Hair-raising tale of drug cartel hits home

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Just last year, 43 students at a local teachers’ college disappeared from their school in Guerrero. Among a profusion of conflicting reports, it became apparent that the young men were kidnapped, murdered and burned. Their bodies were thrown into a river. And it was all a case of mistaken identity. The drug cartel thought the boys were members of a rival group. The mayor may have been complicit in turning the boys over to the gang. Federal officials say hundreds have been detained and questioned. Translation: Nothing will happen. No one will be held accountable.

Read the book if you have a reasonably strong stomach. You will learn everything you need to know about the ongoing war to our south.

I came away with one fewer destination on my travel list, and with something far more important: We need to dry up the market for hard drugs here in the USA. That means addressing the deeply rooted problems of social and economic inequality. It means better schools and more effective addiction programs. And we need to continue along the road to the legalization of marijuana. I’m not hopeful that any of these initiatives will be taken up in the near future. The torture and murder taking place just miles from our border are human rights violations just as horrific as violence in the Middle East, but who is listening?

Sadly, corruption is endemic to Mexico, from the smallest villages to the Casa La Palma, the Mexican White House President Enrique Pena Nieto built at a cost of $6.3 million. Well, actually, according to published accounts, it was built and is owned by a company that received favorable contracts from the Mexican government.

Copyright © 2015 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at

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