Argument: Drug War enables governments to crack-down on cartels

Issue Report: War on Drugs


Bret Stephens. “In Praise of Mexico’s War on Drugs.” Wall Street Journal. March 3, 2009: “The problem is Mexico’s record of corrupt, weak and incompetent governance, which has created the environment in which the cartels have hitherto operated with impunity. The same might be said about other countries in Latin America: These states did not become basket cases on account of the drug trade. It is the fact that they were basket cases to begin with that allowed the drug trade to flourish. […] The government has managed to spark power struggles within and among cartels, and the vast majority of Mexico’s murder victims are themselves involved in the drug trade. More important, Mr. Calderón has sent the signal that his government will not repeat the patterns of complacency and collusion that typified Mexico for decades. Whatever else might be said about his government, it’s a serious one.”