Cocaine, Cardinal Ocampo, and the Drug Wars

Drug Lord Eduardo Arellano Felix in Mexican Police Custody

Drug Lord Eduardo Arellano Felix in Mexican Police Custody

The drug problem in the United States, specifically cocaine, is very severe.  The U.S. is the number one user of this drug in the entire world.  Hollywood continues to glamorize the drug and the American public has an insatiable desire for it.  Greed and gluttony play prominent roles in creating this epidemic.  Many Americans seeking shortcuts to attaining the American dream sell drugs that feeds this gluttonous appetite for cocaine.  Unfortunately there are serious side effects that aren’t as widely publicized.

 

What are often overlooked are the victims of this drug trade.  Not necessarily those that are addicted to the drug simply because they chose to do so, but the innocent victims that are caught up in the drug trade.  Especially those that stand up to drug traffickers like that of the Archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico, Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo.

 

 

Cardinal Ocampo was assassinated by the Tijuana Cartel (Arellano Felix Gang) with their co-conspirators on May 24, 1993 in the parking lot of the Guadalajara International Airport parking lot.  He was pumped with 14 bullets by their ruthless hitmen and their co-conspirators.  After 15 years, several investigations, and failed inquiries, justice was done.

 

This past Saturday, October 25, one of the masterminds behind this assassination was captured.  Eduardo Arellano Felix or el Doctor was captured after a fierce gun battle between Mexican federales, US Federal agents, and the Tijuana Cartel in his hillside mansion in a suburb of Tijuana.  Eduardo Arellano Felix was quickly flown to Mexico City to face several charges (hopefully that of the killing of Cardinal Ocampos).

 

This isn’t the end.  Americans still have a craving for cocaine which will undoubtedly fuel more drug violence in and outside the United States.  At least we have a bookend to the assassination of the good Cardinal.  May he continue to rest in peace.

 

Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampa

Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampa

20 Responses to Cocaine, Cardinal Ocampo, and the Drug Wars

  • blackadderiv says:

    I’m glad that at least some of the Cardinal’s assassins have been brought to justice. I would note, however, that the quickest and easiest way to reduce drug-related violence (both domestically and internationally) would be through drug legalization.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Legalizing drugs would only make the problem worse.

    I understand where you’re coming from, but the analogy of ‘legalizing murder’ comes to mind. It’s widespread, why prosecute it, why don’t we legitimize it and be done with it. It just doesn’t make sense.

    Reminds me of the (in)famous Chewbaca defense from South Park. It just doesn’t make sense.

  • blackadderiv says:

    The purpose of legalizing drugs is that it would lead to significantly fewer murders. Legalizing murder obviously wouldn’t have that effect, so the two cases aren’t parallel.

    During alcohol prohibition, the sale of alcohol was controlled by gangsters and violence was rampant. Now that alcohol is legal, by contrast, you don’t see representatives of Coors and Miller gunning each other down in the streets.

    It’s the same story with drugs. Back when drugs were legal (as they were through most of U.S. history), you didn’t have the system of drug cartels and inner city gangs that we have today. It was only after drug prohibition (and particularly after the start of the “war on drugs” in the late 1960s) that you started to see these things develop. Unsurprisingly the murder rate has shot way up since then.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Black Adder IV,

    Although I see the logic in legalizing drugs, I just don’t feel right about it. I need to think it through more to offer a better defense in not legitimizing drug use.

    I certainly see the comparisons during prohibition.

    What I’d like to see is the repelling of the income tax. It wasn’t instituted here in the United States until 1913. Now that would solve many problems.

  • … this is the same argumentation that we see today with abortion.

    Just go along with Roe vs. Wade and work on other social issues. That will reduce abortions.

    Ya right.

    That was the argument with prohibition. Did that lead to fewer alcoholics? How many road death related to alcohol do we see today. How about broken families due to alcohol?

    With drugs you’ll see the same thing.

    I’ve even read a few articles about legalizing prostitution.

    The ends never justifies the means..

