San Diego-Tijuana drug tunnel bust, Prop. 19, and Latin America's drug war debate
US authorities this week found an 1,800-foot drug tunnel linking San Diego to Tijuana, and seized more than 25 tons of marijuana. Will it make a dent in the flow of drugs to the US?
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Experts have long raised such questions, even though our raising it prompted an angry letter from the Mexican Ambassador to the US.Skip to next paragraph
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Prop 19 reignites drug war debate
But the debate takes on added relevance in the wake of California’s vote on Prop 19, which did not pass Tuesday but would have legalized recreational use and possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Mexican President Felipe Calderón said the passage of such a bill would help line drug traffickers' pockets. Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos echoed that sentiment. But former presidents of both drug-war-torn countries have actually endorsed such policies, as Monitor correspondent Nacha Cattan pointed out in her article yesterday.
"As President Calderón, for example, publicly decried Prop 19, ... his predecessor Vicente Fox fired off hourly tweets in recent days that expounded its endless benefits."
Mr. Fox is not alone among former Latin American leaders questioning the status quo, as Ms. Cattan's piece points out.
"Cesar Gaviria, who led Colombia from 1990 to 1994, called the war on drugs a failure last year and advocated for a shift in policy away from prohibition," she writes. "Mr. Gaviria was joined in his efforts toward decriminalization by another former Mexican chief executive, Ernesto Zedillo, and former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso."