Money and guns
US complicity in Mexico
When we attempt to attribute responsibility for the world’s most severe problems, especially in the developing world, it’s difficult to see exactly how the causal links operate. Even though the US is the most powerful nation, its direct responsibility for these crises is almost always attenuated and complex. One can spin ridiculous, semi-conspiratorial arguments where the US stars as the final puppet master to anything corrupt and unjust in the developing world, but these are not to be taken seriously in my mind. There exists, however, at least one glaring exception: The civil violence between Mexican drug lords and the Mexican government.
Outside of military intervention, rarely ever is there such a clear case of one nation’s culpability in the domestic challenges of another. The drug lords exist to feed the US drug market. And they get their guns through the US weapons market. We give the bad guys their money by buying their drugs; and we sell them the guns that enable their continued existence. The causal line does not involve a Rube Goldberg story beginning with the practice of colonialism. Its clear, direct, and recent. If democratic nations can be considered as coherent entities able to bear moral responsibility, as I think they ought to be, this is a pretty easy case.
In short, the US bears some direct moral responsibility for a civil conflict that creeps very close to the status of existential crisis for Mexico. If we take our moral status seriously, its imperative we think hard and fast about how to stem the flow of our money and guns to some of the most vicious people in the world.