    St Thomas More once said that ‘Compromise, Prudence and patience’ were virtues to live by. However, he knew that compromise could lead to laziness, and cowardness.

    “There comes a time to stand up and fight” Compromise can be the casket of integrity.

    WCC +<

  • Well, I think the actual question would be: Is the use of illegal drugs inherently evil enough to merit banning them and dealing with the resulting illegal trade.

    You can’t get much more inherently evil than abortion, as there we’re talking about the snuffing out of an innocent life within what should be the protecting confines of his mother’s womb.

    The use of illegal drugs is, at worse, either a form of gluttony or a form of destruction of our bodies, which are deserving of respect as temples of the Holy Spirit.

    As with alcohol, some illegal drugs can result in functional impairment, and as with alcohol, extreme doses can resultin in injury or death. (I’d say that most “hard drugs” are worse than alcohol in this respect.)

    But I’m not sure that the degree of inherent evil involved in the taking of drugs is such that one morally _must_ outlaw them, and as such I think Blackadder’s point has some merit.

    On the other hand, the law often serves as a moral teacher. So it seems reasonable to assume that drug use would go up a bit if it was legalized.

    I’m not sure that I support legalizaing drugs, but I definitely don’t think that supporting their legalization would be akin to supporting legal abortion.

  • blackadderiv says:

    People do make the same sort of argument with regard to legal abortion, but I find the argument unpersuasive for the same reason that the “let’s legalize murder” argument is unpersuasive.

    Ending prohibition probably did lead to more drunk driving deaths and the like. Still, all things considered most people the disadvantages that come from legal alcohol to be less than the disadvantages that stem from prohibition. As St. Thomas said, sometimes the attempt to eliminate a particular vice only causes men to break out into even greater evils, when this is the case, one should let that evil be, rather than causing greater destruction by trying to stamp it out.

  • I think I’d add that it would also weigh against the banning of drugs that most of the time a drug user will only harm himself, whereas murder/abortion the primary harm is to someone else.

    The state has more business intervening when one person hurts another than when one person hurts himself.

  • Bret Ramsey says:

    I would also like to add the destruction of drug use does to a society and the family. Drug use is just not personal. Just ask anyone who had a “druggie” in the family.

    Just some points to consider.

  • rob says:

    -Now that alcohol is legal, by contrast, you don’t see representatives of Coors and Miller gunning each other down in the streets.-

    Well, my eldest brother and I fought over a Sam Adams, but the liberal press, as usual, totally overlooked that story!

    My own two cents is essentially that of WCC. I don’t think legalization is the way to go. I believe, when opium first became popular in the West, it was essentially legal, and caused huge problems. And do we really want to legalize crystal meth? Because, once it’s legal, every kid will be making it in his basement and getting hurt. Now, if you say, “No, certain things would be illegal, etc”, then we are not really talking about drug legalization. We are just talking about drawing the line in a different place and saying, “Now, this is the line you can’t cross!” It is just going to encourage further and future “innovations” in drug law.

    At the same time, I think a lot of the problem with pot is a result of being “illegalized”. I’m not a fan (tried it four or five times in college and didn’t understand what was so great. A girlfriend told me my problem was that I was always naturally high and therefore could not benefit from drugs), but it seems that it was made illegal (and therefore popular!) due to hemp’s competition with the lumber industry.

    My own problem with the legalize hemp/pot people, is they are always represented by freaks! It’s like marriage in the priesthood. I’ll be happy one way or the other, but the people for married priests who speak in public are always complete heretics, and not just for a married priesthood. I always feel the same with the legalize pot crowd…eh, you’re just a bunch of potheads! Get my grandma on your side, then we’ll talk!

    Really, the whole legalize drugs movement (BA IV excepted, of course) seems rife with suspicious characters. When your greatest press release is Woody Harrelson flying around in helicopters throwing hemp seeds at people, it’s gonna be hard to get me or Joe the Plumber on your side!

  • blackadderiv says:

    I don’t think legalization is the way to go. I believe, when opium first became popular in the West, it was essentially legal, and caused huge problems.

