At the end of his six-year term in D.F., Mexican President Felipe Calderón is taking the garrulous route out of office. Calderón, who exits the presidency next month, is busily talking up Mexico's surging economy and potential to be the next BRIC nation with foreign journalists. But no interview with him is complete without discussion of Mexico's Drug War, which was escalated to a full-on military conflict under Calderón's direction.
In an interview with The Economist, Calderón dropped a particularly noteworthy bomb: Despite the military and the murders, there are still plenty of drugs in Ciudad Juarez, just south of El Paso, Texas -- and there always will be.
See also: Marijuana Legalization in Two States Has Mexico, Costa Rica Questioning U.S. Role in Drug War
Calderón didn't say the magic word, "legalization," but what else could "market mechanisms" mean?
The Economist: What is your message for those who live in the United States, including those who still buy drugs?
Calderón: Clearly the origin of the problem, the biggest source of income for the criminals continues to be the sale of drugs in the United States. Consumption in the United States is behind this problem of violence that we are experiencing in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador and practically all of the Caribbean. And that has to end.
So either the United States and its society, its government, and its Congress decide to drastically reduce their consumption of drugs, or if they are not going to reduce it, they at least have the moral responsibility to reduce the flow of money toward Mexico, where the cash goes into the hands of criminals.To reduce that flow of money they have the obligation to find ways that allow it to occur. They have to explore even market mechanisms to see if that can allow the flow of money to reduce. If they want to take all the drugs they want, as far as I'm concerned let them take them. I don't agree with it but it's their decision, as consumers and as a society. What I do not accept is that they continue passing their money to the hands of killers, who are committing terrible crimes in Mexico and in the whole region.