The Price of America's Addicition
The term ‘drug war’ only barely describes what is going on in Mexico. America’s hunger for drugs is taking a brutal toll on the country. Homicides and drug addiction rates in Mexico surged to historic highs. What was the impact in Mexico of its soaring heroin exports to the United States? Why were murders spiking in places like Acapulco that weren’t drug-cartel strongholds? How was drug violence changing as traffickers increasingly targeted Mexicans as consumers? The evidence of the carnage is inescapable in many of Mexico’s cities and towns. Cesar Corona is 27 and has been addicted to heroin since his mother committed suicide when he was 18. He spends his days injecting “Belushis,” a combination of heroin and methamphetamine into his neck within site of the US/Mexico border. In Jalisco, a family grieves over the loss of a recently murdered relative. She had miraculously survived 2 gunshots to the head, only to be gunned down by sicarios, or assassins, a month later. Acapulco, once a celebrated seaside resort has descended into a homicidal hell, many of its neighborhood devoid of police, law and increasingly, residents. It is the second most dangerous city in the world. In Mexico’s “Tierra Caliente,” or Hot Land, local citizens have taken up arms in an effort to defend themselves from “El Tequilero,” a drunken psychopath who has been murdering and kidnapping residents of this opium growing region. As long as the thirst for drugs keeps growing in its northern neighbor, Mexico will remain gripped by the violence and corruption that have consumed much of the country.