Iraqis and Afghanis are not the only ones who are protesting military occupation. According to Reuters, “Thousands of people dressed in white demanded soldiers leave Mexico’s most violent city on Sunday, accusing troops of provoking a surge in drug-war killings and running protection rackets.” Around 5,000 demonstrators, many carrying white balloons, held signs that said, “Leave Juarez, soldiers and police.”
This latest harsh military crackdown in the war on drugs has produced a death toll in Juarez of 2,400 in 2009, compared to 1,600 in 2008. According to the article, “Murders have reached a dozen a day and bullet-ridden vehicles and bleeding bodies on busy streets are commonplace. Businesses that fail to pay protection money to corrupt police and cartels have been set on fire or their owners kidnapped, tortured and killed.”
One 53-year-old businessman, who refused to give his name for obvious reasons, said, “We are tired of living in hell. Things have only worsened since the army arrived.”
U.S. officials, who still believe that the drug war is winnable after 35 years of failure, are undoubtedly disappointed. According to the article, “Washington officials had hoped to see a quick victory in the Mexican city and a domino effect across the country.”
Just another failure story in the decades-long war on drugs. But hey, the residents of Juarez should be counting their blessings. Things could always be worse. Just ask the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, who have suffered many years of brutal military occupation as part of the war on terrorism.