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Wulff condemns Mexican drug violence

The Local · 3 May 2011, 08:28

Published: 03 May 2011 08:28 GMT+02:00

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“There are reports about gruesome crimes by drug gangs that are disturbing,” Wulff said on Monday at a state banquet held by his counterpart Felipe Calderon in Mexico City.

The fight against organised drug crime, which is claiming thousands of lives each year, must be met “with all resoluteness” and with international leadership, he said.

Given the drug market was global, Germany would work with Mexico to strengthen co-operation in international security to fight the narcotics trade.

Alejandro Poire, Calderon’s top security adviser, said he was optimistic. Thanks to comprehensive reforms of the justice system and the police forces, Mexico now has the chance to break up the decades-old structure of organised crime, he said.

Speaking at the National Autonomous University of Mexico to about 500 students, Wulff called on young Mexicans to come and study in Germany.

“Our universities are open to you,” he said. “Every euro invested there pays dividends many times over.”

Story continues below…

Wulff also visited Mexico’s pyramids of Teotihuacan at the weekend. He flies to Costa Rica on Wednesday to continue a tour of Latin America.

DAPD/The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:12 May 3, 2011 by catjones
Ah, the grasp of the obvious. Spectator politics.
11:15 May 3, 2011 by FredFinger
Now that Osama is gone may be can concentrate on a problem thats turning north america into a 3rd world country.
12:31 May 3, 2011 by minga
North America is a country?
12:31 May 3, 2011 by rajkshan
I guess he has got better work to do in Europe. Or is it that he is not considered by anyone - worth to do things in Germany and Europe?
12:34 May 3, 2011 by minga
He is the President - which is more of a ceremonial post. He is doing his job - visiting places and making statements.
13:05 May 3, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
hm I thought Mexico was part of Central America, not North America.

But then again, there are also people who think Central America means Kansas...
13:19 May 3, 2011 by Joseph Thomas
Surprisingly though, Mexico IS geographically part of North America. The three countries on the North American continent are Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. Even though it's south of the U.S., it's still in North America. Easy mistake to make.
13:32 May 3, 2011 by lwexcel
North America is a country?

- Hahahahaha hilarious!
13:57 May 3, 2011 by FredFinger
You fools. Canada and the US might as well be the same country and Mexico is practically a client state of the US. Now how about making a substantive comment instead of a stupid one.
14:12 May 3, 2011 by Universalismus

Be nice :P

Hey Wulff, return the Mayan Codices to Mexico City while youre at it. THEY BELONG THERE and not in DRESDEN
15:06 May 3, 2011 by jbaker
Legalize the Drugs and the Money and Power it Creates goes away. The Drug Addicts are going to get their stuff No Matter What.
15:36 May 3, 2011 by lwexcel

I have been asked to be nice so I will (nicely) recommend that you do a little research on North America and you will see that it is made up of more than just Canada, the US, and Mexico.
15:58 May 3, 2011 by tallady
The fight against organised drug crime, which is claiming thousands of lives each year, must be met ¦quot;with all resoluteness¦quot; and with international leadership, he said.

and where is this "international leadership" going to come fro?, Surely he is not advocating it come from Germany.
16:45 May 3, 2011 by FredFinger
Another superfluous comment lwexcel. And central america would be what then? If you have nothing to add please don't waste our time.
16:51 May 3, 2011 by minga

You should consider the sentiments and outlook of people deprived of schooling when you post.
17:06 May 3, 2011 by FredFinger
Or better, when you post you should have something to say.
18:56 May 3, 2011 by jway
One thing's for certain - while the cartels can make more than $10 billion a year selling marijuana in the U.S. they'll NEVER stop producing, smuggling and selling it and they'll never stop killing and corrupting whoever it takes to get their weed to their customers and the profits back to the bosses.

The federal marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers $40 billion a year, generates 800,000 unnecessary arrests each year, diverts $10 billion a year to the Mexican drug cartels, is directly responsible for the death of more than 35,000 people in Mexico in just the last four years, and lures drug dealers into our neighborhoods selling their stinking weed to our children. And worst of all, it doesn't even stop kids from smoking marijuana!

We need legal adult marijuana sales in supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies for exactly the same reason that we need legal alcohol and tobacco sales - to keep unscrupulous black-market criminals out of our neighborhoods and away from our children. Marijuana should be legal to sell to adults everywhere that alcohol and tobacco are sold.

