Huffpost Latino Voices

War On Drugs: 27 Reasons Why U.S. Doesn't Have The 'Moral Authority' To Lead It In Latin America

Posted: Updated:
Close
27 Reasons Why U.S. Shouldn't Lead War On Drugs
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Mexican President Felipe Calderón drew international headlines this week when he said the United States didn’t have the “moral authority” to lead a drug war, after the states of Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for recreational use.

And Calderón wasn't the only one to question the decision within the context of the ongoing battle against drug trafficking. After the bills passed, Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos took to twitter to ask his followers in Latin America whether the drug war was pointless in light of the legalization.

"Question for Latin America, why do we kill ourselves in the fight against the narcos if in the USA they legalize drug use? (Mariguana [sic] is legalized in Col and Wash)," Ramos tweeted.

To which follower @reditum responded, "the 'Gringo' double standard."

So the question remains: Does it make sense for the United States to demand Mexico to use its military to stop the flow of drugs across the border, only to allow Americans to freely consume those same drugs? (See slideshow above)

Latin Americans politicians, activists and ordinary citizens have complained for years that the United States hasn’t exhibited the kind of moral leadership that would give it the authority to push a war against drug use across the hemisphere -- especially given that just 7 percent of the country’s own citizens think the U.S. is winning the war on drugs.

Even before Nixon launched the war on drugs in 1971, Latin Americans often questioned the moral underpinnings of U.S. policy toward the region. The United States helped overthrow democratically elected governments and backed bloody dictatorships from Guatemala to Argentina throughout the Cold War, in the interest of stopping the spread of communism.

But the pattern of interfering in Latin American politics extends further back than the Cold War. Seeking to expand its naval power, the United States invaded Cuba and Puerto Rico in 1898 -- undermining Cuban independence for decades.

So from the colonization of Puerto Rico to the refusal to regulate automatic weapons, above are 27 reasons why the United States lacks the moral authority to lead a war on drugs in Latin America. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Earlier on HuffPost:

Close
The Drug Legalization Debate: Arguments And Proposals
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Timeline: America's War on Drugs - NPR

Reports | Global Commission on Drug Policy

Thirty Years Of America's Drug War | Drug Wars | FRONTLINE | PBS

History of the War on Drugs - War on Drugs History and Timeline

War on Drugs - Salon.com

End the War on Drugs

Today's war on drugs: Prohibition then and now

Latin America looks to Europe for drug fighting models

Will Obama's second term see an end to the failed 'war on drugs'?