A few months ago I did a series of illustrations for a short book called “Silver or Lead, the drug dilemma.” It was written and designed by my talented friend Marissa Haro. To see more of her work check out her website: www.marissaharo.com
In the book Marissa tackles several issues pertaining to the drug war that is taking place in Mexico and the US. Mexican president Felipe Calderon openly declared war on the Mexican drug cartels in December of 2006, and heavily militarized the country. Since then, more than twelve thousand people have been killed.
In Mexico there is a saying “so far from God and so close to the US,” and in the case of the drug war, the saying is more than accurate. The US is the largest exporter of weapons and the largest consumer of drugs. Ninety percent of the weapons that are seized from Mexican drug traffickers can be traced back to the US. Most of these weapons are actually bought legally and then sold in the black market.
That is not say that the Mexican government is exempt of responsibility for the current situation. Widespread corruption among Mexican officials has allowed the cartels to flourish and to have their present strength. Corrupt officials continue to protect them.
However, any realistic end to the drug war must involve a shift in policy from the US towards both the use of drugs –treating addicts clinically as oppose to criminally—and towards gun control.
To me it’s simple economics. Consumption, not production is what needs to be deterred. If there is demand there will be supply. If a day ever came when the Mexican cartels no longer existed, new cartels would spring up in the Caribbean, in Asia, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.
I have an earlier post on the subject. This is a link to it: https://duncantonatiuh.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/narcocorridos/ The illustrations in that post have backgrounds, etc. Marissa decided to use only the characters in the images I made for design purposes.