About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Lumberjack Terrorists (?)

Nacogdoches likes bud, apparently. Last week the university police arrested over twenty dealers in Nacogdoches, Texas on the Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) campus, the majority of whom are students dealing in marijuana, X, prescription drugs and some cocaine. Go, Lumberjacks (I gleefully note that the lumberjack is also the mascot of Humboldt State).

Last night, Laura Carlsen of the Americas Program came to campus at SFA to speak on the effects of the war on drugs in Mexico.

This morning I read Rich Grabman's post at Mexfiles on the hullabaloo about the idea of narcotraficantes as terrorists.

I'd like to put all three together and see if there is an "up" side to having Texas designate narcos as terrorists (considering the down side is a possible US invasion of Mexico or at least the usurpation of Mexican sovereignty).

1) The children of the middle class would be considered funders of terrorism every time they get caught with a bag, and instead of getting a warning - as is the norm with white offenders - they might be carted off to Guantanamo (well, at least a federal pen). Maybe faced with the same realities of the incarceration of youth that affects the Latino and African American community you might see some move toward dealing with narcotics as a health issue.
Among young people incarcerated in juvenile facilities for the first time on a drug charge, the rate of commitment among Black youth is 48 times that of Whites, while the rate for Latino youth is 13 times that of Whites. www.drugpolicy.org
2) Citibank, Wachovia, and other banks might not be able to weasel out of scrutiny if the charges are funding terrorists.

3) The NRA becomes not just an advocate for the right to own weapons (which I happen to agree with), but their policy on limitless purchase of weapons (which I happen to disagree with) will tag them as supporters of terrorism and break their lobby power (another thing I happen to disagree with). As long as the NRA pushes for fewer controls on guns ownership or at least good registration, weapons will fuel terror in Mexico. At this point, of course, I have to mention the CBS story on the ATF intentionally letting guns cross the border.

Carlsen mentioned that before she came to Nacogdoches she had been at the UT campus down in McAllen, TX. There, the students are the victims of the border violence, often subjected to kidnapping, extortion, and random shootings and so suffering from PTSD at incredible rates. On our campus, students are not the victims of the situation, but the perpetrators, feeding the hard drugs market, advocating for no controls on weapons, and actively supporting the politicians that keep the US from recognizing its responsibility. This is no vague and general implication of participation by being guilty of association (the tired "all yankees are bad garbage), but the real instance of actively funding the deaths of Mexicans and supporting the policies that make it possible.

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