Archived: The U.S. Fuels Mexico’s Drug Wars


The United States is scolding Mexico. Again.

Washington officials are expressing alarm that Mexico’s government is at risk of a “rapid and sudden collapse” because it is losing control of its territory to drug cartels, allowing drug-gang violence to spread out of control.

The drug problem most certainly is real. Mexico’s cartels are now the number one suppliers of illegal drugs into our country, and the rising flow of drug money into Mexico is already the fourth largest source of that country’s income. As assorted kingpins vie for control of the trade, horrific violence has erupted, not only targeting rival gangs, but also top government officials, the military, police, businesses bystanders, and others. More than 6,000 Mexicans were gunned down in these wars last year, with many of them having been tortured, beheaded, and otherwise brutalized.

What a gruesome mess, you might say — why don’t the Mexicans clean up their drug problem?

Start with this: It’s not their problem. Americans — not Mexicans — are the ones snorting the tons of narcotics being trafficked by the gangs. Our demand drives the trade, finances the kingpins, and promotes the carnage. Yet, rather than confronting our people’s addiction for what it is — a health issue — U.S. authorities continue to pretend they can stop the supply, spending billions each year on failed police actions.

As for the hellish slaughter, where do you think the gangs get the guns? Mexico has strict gun laws, prohibiting its citizens from buying the high-powered assault weapons the cartels are using. So 90 percent of their weaponry is coming from U.S. gun dealers — more than 6,000 of whom operate just on our side of the line. With a wink and a nod, they brazenly sell tens of thousands of these guns to be smuggled across the border.

Mexico supplies the drugs, but our country supplies the customers, the money, and the guns. Their war is our war.

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker and author of the award-winning monthly newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown”, visit Distributed by

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  1. Jim Hightower this is a policy created problem. It is really misleading to call it a drug war or drug fueled violence. The horrific carnage is triggered by the new prohibition and fueled by official lawlessness.

    Take away the main tool servants of tyranny, gun control fanatics and racists use these days to extend their agenda, the new prohibition.

    When we enacted the first drug laws in 1914, 1.3% of America was addicted.When the current insane policy began in the ’70s that figure remained the same and it remains so today after 39 million arrests. This policy is the very definition of insanity.

    The tobacco, alcohol and prescription drug gangs cause more death annually than all illicit drugs The worst public policy since slavery disregards science and punishes families of nonviolent citizens, confiscating their property for making a safer health choice in a social or medicinal drug; that is pretty insane as well!

    Users have been around for eons with out this violent bloodletting except
    during the first “Noble” experiment. Servants of tyranny support prohibition
    under the guise of good intentions a con used by them throughout history.

    Across America paramilitary drug raids trigger violence rather than lessen
    the risk. It is called, “Overkill” to use such force on a nonviolent health

  2. Your comment about 90% of the guns used by drug cartels come from the US is wrong. 90% of the gun serial numbers Mexico gave to the ATF come from the US, but only a small percentage of the total number confiscated by Mexico come from here. You can’t buy hand grenades, rocket launchers, or grenade launchers here in the US. They cartels are getting them, and true machine guns, from overseas. They are using these numbers to guilt us into giving them more money.
    See LA Times article “Drug cartels’ new weaponry means war” March 15, 2009, and Fox News “The Myth of 90 Percent: Only a Small Fraction of Guns in Mexico Come From U.S.” April 2, 2009.

  3. The claim of 90% of Mexican drug cartel weaponry coming from American gun deals bears a second look. BATFE agents have confirmed that Mexico submitted 11,000 guns to the Bureau for tracing during the 2007-2008 period. Almost 6,000 were successfully traced, with 5,114 weapons (90%) determined to have originated from the United States. However, in the same two-year period, Mexican government agents have confirmed recovering approximately 29,000 firearms from crime scenes on their own soil. So where are all these firearms coming from?

    Although there is a definite problem with black-marketeers trying to smuggle semi-automatic rifles into Mexico from the United States, these news items may shed more light on where the drug cartels are obtaining the rest of their weaponry from, including full-automatic rifles, grenades, and even anti-tank weaponry:

    It is important to do our part in helping Mexico defeat the drug cartels, but we do so with the real facts of the situation and without infringing on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. I think the 90% number needs to be thoroughly scrutinized and investigated.

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