Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    American students fund drug feud

    So 43 protesting students go missing in Iguala, Guerrero, in Mexico, and American university students continue funding the missing students’ assassins. How? By the American students’ very own drug habits. What’s the connection?
    The mayor of Iguala and his wife are ostensibly behind this terrible disappearance, but many Mexicans could tell you they are not “lone wolves” — any crime of this magnitude in Mexico is backed up by powerful forces, and where there is massive violence these days, drug cartels are rarely uninvolved. 
    When I lived in Mexico City, I kept a private mental catalog of what I considered wacky conspiracy theories, but which over time it became clear to me are actually plausible conjectures where they aren’t certain realities. That the US Government hand-picks each Mexican President, for example, no longer seems in the least outlandish to me. Nor does the idea that the groups of Molotov-cocktail-wielding hooligans who roam the Capital wearing American football jerseys are on government salary to intimidate and harass students. You just take it for granted that weird, complex, dark things are taking place.
    Many in the US media are balking at the involvement of elected officials in such a crime, but they too easily forget the hundreds of students massacred in 1968 by the Federal government of Mexico, the killings of indigenous people in the far south of the country by paramilitaries since 1994, and the deaths and disappearances of striking teachers ordered by the Oaxacan governor in 2006. 
    Though these events may have no direct connection to drug activities, we must acknowledge that much of the elected government, armed forces, and police departments in Mexico have interests in protecting and cooperating with the drug business — by some estimates it is as big an income-generator for the nation as its gigantic oil industry. Where there is money, there is corruption.
    And for journalists, speaking out against cartels, government, or the military can be deadly — and often uncertain where the repercussions are coming from, so intertwined are these forces.
    Which brings us back to the source of the money (to say nothing of the weapons): the US. According to the White House website, Americans spend about $100 billion on illicit drugs each year. We are making some very dangerous people very rich, and some very rich people very dangerous in doing so. 
    So while the move to legalize drugs, as it trudges along state by state, may keep many out of our own prison-industrial complex, what might it do to the suppliers? How many bullet holes must appear in the doors of the houses of Juarez? 
    43 Mexican students sacrificed their lives fighting for a cause. American students sacrifice Mexican lives to support their drug habit. The big question is, when will American students discover their political conscience?

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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