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NCJ Number: 67011 Find in a Library
Title: HUMAN RIGHTS AND MEXICO'S ANTIDRUG CAMPAIGN
Journal: SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY  Volume:60  Issue:4  Dated:(MARCH 1980)  Pages:691-701
Author(s): R B CRAIG
Corporate Author: University of Texas Press
Marketing Manager
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: University of Texas Press
Austin, TX 78722
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CERTAIN CRITICISM OF MEXICO'S ANTIDRUG CAMPAIGN ARE EXAMINED, INCLUDING THE USE OF DANGEROUS HERBICIDES AND THE DENIAL OF HUMAN RIGHTS BY CIVILIAN AND MILITARY ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL.
Abstract: RESEARCH ON U.S.-MEXICO DIPLOMACY WAS SUPPLEMENTED BY PERSONAL INTERVIEWS WITH MEXICAN OFFICIALS INVOLVED IN ANTINARCOTIC PROGRAMS. CRITICISM AROSE IN THE 1970'S WHEN MEXICAN OFFICIALS RESPONDED TO INCREASED HEROIN PRODUCTION BY SPRAYING MARIJUANA WITH THE DEFOLIANT GRAMOXONE AND OPIUM POPPY FIELDS WITH 2,4-D. FARMERS AND AGRONOMISTS CLAIMED THAT THE CHEMICALS WERE RUINING THE COFFEE CROP, AND THE EFFECTS OF PARAQUAT, A GRAMOXONE VARIANT, WERE DEBATED HEAVILY IN THE UNITED STATES. A 1978 AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. FOREIGN ASSISTANCE ACT REQUIRED THE TERMINATION OF FUNDS TO ANY COUNTRY UTILIZING CHEMICALS HARMFUL TO HUMANS. THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE'S MID-1979 CONCLUSION THAT PROLONGED SMOKING OF PARAQUAT TAINTED MARIJUANA COULD BE DANGEROUS MET WITH MEXICO'S CONTINUED USE OF THE SAME DEFOLIANTS, THEIR DENIAL HARMFUL EFFECTS, AND A CHARGE OF INTERFERENCE WITH THEIR DRUG CONTROL PROGRAM. THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN CRITICIZED FOR FAILING TO PROTECT THOSE WHO ENFORCE THE DRUG LAWS AND TO EXPOSE DRUG-RELATED CORRUPTION. WHEN A REPORTER WHO REFUSED COOPERATE WITH DRUG DEALERS WAS ASSASSINATED, THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT PLACED THE CULIACAN AREA UNDER MARTIAL LAW, BUT DID NOT ARREST THE OFFICIALS HE IMPLICATED. MEXICAN OFFICIALS AT ALL LEVELS REFUTE OR REFUSE TO DISCUSS CHARGES THAT HUMAN RIGHTS AND DUE PROCESS ARE DENIED WHEN INDIVIDUALS ARE ACCUSED OF NAROCTICS VIOLATIONS, EMPHASIZING THE SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE PRISON SYSTEM. THE KEY MARIJUANA- AND OPIUM-PRODUCING STATES AND RURAL AREAS WITH LONG HISTORIES OF GOVERNMENT NEGLECT, POVERTY, ALCOHOLISM, AND ILLITERACY. OUTLAWS INVOLVED IN DRUG TRAFFIC HAVE VIOLENTLY DEFIED LAW AND AUTHORITY. THE GOVERNMENT HAS RESPONDED BY ESTABLISHING A MASSIVE MILITARY PRESENCE IN THESE AREAS AND THEN SPRAYING WITH DEFOLIANTS. OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN ACCUSED OF HARMING INNOCENT FARMERS WHILE MAJOR TRAFFICKERS ESCAPE AND OF USING THE ANTIDRUG CAMPAIGN AS A COVERUP FOR OPERATIONS AGAINST RURAL GUERILLAS. ARMY OFFICERS DENY SUCH CHARGES, BUT NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE TO IMPROVE THE RURAL ECONOMY. BECAUSE THE DRUG PROBLEM INVOLVES HUGE SUMS OF MONEY AND ORIGINATES IN AREAS THAT HAVE BEEN TRADITIONAL CENTERS FOR ANTIGOVERNMENT ACTIVITY, MEXICO IS DEEPLY COMMITTED TO ITS ANTIDRUG CAMPAIGN. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Crime specific countermeasures; Critiques; Drug law enforcement; Drug sources; Marijuana; Mexico; Opioids
Note: AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS PAPER WAS PRESENTED AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN COUNCIL ON LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, EL PASO, TX, IN APRIL 1979
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67011

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