Healing the Mexican and US Drug War
Kristi McCracken, October 16, 2010
This month, let us shift our healing focus to Mexico. This country not only has areas of flooding from recent hurricanes, but is also collapsing under the weight of violence from drug wars. Securing the 2000-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico has fallen to governors of four southwestern states and the officers they command. Their request for assistance was finally answered when the Obama administration deployed 1,200 National Guard troops to California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.
Playing an active role along the border is new for the Guard, although they have carried out counterinsurgency drug work for years, trying to put drug traffickers out of business. One of the Guard's primary activities is "reclamation," or uprooting marijuana plants and dismantling irrigation systems. Camouflaged soldiers and drug agents often lay in wait for the return of the heavily armed men who guard marijuana fields on public lands.
Drug gangs and Mexican cartel growers produce approximately 90% of the marijuana crops in California. Cultivation of marijuana is a multi-billion dollar business operating in over 200 U.S. cities. Although Mexico has produced illegal drugs for generations, today's cartels are more powerful and better-financed than those existing a few years ago.
The toll for law enforcement is high. Police commanders and political figures have been assassinated. Reporters and journalists have been kidnapped and tortured. Innocent bystanders continue to be shot as gun fights break out in what used to be sleepy border towns.
This upsurge in drug-related violence began at the end of 2006 when President Calderón sent thousands of soldiers and federal police to eradicate the cartels. Both the American demand for drugs and the supply of illegally smuggled guns from the US into Mexico continue to exacerbate the issue.
As the Mexican federal police and military initiated a crack-down, fights over gang turf have escalated. More than 28,000 people have been killed in the four years since Calderón began putting pressure on the drug organizations. Over 2,000 local, state and federal police officers are included in that death toll. Recently, Calderón intensified government focus on decreasing the number of killings and disrupting known trade routes, but conditions continue to deteriorate.
In spite of these efforts, the availability of methamphetamine has increased, due to large-scale drug production. Smugglers continue to fire on Mexican and US law enforcement agents. Gunfire between the Mexican side and U.S. Border Patrol agents is escalating. Off the coast of Nicaragua last month, a U.S. Coast Guard ship was fired upon by suspected drug traffickers.
Keeping hope in the face of this despair will require diligence. Opening our hearts in compassion and generating a potent field of transformative potential can help. May we be the ones who arise each morning and include Mexico's president and the officers on both sides of the border in our prayers, meditations and directed intentions. Please pray for peace, and most importantly, visualize peace descending upon those so compromised by this ongoing violence.
This month's focus for earth healing will reach its apex on Sun. Oct 24th from 12:00 noon - 1:00 PM. Once again we will circle the planet, hour by hour, in a blanket of compassion. Then, for the remaining days of October, please continue to actively visualize peace descending upon Mexico, the U.S. border states, and people on both sides of the violence. May our loving intent heal the greed, corruption and victimization that continue to exact a tremendous human toll and foster instability along the U.S./Mexican border.
Click here to listen to a beautiful guided meditation focused on generating compassion for Mexico. (Available in English, Spanish and French.)
— Kristi McCracken is a journalist from the Central Valley in California.