If purchasing alcohol from supermarkets and consuming it at home doesn't create victims then purchasing marijuana from supermarkets and consuming it at home doesn't either!
20:04 May 3, 2011 by vonkoenigsberg
If Mexico would train special forces to wage war on these cartels, then it would make a serious dent in the cartel' influence. However, Mexico is a third world country unequipped for such training and deployment. Where are the Prussians when you need them? By the way, Christian Wolff is a great President - he tours and makes speeches on behalf of Germany, and advetrtises his country as a progressive and powerful nation. As he should.
20:26 May 3, 2011 by jway
vonkoenigsberg, Mexico already trains special forces to fight the cartels (that's where the Zetas came from). The problem is that the cartels make more than $10 billion a year selling marijuana in the U.S. - with this money they can buy all the weapons and men they need, and corrupt all the police, government officials and military they have to in order to protect their financial interests and keep this money flowing.

After more than forty years of prohibition, we've proved beyond any rational doubt that we can NOT stop people using marijuana in the U.S. Instead of protecting us from marijuana as designed, the prohibition creates an environment of zero legal supply amidst massive and unrelenting demand that makes our children LESS safe.

Next year is election year and we need to demand that the people we vote for will END the federal marijuana prohibition!
20:45 May 3, 2011 by lwexcel
I apologize in advance to the rest of the people commenting on this forum (this will be my last post on this article because I simply don't like fighting windmills).


North America = a continent (that actually encompasses 23 sovereign countries), therefore it in itself cannot become a 3rd world country.

Central America = a geographic region that is located in North America (which as I mentioned before is a continent).

(This may just be my opinion but knowing the difference between a continent, a geographic region, and a country is a pretty useful bit of information. So lets end the internet argument and be thankful that you have learned something new today :P).
21:50 May 3, 2011 by ovalle3.14
Christian who?
22:56 May 3, 2011 by FredFinger
Your apology is accepted Iwexcel. What an incredible pedant you are. I used "third world country" as an expression rather than a term defining an exact geographical designation. Perhaps you're not a native english speaker.

Maybe you've learned something from this little episode. No one likes a wise guy.
23:24 May 3, 2011 by derExDeutsche
I live in Central America. No commenter here has any idea whats going on in Central America. There is a war going on. Cops vs. Dealers, Dealer vs Dealer, Dealer vs. Users, Users vs. Innocent Victims. Violence. The only way its going to stop is if the world stops using Cocaine. which is never.

'you and me we thought we were so free, but it was a chemical reaction. we thought we were experienced, but we were mostly crashing. '
23:51 May 3, 2011 by jway
You're right derExDeutsche, we don't have to (and couldn't anyway) stop people using marijuana, instead all we have to do is stop people using CARTEL marijuana - and that's easy!

We just have to treat marijuana like alcohol and allow stores to sell it to adults at prices too low for the cartels to match. Immediately, adults will stop buying illegal cartel weed and will switch to the lower-priced, LEGAL, high-quality marijuana available at the stores. This simple policy change will eliminate two-thirds of the cartel's incomes and end their ability and incentive to continue killing people. Everybody should be supporting this!!
00:05 May 4, 2011 by derExDeutsche
@ jway

Cocaine and the dealing there of, is ALOT more dangerous. something about being on a stimulant that lets the violence roll. But yea, its time to legalize the marijuana;)
00:31 May 4, 2011 by jway
I agree derExDeutsche, and that's why I believe that while cannabis should be sold everywhere tobacco and alcohol are sold, other drugs like cocaine, meth and heroin should only be sold in methadone-like clinics where customers can receive counseling and support to ensure that they're consuming in the safest way possible.
03:26 May 4, 2011 by Zlik
"Every euro invested there pays dividends many times over"

Lemme try to determine years of learning and living here and how accounting failed.
03:27 May 4, 2011 by derExDeutsche
I hold the Govt's of Venezuela and Bolivia directly responsible.
11:32 May 4, 2011 by FredFinger
I'm not sure legitimizing the sale of marijuana is the way to go. The last thing society needs is another recreational drug thats freely obtainable, unless of course you're a member of the elite that has a stake in the sedation of the masses.

What they need down in Mexico and central america is a bit more tough (read brutal) love. Folks who will kill for money need to be taught that it doesn't go no matter what is being trafficked.
17:37 May 4, 2011 by jway
We've tried that Fred and look where it's got us!

While this "tough love" policy is very successful at preventing stores from selling marijuana, it's also very *unsuccessful* at eliminating demand for marijuana and at preventing consumers from illegally accessing the stuff. The result is an environment of zero legal supply amidst massive and unrelenting demand that drives prices up sky high and makes illegal suppliers incredibly rich, powerful and ruthless.

