American War on Drug

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Updated: Jun 14, 2022
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When President Trump first hit the campaign trail, it was met with mixed reviews. In his announcement speech he frequently blamed Mexico for some of our nation’s problems. He said, ‘When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.’ True many of those immigrants are leaving their war torn countries in search for a better life, but most of them are not criminals.

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In today’s US history classes, we should talk about the American drug war, not only through our side but the side of where the drugs originated. We should also talk about its booming business and the unsung heroes; people like Dr. Jose Mireles, who fought off drug cartels.

The illegal drug trade is big business. According to a 2015 Homeland Security report, “Mexican drug cartels earn between $19 and $29 billion annually from drug sales in the US.” This is an enormous number that could easily pay for free education and healthcare, they are not forcing us to take these drugs. So should we be blaming another country for our vices? Of course not, but our president believes so. Sad to say but the Mexican Cartels are simply just supplying a demand to our addictions.

One person who should be considered a hero for the war on drug is Dr. Jose Manuel Mireles. This tall, lanky gray-haired physician actually spent 10 years in the United States before returning to his home state of Michoacán. Tired of his home being over run by violence, kidnappings and drug cartels; in February of 2013 he organized a self-defense militia that was not part of the government, to battle the Knights Templar Cartel.  In the documentary “Cartel Land,” it shows how a charismatic Mireles recruited citizens from all over his state to help take back their land. His strong words united a state when he said, “What would you do, wait for them to come to you or defend yourself?”  The poor man’s revolution grew across the state with many more forming across Mexico. Fearing a coup, the Mexican government arrested him for possession of illegal firearms when he declined to join the state-run “Rural Force.” Newsweek’s Jan-Albert Hootsen talks about the vigilantes the government force:

Those who did join the police complained of low pay, lack of equipment and corruption. Many former gang members, they said, were allowed to join the police force and committed drug-related crimes while in uniform. After nearly 3 years in prison and a fine of 30,000 Mexican pesos or $1,647.30, Jose Mireles was finally released in 2017. His probation terms were that he was to never associate with anyone from the militia or never to leave the state of Michoacán.

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American war on drug. (2021, Oct 19). Retrieved from