by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
March 25, 2010
A YIDDISH MAMA IN VERMONT
LOS ANGELES, March 26, 2010 -- Are Mexican citizens' deaths any less deserving of sadness and outrage?
It took the killing of two American citizens employed by the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez to elicit President Obama's comment that he was "deeply saddened and outraged by the news of the brutal murders."
According to the Los Angeles Times, there have been 10,031 killings in Mexico since 2007 related to the war against organized drug cartels, which at no time has brought signs of sadness or outrage from the White House, be it from Obama or his predecessor. Do Mexicans not bleed as Americans do?
But with the expression from Obama for the killings there is no mentioned of sadness or outrage at US citizens’ usage of drugs that according to an Editorial on the Seattle Times, “These gruesome tallies are the byproduct of a lethal industry that satisfies U.S. appetites for marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine. As the wealthy consumers of illicit goods, drug-abusing Americans are complicit in these deaths.”
U.S. drug users provide Mexican drug cartels with $31 billion annually to carry out their bloody war. Why is there no outrage at this?
Drug-related deaths in Mexico pale in comparison to the drug-related deaths taking place in Mexico. In just one year, 17,000 deaths due to illicit drug use were recorded in the U.S., compared to 4,700 recorded in Ciudad Juarez over the past two years.
Have we in the U.S. surrendered to drug usage as inevitable and thus quasi acceptable? Are the deaths of 17,000 fellow Americans just another statistic to which we’ve become accustomed? Other than the immediate members of the family of those whose life is so needlessly struck down, is there no sadness for their passing? Is there no outrage atdrug usage and local distribution as the cause?
Is condemning Mexico and its people for ‘not stopping’ the passage of drugs to our cities and towns through their territory a substitute for our nation’s indifference to our own people’s usage of the smuggled drugs? Are the Mexican people the lawless society due to their efforts to eradicate drug traffickers and their resulting retaliation? If so, then what is our society that allows and, through our silence, encourages illicit drug usage?
Are we not, as the Seattle Times editorial argues, "complicit in these deaths... ?"
What is the role of our nation's news media in all of this? Why do regional and national news media report so heavily about the killings in Mexico giving the appearance that the nation is one huge "killing field," when such is not the case? And, why do they not report that the U.S. as a whole is losing far more lives to the "drug war" than is Mexico? Why do editorials advise, admonish, and preach to Mexico, but not one news outlet has championed an ongoing crusade to stop drug usage and report distributors in the U.S.?
Why does the U.S. media and popular network commentators degrade Mexico as a corrupt nation, but either lightly mention or altogether ignore U.S. corruption?
How much coverage was given to the congressional testimony by Kevin L. Perkins, assistant director of the Criminal Investigation Division of the FBI, on March 11, 2010, on the state of corruption?
How many people here knew that Perkins testified that in the last two years alone there have been 1,600 convictions of federal, state and local officials, and that there are 3,200 public corruption cases pending, and that more remains to be done - that the Southwest border is a particular focus of corruption-fighting efforts? According to the Perkins' testimony, the result is over 400 public corruption cases originating from that region, with 84 convictions so far.
Were the American people informed that in July 2008, the FBI and DEA with Canadian law enforcement arrested a network of cocaine, marijuana and illegal immigrant smugglers working the Quebec-New York border? And, that the FBI conducted nearly 300 public corruption investigations along the Canadian border?
Is it in our nation's best interest to place Mexico as having the sole responsibility for the war on drugs? And how does it help our nation to destroying Mexico's economy by creating fear s about visiting, while failing to deal with or ignoring our country's responsibility?
Are we kept in the dark intentionally, or does thinking less of Mexico make us feel warm and fuzzy, believing it proves we are better than they are?
Sadness? Outrage? You bet, but we are wrong about where it should be directed.
Patrick Osio is Editor of HispanicVista.com. Contact him at POsio@aol.com.