Drugs were considered dangerous threats that “degenerate entire races and placed the nation’s security at risk” (Campos, 299).
Trinidas Sánchez Santos, who belonged to the Catholic opposition, challenged this view and linked the degeneration concept and substances to tyranny, and a form of massive control over the polity, during the Porfirian authoritarian regime.
Central American countries, including the ones with the lowest crime rates in the world like Costa Rica, (who does not even have an army), or Belize, are now affected by drug smugglers and their violence carrying cartels.
Several Latin American countries have admitted failure in this war, and considered alternate approaches, starting with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia who supports decriminalization.
Mexico’s war on drugs was formally declared by President Felipe Calderon, but it actually began on March 2, 1920 when Mexico’s Department of Public Sanitation declared the new law of “Dispositions on the Cultivation and Commerce of Products that Degenerate the Race” (Campos).
The word degeneration helps explain why drugs were turned into a national security threat in Mexico, instead of a health issue like alcoholism.United States’ involvement in Latin American affairs goes far back since the implementation of the Monroe Doctrine on 1823, which expanded the U.S’ sphere of influence into Latin America, by preventing European intervention in the newly independent nations.It is important to understand the nations’ historical and social context, to be able to understand today’s war.Drugs have a history of being banned in Mexico, but ironically they only became a real destabilizing national security threat, after they were attacked for being a destabilizing national security threat and waged war against on 2006.By: Jessica Karcz Ever since President Richard Nixon declared the war on drugs, Washington’s battles have been mostly fought in Latin America, leaving a trail of bloodshed up to its largest consumer in the world, the United States.After years of fighting a war against drugs and implementing strict policies and punishments; Illicit drugs are still easily obtained, the demand is still high worldwide, drug cartels are richer and more powerful, and the drug related violence is at its peak.The seed behind the current war on drugs was watered, with its initial popular support, but wakening the ongoing struggles between different cartels and the government.The PRI, Mexico’s Revolutionary Institutionalized Party, ruled the country for 71 years, holding democracy down and promoting an authoritarian, corrupt government, that made friends with drug cartels and let them grow and become more powerful at an exponential rate.It all started during the colonial period, when the Spanish established the protomedicato model in Mexico (Campos, 380), which founded the principles of the Sanitary Council and modern drug regulations.This included the strict regulations and exams that pharmacists went through, to demonstrate their competence and be able to sell drugs for medicinal use.