    My understanding is that opium was around in the West for a long time without any major problems developing (the Lady Bertram character in Mansfield Park, for example, is apparently supposed to be an opium addict. She is portrayed as being a somewhat comic figure (similar to depictions of “stoner” characters now) but the novel is noticeably free of drive-bys. In fact, during the 19th century most opium addicts were women who had been prescribed the stuff by doctors for relief of “female problems.” It was only when you started having lots of immigration from China in the late 1800s that people became alarmed and opium was prohibited.

    And do we really want to legalize crystal meth? Because, once it’s legal, every kid will be making it in his basement and getting hurt.

    Why you think this would happen is unclear. Alcohol is legal, yet we don’t see too many people building stills in their basements. Incidentally, a number of the most dangerous drugs out there today plausibly wouldn’t exist were it not for drug prohibition (crack falls into this category, and I think crystal meth does as well, though I’m not sure). Because it’s illegal, dealers have an incentive to create drugs that are incredibly potent, so that it’s easier to create and move (similarly, if alcohol was illegal you would expect more consumption of hard liquor vs. beer and wine than you see now). I predict that if drugs are not legalized, in the next 30 years we will see the creation or new found popularity of at least one new “super-drug” that is incredibly dangerous.

    My own problem with the legalize hemp/pot people, is they are always represented by freaks!

    Yeah, this is a problem with a lot of drug legalization people generally. I myself have never smoked marijuana, let alone done any harder drugs.

  • blackadderiv says:

    The irony is that part of my job used to be helping to put drug dealers in prison (well, there are many ironies, but that’s one of them). Not that I feel bad about doing that; these weren’t nice guys we were locking up. I just think legalizing drugs would be the best (and probably the only) way to put them out of business.

  • rob says:

    -Why you think this would happen is unclear.-

    The stuff is so cheap to make, no one would pay for an “industiral version” (like they might for some sweet, well-cut coke, right?). I don’t think these new drugs would fall into the category of “if it were legalized, it would be manufactured safely”. I do see your point, and would have agreed with you some time ago, but I don’t think the plan works with meth on the street now, and I bet it wouldn’t stop crack, either. I think we would just create a lot of “pharmaceutical industries” (I can just see the advertising -Ask your doctor about Horse – side effects may include euphoria, seeing bugs and diarrhea) and a lot of cheaper “street” versions would still exist, still be illegal, etc.)

  • MissJean says:

    “Ending prohibition probably did lead to more drunk driving deaths and the like. Still, all things considered most people the disadvantages that come from legal alcohol to be less than the disadvantages that stem from prohibition. As St. Thomas said, sometimes the attempt to eliminate a particular vice only causes men to break out into even greater evils, when this is the case, one should let that evil be, rather than causing greater destruction by trying to stamp it out.”

    If you see the problem as a pragmatic one, then legalizing drugs isn’t the way to go. Drunk driving deaths were cut down by lowering the level of alcohol needed to qualify as drunk (or, if you prefer, “impaired”) while driving. Enforcement was eased by fact that a breathalyzer could be used to test the driver’s alcohol level.

    Similarly, any tolerance employers had for workers who drank during their lunches vanished. It wasn’t just because of union protection, but also because of inevitable lawsuits when some drunk screwed up on the line and hurt himself.

    There is no breathalyzer for drugs. And the legal system being what it is, it seems highly unlikely that on-the-spot blood or urine tests would be permissable. Even if they were, there would be a problem. For example, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol ) is stored in fat cells and can stay in the body for days or weeks, so pot-smoking drivers would test positive even though they weren’t high.

    Most likely, we’d be left with the other options: determining if drugs were involved after an accident, either in hospital or in the toxology report by the coroner.

  • Blackadder says:

    The stuff is so cheap to make, no one would pay for an “industiral version”

    Few products are worth manufacturing for oneself. I see no reason to expect meth to be different, particularly given the safety concerns that making it yourself involves.

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