If you want to save thousands of lives and drive drug dealers out of your community then the VERY thing society needs is for marijuana to be legally available to adults - just as alcohol and tobacco are today.

Notice the complete lack of violence in the production and distribution of tobacco and alcohol? Notice how the cartels DON'T control the production and sale of these two drugs? ..and notice how we're able to card buyers and largely prevent purchases by minors? We couldn't do *any* of that if we kept alcohol and tobacco illegal like marijuana!

I don't really know what you mean by "member of the elite that has a stake in the sedation of the masses" but I do know that the real harms being caused by keeping marijuana illegal far outweigh any imaginary risks that could occur if it were legalized.
20:01 May 4, 2011 by FredFinger
Imaginary risks! Have you ever tried to drive a car, or god forbid, fly a plane while smoking a joint? You're a danger to yourself and everyone on the road. We don't need more recreational drugs around, we need less. Legalization makes drugs more available and more likely to be abused no matter what controls are legislated.
23:01 May 4, 2011 by jway
But you speak like people aren't smoking marijuana right now, and if that were true the cartels wouldn't be making $billions off it and wouldn't be murdering thousands of people a year to protect this cash flow.

More than 35,000 people were murdered by the cartels over the last four years in order to protect their illicit incomes, the greatest of which comes from illegally selling marijuana in the U.S. How do the risks you speak of compare to carnage like this which is occurring today *solely* because we keep marijuana illegal?

Your assumption that people will suddenly start driving cars, flying planes and performing surgery (you forgot that one) with a joint hanging out of their mouths just because they could now buy their bud from a store instead of a dealer is illogical. While impaired driving, flying and surgery should ALWAYS be illegal, there is no reason to think that people are going to start engaging in these activities just because they could now buy their marijuana from Piggly Wiggly instead of "some guy" slanging it out the back of his car.

Your other assumption that "legalization makes drugs more available" is also divorced from reality. Kids today know where to buy the weed - it's just a cell phone call to a friend of a friend and no questions are asked about age as long as you've got the money. Compare that to what they have to do to obtain alcohol. Kids need an adult's help to get alcohol - either they use their id directly or they just get the adult to buy it for them. Either way, this makes alcohol much LESS accessible to kids than what marijuana is, and much less accessible than what alcohol would have been if we hadn't ended its failed and deadly prohibition.

We need legal adult marijuana sales to drive drug dealers out of our neighborhoods and away from our children, and to end the heinous slaughter occurring in Mexico because of this well-intentioned but thoroughly misguided policy.
12:26 May 5, 2011 by FredFinger
What we don't need is more marijuana users than we have now and that would certainly result from making the drug more widely and legally available. The way to put a dent in the drug trade is serious enforcement, which has yet to be tried. Lets spend some money on very rigorous border control before we add a another dangerous item to the list of recreational drugs we already condone.

This issue seems emotionally important for you jway. Are you just an occasional user or unfortunately an addict?
00:58 May 6, 2011 by jway
Fred, you're assuming that legalizing adult marijuana sales will increase use, but that's all it is - an assumption. *Every* country that's legalized or decriminalized marijuana has seen use go *down*, not up - especially among minors.

But since you're so vocal in your support for the prohibition you already knew that didn't you? So tell me this, if we haven't had "serious enforcement" over the last forty years since the prohibition began then what have we had? Why are taxpayers paying for a prohibition that costs them $40 billion a year if it's not being "seriously enforced"? And just how much "serious enforcement" do we need to eliminate marijuana in this country?

NIDA reports that more than 6,000 people a *day* start using marijuana for the first time in this country and this isn't expected to change anytime soon, so unless you're willing to exterminate every man, woman and child in America there'll *always* be people here smoking marijuana and there'll *always* be criminals willing to supply them. Would you be happy with that level of "serious enforcement", Fred?

It's interesting that you like to use the term "dangerous item" when referring to cannabis, especially since cannabis has repeatedly been proven to NOT cause cancer, heart disease, brain damage, liver disease, emphysema, or any other significant health issue, and that its addiction potential is about on par with coffee. And since you know so much about the health consequences of cannabis maybe you can tell us why DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young declared cannabis to be "one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man"? Maybe you just made it up when you called marijuana a "dangerous item"?

