Written in Ink

Front Lines of the War on Drugs

The New Yorker has an incredible article on the chase for the drug cartel leader, Joaquín Guzmán Loera. It is an amazing chase story that involves secret passages under bath tubs, disguises, and mistaken identities.

Joaquín Guzman Loera is the person thought to be chiefly responsible for creating the huge trafficking tunnels running underneath the border. The idea came to him from the passages and tunnels he would have built in his safe houses to allow for his escapes. Years ago he had been in prison and ran his entire empire from there until one day he basically just walked out. And he had been "on the run" ever since (although it doesn't seem like the Mexican authorities were much interested in catching him until recently). Because of his prior history in prison the US wants him extradited.

He is a fascinating person. Basically illiterate and didn't attend school past the third grade. But he ran a huge empire and was more powerful than anyone in the Mexican government for a time. I have zero sympathy for this man who is responsible for probably thousands of deaths. But that is something you see here in the States and everywhere. These brilliant and innovative people who are running businesses to rival large corporations but who never had a shot at using that intelligence for a "legitimate" cause. And all of this money just is mindlessly funneled into the war on drugs but if a tepid half-hearted education reform measure fails we shrug our shoulders and say there is nothing to be done. While all of this human potential is just wasted.


I think the most interesting part of this is how pointless it all is in the end. It is a fascinating story. And a great chase. There will probably be a movie someday. But, as it says, when the CEO of GM steps down a new one takes his place. It is a multi-billion dollar business. It doesn't matter how many figures they take out. A new one will always be there.

It is almost like the War on Drugs is doomed to be a catastrophic failure.

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