Shoot the Drug Traffickers

In her government report, Hermosillo Mayor Celinda Lopez bluntly recommended a new way of dealing with organized crime in Sonora. “Traitors to the country should be shot for poisoning children and young people. Drug traffickers should be shot in this country the same way they are in other countries in the world. Are we going to continue being one of those negligent governments that either are fearful or incapable of confronting the situation? Or will we dare to step forward to actually remedy the situation in Hermosillo?” Lopez asked.

Something must be happening in Hermosillo that is preventing the “hugs, not bullets” approach* from working for the mayor. And one has the feeling that something similar is happening in the rest of the country.

Mexico’s good friend Donald Trump wrote this in his Memorandum on the Presidential Determination on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2020:

“Mexico needs to do more to stop the flow of deadly drugs entering our country. We need the Mexican government to intensify its efforts to increase poppy eradication, illicit drug interdiction, prosecutions, and asset seizures, and to develop a comprehensive drug control strategy. In particular, Mexico’s full cooperation is essential to reduce heroin production and confront illicit fentanyl production and every form of drug trafficking, including through United States ports of entry. Many Mexican military and law enforcement professionals, in cooperation with their United States counterparts, are bravely meeting this challenge and confronting the transnational criminal organizations that threaten both of our countries. We need to see a sustained and unified commitment from Mexican government officials across military and civilian agencies and working with foreign partners. Without further progress over the coming year, I will consider determining that Mexico has failed demonstrably to uphold its international drug control commitments.”

In the midst of this, next year’s budget has eliminated one of the funding sources used in the municipalities to train and equip police officers, confirming that the government believes only its forces — the military and central authority — can end the tragedy that began more than a decade ago.

I bet that everyone who knows about this from international experience will say this won’t work, that security is built at the local level.

Faced with all this, the mayor has made it clear. Shoot them all. Mexico 2020. Hope it works out well. Wear your masks.

Editor’s Note: *Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised to end Mexico’s war on drugs with “hugs not bullets.”

About this publication

About Patricia Simoni 95 Articles
I first edited and translated for Watching America from 2009 through 2011, recently returning and rediscovering the pleasure of working with dedicated translators and editors. Latin America is of special interest to me. In the mid-60’s, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile, and later lived for three years in Mexico, in the states of Oaxaca and Michoacán and in Mexico City. During those years, my work included interviewing in anthropology research, teaching at a bilingual school in the federal district, and conducting workshops in home nursing care for disadvantaged inner city women. I earned a BS degree from Wagner College, masters and doctoral degrees from WVU, and was a faculty member of the WVU School of Nursing for 27 years. In that position, I coordinated a two-year federal grant (FIPSE) at WVU for an exchange of nursing students with the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. Presently a retiree, I live in Morgantown, West Virginia, where I enjoy traditional Appalachian fiddling with friends. Working toward the mission of WA, to help those in the U.S. see ourselves as others see us, gives me a sense of purpose.

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