This issue *is* important to me Fred because 1) keeping marijuana illegal makes us *less* safe because it invites criminals into our neighborhoods trying to sell marijuana, 2) the prohibition makes our children *less* safe because drug dealers sell to anybody with money, regardless of age, 3) the $Billions our people spend on illegal weed each year make the Mexican drug cartels extremely rich and powerful which gives them the incentive and the ability to brutally murder thousands of people every year, including hundreds of *innocent* children, 4) keeping marijuana illegal encourages the cartels to grow on our public land which undermines public safety and devastates the land, 5) arresting more than 800,000 people a year for possessing marijuana drives a wedge between law enforcement and the rest of society while doing NOTHING to improve public safety. Is that enough reasons for this to be important to me Fred or should I go on?

And to answer your last question, Fred, I don't use marijuana and I wouldn't start even if I could legally buy it from the supermarket across the road. Thanks for jumping to conclusions and not questioning your assumptions though, you seem to be good at that.
02:06 May 6, 2011 by FredFinger
Good for you jway and I don't either. Because marijuana is a dangerous item, especially if you are behind the wheel. Not to mention trying to navigate a stairwell for instance.

Marijuana contains an addictive substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that has been shown to affect areas of the brain that control reaction time, body movement, balance, coordination, memory, judgment and sensation. These are all necessary attributes for safe driving and lot of other potentially fatal activities. Tests have shown that drivers¦#39; attentiveness, perception of time and speed, and the ability to draw information of past experiences have all been diminished by a marijuana usage. Using marijuana while operating a car makes driving unsafe for you and the other motorists around you.

So thats just what we need is it, more impaired people stoned on the highway when we have a huge problem with drunk driving already. Because stoned they will be in increasing numbers if folks can get thai stick with their morning coffee at the local convenience. Then heaven help my family when they hallucinate the up ramp for the down ramp at the local supermarket parking garage.

Giving folks a legal excuse to use another befuddling drug is not doing them or society any favors. I agree with you the huge amount of money we spend on drug enforcement has squandered. Until we find the political will to demand effective use of that money we are going to suffer the outrages you mention. But in my opinion the answer to ineffective drug law enforcement is not to throw up our hands and legalize debilitating substances. The answer is to demand effective enforcement. Until we do demand that we will continue to get what we deserve - the increasing criminalization and corruption of society and the tragedy that goes with that.
12:16 May 6, 2011 by jway
The fact that I don't use marijuana is neither "good" nor "bad" because marijuana is not dangerous. We know that tobacco causes lung cancer and alcohol causes liver disease, but what harm does marijuana cause? After more than ten thousand years of human use we should have a clear answer to this question by now, if it caused any significant harm at all.

It's funny that the greatest "harms" that you could mention are nothing more than the effects of being high. These are *not* harms, Fred, and these are not a reason to arrest 800,000 people every year.

The *real*, tangible harms being caused by these arrests, and the real, gut-wrenching tragedy that's created by perpetuating a state of zero legal supply amidst massive and unrelenting demand is **far** greater than the theoretical risks that you mentioned.

The cartels have brutally murdered more than 38,000 people since Calderón came into power, and as we all know, they're not doing this for ideological or nationalistic reasons, they're doing it simply to protect their financial interests - the greatest of which (their "bread and butter" according to the ONDCP) is selling marijuana in the U.S.

If you can eliminate marijuana use in the U.S., Fred, then do it. But if you can't, then your support for the prohibition is as much responsible for this slaughter as the cartels themselves. You've had forty years to get rid of marijuana, Fred, how much more time do you need?
15:04 May 6, 2011 by FredFinger
Marijuana itself may or may not be "good" or "bad" but the side effects can kill you and make society a much more reckless place. We can't effectively control marijuana use, jway, partly because people like you continue to insist that marijuana use is innocuous and push for its legalization. In the face of misguided and irresponsible pressure like this its a wonder that the cigarette lobbies haven't been successful in lobbying congress for decriminalization. Here's wishing them a long and costly and ultimately infertile campaign.
19:48 May 6, 2011 by jway
Are you saying Fred that the reason why the most powerful country in the world has failed to eliminate (or even reduce) marijuana use after more than forty years of complete prohibition and a cost to taxpayers of hundreds of billions of dollars is because no-name people like me voice our opinion that it's a bad idea? hahaha... that's actually quite funny.

Theoretically, *anything* could kill you but in reality exactly how many people over the last ten thousand years of human marijuana use have died from the "side effects" of marijuana? Is it more or less than the 15,273 people who were slaughtered by the cartels during 2010 in order to protect their financial interests - the bulk of which comes from selling marijuana in the U.S. - an activity ONLY possible because people like you prevent legal stores from competing with them?

