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The Phony War on Drugs: NYT

The Phony War on Drugs: NYT
From The New York Times

It was a defining moment for the reluctant trinity of North American nations. Poor Mexico — described by the dictator Porfirio Díaz as “so far from God” — was drawing closer to the United States, Canada and the historic free trade deal that its Harvard-educated president was negotiating.

Then, on a Monday afternoon in late spring, 1993, a Mexican cardinal, dressed in clerical robes, a large crucifix hanging from a chain around his neck, was shot 14 times as he got out of his white Grand Marquis at the entrance to the Guadalajara airport. Mexican investigators concluded that the prelate, Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, had been caught in a shootout between drug lords, including one named Joaquín Guzmán.

Just two weeks earlier, I had moved to Mexico to work as a foreign correspondent for this newspaper; my principal assignment: covering the upcoming North American Free Trade Agreement and reporting on Mexico’s acceptance into the club of developed nations. The brazen attack lasted only minutes, but it abruptly ended the glowing bonhomie that Mexico had enjoyed until then. Besides introducing “El Chapo” Guzmán to the world, the killing made all of us aware of the terrifying power of the cartels.

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