Narco News 2001
on Friday's Bush-Fox
"There is only
one solution to this terrible scourge that affects us all: legalize
the use of drugs, or decriminalize it"
Fuentes, award-winner writer and philosopher
("The Old Gringo," among other titles), offered his
advice to Presidents George W. Bush, of the United States, and
Vicente Fox, of Mexico, when the two meet in Guanajuato, Mexico,
Fuentes, in a February 9th column in the
national daily Reforma of Mexico City, cited the drug issue as
one of the major agenda items of the presidential summit - Bush's
first foreign policy trip as president.
Fuentes called, as most Mexican leaders
do, for, "eliminating the insulting annual certification
and de-certification process," saying that it "would
be the first step towards improved anti-narcotics collaboration."
But the Panamanian-born Fuentes, a naturalized
Mexican citizen, went even further in his counsel: "The
importing country (the US and its forty million drug addicts)
cannot judge or condemn the countries (Colombia and Mexico) that
are merely responding (Long live the free market!) to U.S. demand."
And Fuentes cited Fox's own Secretary
of State Jorge Castaneda (who like US Secretary of State Colin
Powell, at last summer's Republican National Convention, has
sharply criticized the war on drugs), in offering a way out of
the bi-lateral narco-trafficking problems. "Beyond this
outrageous oversimplification," said Fuentes, "lie
the proposals Jorge G. Castañeda put forth some time ago:
we should evaluate what has worked and what hasn¹t worked
in current policies and think about how markets and pricing mechanisms
could make trafficking less lucrative, thereby reducing profits
"U.S. demands regarding drug lords
and their mafias in Mexico should be matched by (hitherto weak)
U.S. action against the drug lords and the mafias in the United
"In the end," concluded Fuentes,
"as I see it, there is only one solution to this terrible
scourge that affects us all: legalize the use of drugs, or decriminalize
it. The problem is that this must be, without exception, a global
decision. The advantage is that, although there will continue
to be drug addicts, no one will get rich on their misfortune.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt ended prohibition against alcohol
in 1932, there were still drunks, but the Al Capones disappeared."
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