The Drug War Down South

| Thu Jul. 9, 2009 10:05 AM EDT

The Washington Post reports on the drug war south of the border:

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.

....Mexican officials acknowledged that abuses have occurred in the fight against traffickers but described the cases as isolated...."I know that the armed forces are not acting inappropriately, although there have been some cases," said Interior Minister Fernando Gómez Mont, who is responsible for coordinating security operations across Mexico. "The government honestly believes that. There is no incentive for abuse."

No incentive? How about money?

There is the one reported by the US press, a place where the Mexican president is fighting a valiant war on drugs, aided by the Mexican Army and the Mérida Initiative, the $1.4 billion in aid the United States has committed to the cause. This Mexico has newspapers, courts, laws, and is seen by the United States government as a sister republic.

It does not exist.

There is a second Mexico where the war is for drugs, where the police and the military fight for their share of drug profits, where the press is restrained by the murder of reporters and feasts on a steady diet of bribes, and where the line between the government and the drug world has never existed.

Read the rest in "We Bring Fear," part of our cover package on the drug war in the current issue of MoJo.  The Mexican army's incentives should become pretty clear.

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