Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mexico will report on marijuana eradication

Guadalajara -
Mexico has fairly powerful freedom of information procedures, which are less administratively burdensome and time consuming than many FOIA applications in the United States. The administration announced today that in response to an inquiry by a private citizen, the attorney general's office will compile and publicly release a state by state report on the marijuana and opium acreage destroyed from Jan. 1, 2012 through October 2013.

Destruction of cannabis and opium poppy plants is typically carried out by federal troops. Mexican armed forces arrest 4,760 drug traffickers in first eight months of PRI admin.

Mexico's freedom of information agency is the Federal de Acceso a la Información y Protección de Datos (IFAI). In response to the citizen inquiry, IFAI issued a formal directive to the federal attorney general's office, requiring the latter to issue a report on the number of hectáreas destroyed in each of the nation's 32 saparate jurisdictions during the period in question. One hectar is 2.47 acres.

The directive comes one day after the sale of recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado. Who is committed to the drug war?

There is little national support for drug legalization in Mexico, even marijuana. In May 2013 president Enrique Peña Nieto said he is opposed to legalization as a "quick fix" for the country's security problems, and a November 2012 public opinion survey showed 79% of Mexican citizens agree. An August 2013 public opinion survey on Mexican attitudes towards marijuana legalization published by, a liberal media source, reported that 49.6% of those questioned were opposed to decriminalization of cannabis, while 13.4% favored it. Some drug war experts argue decriminalization would exacerbate cartel rivalries, by enabling them to focus their energies on eliminating competitors.

The eradication of psychoactive and hallucinogenic plants is an important part of Mexico's national anti-drug policy. In previous reports the attorney general's office has said the northwestern states of Sonora and Sinaloa produce more of such products than anywhere else in the nation. Both provide ready access to the U.S. border. On Apr. 30 the father-in-law of the most wanted drug trafficker in the world, Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, was arrested in Agua Prieta, Sonora, just across the border from Douglas, Arizona. The government reported that he had long been a major marijuana trafficker in the region. Mexico refused U.S. offer to "take out El Chapo Guzmán.".

Late last year IFAI issued a similar disclosure directive to Mexico's attorney general, requiring him to deliver domestic security reports sought by the Associated Press. The government first resisted on national security grounds, but later acquiesced. Mexican A.G. hands over drug war reports to AP. Among other things, the security data indicated kidnappings have skyrocketed in Mexico since the PRI administration took office Dec. 1, 2012. Mexico the world leader in 2013 kidnappings for ransom.

Jan. 3 - The U.S. position on marijuana is entirely hypocritical, and Mexico should reconsider its own laws on the subject. So argues this editorial in today's edition of the rather left-leaning La Jornada. Whatever the merits of the writer's second argument, he is unquestionably correct on the former.

Sept. 7, 2013 - Ambush of Mexican army leaves 11 dead near Acapulco (poppy fields in Guerrero)
Dec. 7, 2011 - Mexicans dominate marijuana growing in U.S. - including in national parks, forests

Aug. 29, 2013 - U.S. will take no action against Colorado and Washington over marijuana legalization
Aug. 15, 2013 - Sen. Patrick Leahy blocks $95M in Mérida Initiative funds
Aug. 3, 2013 - Manuel López Obrador: no to marijuana legalization
May 30, 2013 - Vicente Fox and ex-Microsoft exec want to "open pot trade with Mexico"
Mar. 31, 2013 - Mexican drug traffickers find ready assistance in mules carrying American passports
Mar. 15, 2013 - It's still illegal in the Sunflower State
Jan. 13, 2013 - Mexican drug cartels operate in 1,286 U.S. cities
Nov. 8, 2012 - Mexico's incoming PRI government pays little attention to U.S. marijuana legalization
Feb. 18, 2012 - Obama asks Congress for another $244 million towards Mexican drug war effort

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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