Extortion in Mexico Shuts Down Schools

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Extortion has tripled in Mexico since 2004, and the latest victims are teachers in Acapulco, one of the country's biggest tourist spots. Gang members are plaguing teachers there with threats demanding they give over half their pay by October 1. Hundreds of schools have closed because of the threats, but thousands of teachers are not sitting quietly, and instead are taking to the streets in protest.

Elisabeth Malkin of The New York Times reports on the latest details. Jorge Castaneda, former foreign minister of Mexico, Global Distinguished Professor of Politics and Latin American studies at New York University, and author of "Manana Forever?: Mexico and the Mexicans" discusses the U.S.'s responsibility and how the Mexican government is dealing with the threat.

Comments [1]

malcolm kyle from New York

Prohibition does nothing but bankroll ruthless criminals and international terrorists.

Alcohol prohibition (1919-1933) is a casebook example of such dangerous folly. Today, alcohol is taxed and regulated; shoot-outs over turf and the killing of innocent bystanders are no longer a daily part of the alcohol trade. So how come so many of us lack the ability to learn from such an important historical lesson, and are instead intent on perpetuating the madness and misery that prohibition has always invariably engendered?

Colombia, Peru, Mexico or Afghanistan with their coca leaves, marijuana buds or poppy sap are not igniting temptation in the minds of our weak, innocent citizens. These countries are duly responding to the enormous demand that comes from within our own borders. Invading or destroying these countries, thus creating more hate, violence, instability, injustice and corruption, will not fix our problem. We need to collectively admit that we are sick. -- Prohibition is neither a sane nor a safe approach; left unabated, its puritanical flames will surely engulf every last one of us!

Every-time the ghastly violence of prohibition is falsely blamed on the users, it diminishes the culpability of those who are truly responsible for maintaining the status quo. Prohibition is an absolute scourge -the end! The use of drugs is NOT the real problem, the system that grants exclusive distribution rights to violent cartels and terrorists IS.

When governments prohibit drugs they effectively and knowingly hand a monopoly on their sale to dangerous criminals and terrorists. Without a legal framework in which to operate, these black-market entities can always be expected to settle their disputes violently, while terrorizing many peaceful and innocent citizens in the process. Were the users of alcohol to blame for the St Valentines massacre in 1929? Of course not! It is just as naive to assume that one can compel all the users of Marijuana or Cocaine to simply quit, as it is to assume that all the users of Alcohol should have stopped drinking after the introduction of alcohol prohibition in 1919.

Sep. 28 2011 05:38 AM

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