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News Link • Drug War

Mexico's 43 missing students are victims of America's war on drugs

•, by Amanda Taub

Torture, forced disappearances, violence used to silence and punish dissent — these are crimes most commonly associated with civil wars, brutal dictatorships, or terrorist insurgencies. But drug cartels and criminal gangs are using those same tactics throughout much of Central America today, as a direct result of American policies in the war on drugs.

You may have heard, most recently, about the excavations of mass graves in Mexico, in search of 43 college students who ware missing, presumed murdered, for political reasons.  Or about the child migrant crisis originating in Central America. On the surface, the two are not obviously connected. But both are directly linked to criminal drug violence. And that drug violence exists in no small part because the US war on drugs helped push it there.

Cartel violence is fueled by a number of factors — insecurity in the affected areas, government corruption, and of course the depravity of the cartels themselves — but also by the United States' war on drugs.

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