringvictimswho
arewillingtospeakoutabouttheissue.Butbeforetheydothat,theworkerswouldneedtobe
grantedfullprotectionandmonitoringfrompolicesothattheyarenotthreatenedbythedrug
Cartels.
Mostimportantly,thePresidentshouldconsiderpassingalawthatlegalizesdrugsin
Mexico.Althoughtheissueisnotwiththecountryitself,theactoflegalizingillegalsubstances
willweakenthepowerofthedrugcartels,andsendallitsprofitstotaxesforthewelfareofthe
peopleenduringpoverty.Addictscouldgettheirsupplyatanylocalpharmacy,whichwouldbe
safer.PeopleenduringpovertywouldnthavetoresorttosellingdrugsalongsidetheCartelswho
wouldthreatentheirfamilies,sincedrugswouldbelegalandthemoneywouldgotowardsthem.
Cartelswouldntnecessarilyceasetoexist,fortheywouldcontinuetheirbusinesstrafficking
drugstorichcountriesliketheU.S.ButiftheMexicanpresidentweretolegalizedrugs,theU.S
presidentmightconsideritaswell.Andthen,narcotraffickingwouldceasetoexistasawhole.

JessicaCarrillo
Ms.Alvarado
WorldStudies2
29April2016
ThepeopleofMexicowouldbeabletoliveinfreedomandsafety,andMexicowouldturnfrom
acountryondrugstoonefilledwithprosperity.

WorksCited
UnitedNations."HumanRights."AccessedMay29,2016
https://www.hrw.org/worldreport/2015/countrychapters/mexico

Grillo,Ioan.
Time.
MexicosNightmare.AccessedFebruary24,2016

http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=99399119&site=ehostlive

Acharya,ArunKumar.FORCEDLABOUR,GENDERVIOLENCEANDTRAFFICKINGOF
WOMENINMEXICO:ASTUDYFROMMONTERREY.AccessedFebruary24,2016
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=92627199&site=ehostlive

TheBeckleyFoundation.GlobalInitiativeforDrugReformPolicy.AccessedApril26,2016
http://reformdrugpolicy.com/beckleymaincontent/newapproaches/futuredirectionsfordrugp
olicyreform/switzerland/

AnnaForbes.
DecriminalizingSexWorkCouldReduceHIVInfections,SoWhyIsntEveryone
onBoard?AccessedApril27,2016
http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/healthinfo/decriminalizingsexworkcouldreducehiv/

RubnGuzmnSnchez,AlejandroEspriuGuerra.ExternalPoliceOversightinMexico:
Experiences,Challenges,andLessonsLearned.AccessedApril27,2016
http://www.stabilityjournal.org/articles/10.5334/sta.ek/
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JessicaCarrillo
Ms.Alvarado
WorldStudies2
29April2016

STEPHANIENEBEHAY
Life.

Swissdrugpolicyshouldserveasmodel:expertsAccessedMay
14,2016
http://www.reuters.com/article/usswissdrugsidUSTRE69O3VI20101025

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