Around the world, education has proven to be a crucial factor in fighting poverty. However, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico it's the same violence and poverty that could keep children from school.
The United States is now the #1 destination in the world for trafficked children. The reasons are clear: money and a high demand for underage children to be used for prostitution on "the streets" and online pornography.
At gun shows in 43 states, felons, gangsters, wife-beaters, and the dangerously mentally ill can buy assault weapons, semi-automatic pistols and other firearms with no questions asked.
How a pistol originally designed as a military-only handgun came to be sold on the U.S. civilian market is a stark example of the increasing militarization of the U.S. civilian gun market.
The deaths of unauthorized migrants have been a predictable and inhumane outcome of border security policies on the U.S.-Mexico border over the last fifteen years.
In the last week both Mexico and Argentina made international news by passing a law and making a major Supreme Court ruling calling for low-level drug offenders to receive treatment instead of jail.
Last month, Mexican lawmakers quietly slipped a bill into the books that will legalize small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroine and even methamphetamines.
Mexico has a democratically elected government, and a relatively stable society, but the power of the drug cartels is formidable.
Immigration is an area where people argue from individual experience. The worker in the US who has lost a job and concludes it is because of undocumented worker is not likely to be persuaded by the statistics.
Michoacan -- once a sleepy, humble, unselfconscious Mexican haven -- is now center stage in Mexico's drug war.
Ciudad Juárez acquired the dubious reputation of wild border town during the Prohibition years, and has long been a major transshipment point for drugs entering the United States, but bloody struggles among rival cartels here are a relatively new phenomenon that stems from recent domestic and international developments.
When I asked him whether he was referring to the agents of the Sinaloa Cartel, who are allegedly attempting to take over the city from the Juárez Cartel, he became nervous and defensive: "Why do you ask me if you already know?"
With 20,000 illegal guns from America recovered at crime scenes in Mexico over the last five years, there is no excuse for Congress and the President not to take steps now to close the gun show loophole.
The NAFTA debate was difficult enough without having to talk about the sprawling Mexican drug trade and its attendant corruption. And how NAFTA would also end up benefiting the cartels. So President Clinton ordered his people not to talk about it.
One in every 31 adults in the United States is in prison, in jail, or on supervised release. Numbers only tell part of the story.
America will never be safe from the gigantic ramifications of illegal drug use unless the Obama administration mounts a major campaign to rehabilitate drug addicts.