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- Latin America Sending Its Trash to the US
One interesting detail you notice about life in Latin America over the years is that some of the countries down here basically treat the US like a black hole to send its worst trash to.
Now, when I say "send their trash," don't think I'm talking about immigrants like with Trump saying "they aren't sending their best."
I'm not talking about that.
Though, as a side point, if Mexicans want to bitch about "poor foreigners" coming over as not being very desirable being they are poor like I wrote about here or when they wish to deport poor immigrants of other countries as I wrote here, does that mean Trump had a point?
Anyway, I'll leave that alone since it's a dead horse now on my blog.
But, going back to the original topic, what do I mean by Latin America treating the US like "a black hole" to send its worst to?
What I'm referring to is when some country of Latin America -- like Mexico or Colombia -- has a drug cartel problem and they would rather send the cartel leaders to the US instead of imprisoning them locally.
The issue with imprisoning them locally is that the motherfucker escapes the prison eventually!
With all the corruption and inefficiencies in Latin America, it's much easier for a cartel leader to escape prison down here than compared to the US.
Deport the fucker to the US and you'll never hear about him again!
Of course, some Latin Americans and some gringos might argue that this is well-deserved given the drug consumption that the US has that gives money to the cartels.
Therefore, isn't it just that we take the baggage?
Well, I never liked the argument personally.
For one, you got plenty of Latin Americans who do soft drugs like pot and more people these days give less fucks if someone does pot or not.
For harder drugs like heroin, I see Latin America more in a negative light with some blame to share because addicts to shit like that find it hard to quit and that shit ruins lives.
You want to talk about "who is the victim of these drugs" but want to ignore the many towns and families that get fucked up from the shit sent from south of the border.
So I never saw eye to eye with that argument blaming US drug users when I see anyone addicted to drugs more as a victim who needs help getting on their feet and whose life has been ruined.
But, having said that, the US does play a role in other ways when it comes to the drug cartels when you look at the history of their agencies or with anything else that the government has done (or, for that matter, the stupid shit that local governments in Latin America do like I referenced in this article here).
Anyway, I don't mind personally that Latin America uses the US as basically a black hole to send its worst to.
After all, the simple act itself is an admission by some of these Latin American countries (like Mexico or Colombia) that they are too fucking inefficient and corrupt to handle the issue themselves.
But, above all, it doesn't really impact me if these drug cartel leaders get sent to prison in the US.
Sure, it costs the tax payer money but the amount of money spent per head on cartel leader is so low compared to the US federal budget that it doesn't mean much for your average Joe.
Personally, I think it'd be better for these countries in Latin America to just use the death penalty on them instead of wasting tax payer money from either their country or ours.
Though, in the case of imprisonment or the death penalty,we have already seen countless times that it doesn't stop the issue.
You cut off the head of the hydra and five more heads grow.
Kill the leadership of one cartel and then you got 5 more new cartels growing out of nowhere to replace it.
With more groups killing each other for control of territory that causes more poverty and death in said areas.
Still, this article isn't meant to look at how to resolve the drug wars (such a topic! Let's save it for another day given how complex that would be).
For now, let's look at some quick examples of folks in Latin America wanting to use the US as black hole to send these cartel leaders away to.
And, to be fair, these days it's not just Latin America wanting to send these folks away but the US pursuing them also as a policy.
We have already seen the case of El Chapo of Mexico being sent away to the US but anyone else?
A Campaign to Extradite Pablo Escobar
The classic example of what I am talking about involves the story of Pablo Escobar of Colombia.
To keep it short, you had Pablo Escobar who was at one point trying to be "more political" in a certain sense by giving lots of money to help the poor with private welfare programs and have a political campaign to join the Congress as "an alternate" with the goal of avoiding extradition to the US.
But his image soured in Colombia quickly enough.
And you basically had a Presidential Election in 1989 with one of the candidates being very much against the drug cartels.
That candidate was Luis Galán that you can read about here.
While being the leading candidate for the presidency at the time, Luis Galán called for an extradition treaty with the US so that they can send Pablo Escobar and anyone else to the US if necessary.
Soon enough, Luis Galán was assassinated on the orders of Pablo Escobar.
It was well known in that time that an extradition to the US would mean being put in jail forever and never being able to bribe your way out or kill any judges that are not on your side.
Afterwards, the issue with Pablo Escobar continued as efforts were being made -- with the help of the US -- to capture Pablo Escobar.
However, Pablo Escobar managed to make a deal with the Colombian President to be "put in jail" in Colombia as long as there would be no extradition to the US and as long as he could design his own jail (among other agreements).
In fact, after the deal was made, they even changed the Colombian Constitution to ban extradition.
His "jail" wasn't much of a jail at all as it involved parties, drugs, the ability to walk out whenever, men guarding the place that he controlled, etc.
At some point, the deal broke down and Pablo Escobar was on the run again but those chasing him had more of the goal to kill him instead of trying to negotiate a deal with him again or put him in prison again.
For those interested, here's an interesting documentary on all of that here.
Protesting the Deportation in Colombia
More recently, we have a recent development in Colombia involving another big criminal.
Over a week ago, videos and comments all over Twitter were being posted by Colombians about how some group called the Gulf Clan was prohibiting anyone from doing basic things outside like grocery shopping and whatever else.
Where you had this group torching vehicles, closing businesses and stopping any traffic from moving around the area.
And that this group had quite a bit of reach across a large bit of territory with armed men enforcing this measure across villages, towns and cities in the northern part of Colombia and important areas like Medellin also impacted.
From my understanding, it seems they were protesting the extradition to the US of their kingpin known as Dairo Antonio Úsuga (better known as Otoniel).
For those curious to learn more, here's an interesting article on it with some key quotes below:
“The state has no control here, so in any moment armed groups can make trouble and destabilise the entire region,” said one community leader in Montería, the capital of the province of Córdoba."
"A threatening flyer in the name of the Gaitanist Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC) – the name the cartel uses for itself – have been distributed in several towns, stating that the armed strike will last for four days, and that the cartel will not be held responsible for the “consequences that could be unfavourable”. Shops, schools and government buildings were graffitied with the AGC’s insignia."
"Otoniel’s capture was hailed by US and Colombian authorities as a major blow against narcotraffickers, but police say that two of his lieutenants, known as Gonzalito and Chiquito Malo, have taken command of the militia, which is believed to have as many as 2,000 fighters, and in addition to drug trafficking is also involved in people trafficking, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, and forced recruitment of children."
“This is a perfect demonstration of what the problem is with Colombia’s approach to groups like the Clan del Golfo, in the sense that decapitating them with these large-scale, high-profile arrests like that of Otoniel have done nothing to affect the structure of the organisation,” said Elizabeth Dickinson, a Colombia analyst with the International Crisis Group, a thinktank."
And, for those curious, here's a video of the situation as it was happening.
Final Thoughts: Any Other Examples?
For now, we'll leave it at that.
It was actually the last example that inspired me to write this article as it reminded me of this topic.
But there are plenty of other examples out there.
Be it cases like that of El Chapo of Mexico that kept escaping Mexican prison until he was eventually forced to the US.
Or cases where local Latin American politicians want to send their worst to the US and/or the US is helping to facilitate that because of the shared belief that it'll be better for taking certain folks off the streets.
Even though, as we have seen in the last example, it doesn't really resolve the problem whatsoever because many of the underlying problems that contribute to the problem of drug cartels continue to exist.
At any rate, I'll leave it at that for now.
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Thanks for reading.