Closer than people thought

The Caravan for Peace reminds us that drug trafficking is a binational challenge

We have often pointed out that a great challenge Mexico faces, fighting drugs, is not an exclusively Mexican issue. Drugs, guns and money crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in both directions show that this is a binational problem that needs attention from both sides.

This is exactly the message of the Caravan for Peace led by poet Javier Sicilia, which these days is passing through Los Angeles and is on a month-long journey to 26 U.S. cities. The group of 100 intends to bring the stories, faces and pain of those affected by the war on drugs started by President Calderón.

We hope the Caravan’s message is well received. The drug trafficking problem would be very different in Mexico if great demand from consumers in our country did not exist, as well as permissive laws that contribute to gun trafficking and international banks operating in Wall Street that launder money for drug cartels.

Drugs provide the money that feeds the penetration of corruption and the purchase of guns that killed more than 60,000 Mexicans in six years.

The United States is not beyond this tragedy. There are concrete measures on drugs, gun control and money laundering that can be taken on this side of the border.

On the other hand, it is naïve to think that we can remain isolated, for example in California, from what is happening in Mexico. Drug cartels are already cultivating drugs in California state parks and drug trafficking is one of the main activities for gangs.

Because of all this, the message of the Caravan for Peace is significant. People can disagree on whether or not the solution is legalizing drugs, a subject that can continue an existing conversation in California about marijuana.

What is undeniable is that this is a reminder that the U.S. is much more involved in what happens in Mexico than we think.