Saturday, October 17, 2009
Is America ready to admit defeat in its 40-year war on drugs?
A wave of decriminalization sweeps South America
At El Paso at the end of the month, experts from the US and Mexico will gather to take stock and thrash out alternatives. El Paso stands cheek by jowl with its twin city, Ciudad Juárez, across the Rio Grande. There, last Wednesday, the day after the Argentinian court ruling, cartel gunmen broke into the El Aliviane drug rehabilitation centre, lined 17 young people against a wall and cut them down with a fusillade of machine-gun fire. Troops last night captured the suspected killer, Jose Rodolfo Escajeda, considered one of the most brutal hitmen in Chihuahua and one of the leaders of the Juárez cartel. The executions, coming shortly after the killing of 40 people over three days in Juárez two weeks ago, take the death toll to about 1,400 this year, making it the most dangerous city in the world.