And while you're talking about tobacco, don't you think that it's odd that between 1965 and 2006 we as a nation managed to *reduce* tobacco use from 42% to 20.8% without arresting a single person, breaking up a single family or stripping federal aid from a single student?

I don't know how cognitively astute you are but it seems that our policy with one of those recreational drugs appears to be working while our policy with the other does not.
21:55 May 6, 2011 by FredFinger
Don't be obtuse jway, unlike tobacco marijuana is both addictive and hallucinogenic. And, as we all suspected and is now confirmed by a new Yale study, smoking weed leads to many of the same respiratory complaints as smoking tobacco. So legalizing marijuana would counterproductive to public health and unleash yet another legal mind altering drug on the legal american drug market.

Its clear that you would like to take marijuana out of criminal distribution for good reasons. But what is also clear is that the legalization of that drug is too dangerous to contemplate. Therefore the only solution is a serious and effective federal anti drug program which in my opinion has never be attempted.

Case closed.

Thats for the debate jway. Lets hope for all our sakes that the US finds the will to confront the problem of lax drug enforcement effectively. Its our only realistic hope to the problems you care about.
23:41 May 6, 2011 by jway
"Addictive and hallucinogenic"? Sounds scary Fred until you consider that marijuana is about addictive as *coffee* and is probably the *mildest* hallucinogen known to man. Doesn't sound like something many people would need protecting from does it? (if you could call swat raids, ripped out walls and shot family dogs, "protecting").

And since millions of Americans are already using marijuana on a daily basis, and since legalizing adult sales will certainly reduce use by minors and have little impact on adult use, then how could legalizing adult marijuana sales be "too dangerous to contemplate"? Is it just that you've taken an ideological position against this ever happening and you've vowed to hold that position regardless of the harm it causes and the overwhelming evidence that your beloved prohibition does NOT work? Why don't you take a trip to Juárez sometime and see what you're really achieving?

And please share with me the details of this "serious and effective" program of yours that's going to eliminate marijuana use in the United States. Does it involve the death of three hundred million people by any chance? Actually, MY tax dollars have funded this prohibition for the last forty years and if a serious and effective program hasn't been attempted in all that time then I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!

And the case is definitely not "closed" as the drug dealers are still in our neighborhoods and still around our kids and the cartels are still torturing, murdering and mutilating in order to get their weed to the American market and the money back to their pockets. Have a good weekend Fred and watch out for those DEA boys - sometimes they make mistakes.
11:30 May 7, 2011 by FredFinger
It is scary jway if you've been in a bus accident where the driver was smoking pot or when a high school friend jumps out his window and falls to his death after a session with his hookah. Nope, sorry case definitely closed.

You can try to laugh and minimize the damage but wiser heads than you still continue to decide that dope should not be legally accessible.

As to the DEA I suspect they are far more liable to visit you than me. Good luck with that.
13:58 May 7, 2011 by jway
And does your failed and deadly prohibition *prevent* bus drivers and school friends from obtaining marijuana today? On top of the cartels making more than $10 billion a year selling marijuana in the U.S., our own domestic production is estimated to be $35.8 billion which makes marijuana the largest cash crop in the United States (Corn's second at $23.3 billion and Soybeans third at $17.3 billion).

Marijuana's already here in massive quantities and is easily available to whomever wants to use it. Arresting 800,000 people a year and causing the brutal murder of more than 38,000 people over the last five years *isn't* preventing bus drivers and school friends from obtaining marijuana. In fact, it isn't benefiting us in any discernible way at all!!

Taxpayers are being forced to fund this $40 billion a year prohibition and receive NOTHING of befit back in return! It doesn't stop adults getting marijuana, it doesn't stop kids getting marijuana, it doesn't make us safer or improve our lives in any way whatsoever because it doesn't work.

If you think about it, candy makes us feel good and has the potential to cause some harm but if we criminalized candy and prevented legal stores from selling it like we've done with marijuana, then millions of people would consider the law stupid and would simply buy their candy from whoever was prepared to sell it which would divert $Billions a year to the criminals willing to supply it and drive a wedge between law enforcement, who would be forced to enforce the prohibition, and the public who would be forced to fund it and who would receive ZERO benefit back from it. Which is EXACTLY what we have with the marijuana prohibition today because prohibiting widely popular products does not work - we found that out with marijuana and with alcohol and if we'd be ever so stupid to try, we'd find that out with tobacco.
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