Reporters on the Job

On the US-Mexico Border : Staff writer Danna Harman says that she found the reaction of Mexicans to her queries about Mexican involvement in the drug trade was always the same. "Everyone - from the taxi driver to the person shopping in the supermarket, to the low-level cop on the street to his chief at headquarters - always turned the question around at me and asked me about US demand for drugs," says Danna.

"There is a feeling here among people that Mexico is being blamed for something which is a US problem. That is, if Americans weren't consuming illegal drugs, there would be no Mexican suppliers getting rich, corrupting the country and causing such violence."

As part of her research, Danna went out on a drug raid one night with Mexican federal police and Mexico's Delta Force in Ciudad Juàrez (page 1). During that night, she also saw another byproduct of the growing Mexican role in the drug trade: more Mexican consumption.

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"I was looking at how drugs were coming across the border into the US," she says. "But it's a sad fact that the more drugs there are in general, the more drugs get used on this side of the border. This is particularly true since the Sept. 11 attacks, I was told, when the US-Mexico border became more tightly policed. It was harder to get drugs across, creating a cheap, local market on the Mexican side. During the night raid, I saw 5- and 6-year-old kids sitting around drug dens."

David Clark Scott
World editor

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