Police Chief's Slaying Revives Drug Policy Debate

Police Chief's Slaying Revives Drug Policy Debate
Posted by FoM on February 29, 2000 at 20:37:55 PT
Tijuana Mexico - CNN
Source: CNN Interactive
In the wake of Sunday's assassination of another Mexican police chief, officials on both sides of the border voiced concerns that drug trafficking in Mexico, and related violence, will drop only if consumption is curbed in the United States. Mexicans say they suffer from drug-related violence, especially on the border, largely because the United States has done little to reduce its consumption of illegal drugs. 
"Tijuana is the victim of an activity that no one here wants," state Attorney General Juan Manuel Salazar said. A Mexican legislator expressed the same view. "U.S. consumption is the magnet for all the drug trafficking we are suffering," said Congressman Julio Faesler. A Failed Policy? Gen. Barry McCaffrey, director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, said recently that more has to be done in the United States to curb consumption. McCaffrey added that about 55 percent of the cocaine used in the United States is shipped through Mexico or Mexican waters, but he also voiced pleasure with Mexico's efforts to stop trafficking. Other officials in the United States say they are sure Congress will certify Mexico next month as a country that is doing all it can to fight the problem. Certification of an ally means that the nation is cooperating with the United States in the war on drugs. Decertified countries can lose some U.S. aid. A Mexican drug policy analyst says, however, that there is evidence his nation's drug policies have failed. Luis Astorga, a sociologist and researcher with the Institute of Social Research at the Independent University of Mexico, says he sees the evidence in the increase in drug-related violence and the unabated flow of drugs, despite the jailing of drug traffickers. "If we take those indicators as a basis of analysis, we can conclude the drug effort is not achieving any positive results," Astorga said. Thousands Mourn Chief: Tijuana Police Chief Alfredo de la Torre was killed Sunday morning while driving to his office along a busy highway after Mass. Three cars pulled next to his black Chevrolet Suburban and opened fire with 9 mm pistols and Kalashnikov rifles. Thousands of police officers from across northwestern Mexico packed into a funeral home early Tuesday to mourn and honor the popular Tijuana chief. De la Torre is the second Tijuana police chief killed in six years, and the second police chief in a border city to be killed in a week. Juan Angel Cabrera Leal, the police chief in Reynosa to the southeast, was shot to death last Tuesday. Mexico City Bureau Chief Harris Whitbeck and the Associated Press contributed to this report.Tijuana, Mexico (CNN) February 29, 2000Web Posted at: 8:53 p.m. EST (0153 GMT) 2000 Cable News Network. Related Articles:Mexicans Denounce U.S. Ambassador Over Drug Remark McCaffrey Concludes Visit to Mexico 
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