Sunday, July 8, 2012

mexico despierta 7.7.2012

"tell every one around the world that democracy in mexico is a fraud." a demonstrator at saturday's manifestacion in guadalajara, mexico.

yesterday, thousands in guadalajara joined the throngs in mexico's capitol and across the country, not to mention around the world, to protest what they claim to be fraud in the presidential election.  on july 1, mexico voted enrique pena nieto, a member of the pri party (partido revolucionario institucional)  that ruled mexico for 71 years, back into office.  a recount released today confirmed pena nieto as the winner of the election over progressive candidate obrador by 6%, but protesters across the country claim the results are garnered from fraud and vote buying. 

"we demand the expulsion of pena nieto"
during its long reign, the pri earned a reputation of rife corruption, and evidence of fraud now continues to accumulate in the 2012 election.  one scandal accuses pri of buying votes with gift cards for the supermarket chain soriana, in exchange for votes.  obrador is challenging the validity of the election legally.  

 a participant in saturday's demonstration in guadalajara wields a sign saying, "liberty isn't for sale."

well over 5,000 people of all ages joined the youth-led movement #yosoy132 to form a river of protestors that marched several miles through the city.  electrically charged, but peaceful, the protesters shouted: "no mas pri!  no mas pri!" (no more pri! no more pri!)  and "el pueblo se cansa de tanta pinche tranza!" (the people are tired of all the dirty tricks!).  another populat chant;  "70 anos de dictadura, nos tiramos de la basura," ("70 years of dictatorship, time to take out our trash.")

demonstrators actively courted the participation of onlookers, shouting, "el pueblo, escucha, tambien esta es tu lucha!" ("hear this, people, this is your fight also.") and "unite!"  taxis driving alongside occassionally tapped their horns in support, and several commuters on buses cheered the march from open windows windows.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

leones d' los santos

a neighborhood whip in col. 5 de septiembre.

'94 jeep grand cherokee
puerto vallarta, jal. mex

alibi: toxicology report

reposted from alibi V.21 No.8 | February 23 - 29, 2012

The Drugs Are Winning

We’re using more than ever

New Mexico is the longtime world heavyweight and still national champion in deaths by drug overdose. But lawmakers passed a landmark memorial that could put a dent in the yearly death toll. The measure, SM 45, is a formal state request that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy study the effectiveness of medically supervised injection facilities. There are none in the United States, but 27 around the world serve as clinical settings for users to inject illegal drugs.

Whether the controversial approach is the best way to deal with our substance abuse problem remains to be seen, but the fact that New Mexico is willing to look at new methods is worth celebrating. Despite the drug war, abuse remains at record levels, and the bodies are piling up.
It was 1971 when Nixon first declared war on drugs. A lot of vets were coming back from Vietnam shooting heroin, and those needles were really freaking people out. To the patriotic highball set, criminalizing the hell out of substance abuse was a sensible strategy to take that seedy element off the streets.

To a certain degree, the plan worked. In terms of turning users into criminals, the war has been a spectacular success. Per capita, the U.S. incarcerates more of its own citizens than any other country on Earth. More than Russia. More than China. This year’s distant runner-up for prisoners per capita: Rwanda.

Since Nixon named drugs public enemy No. 1, the U.S. prison population has increased by more than 700 percent. Apparently, there are a lot more people into drugs than just counterculture deviants.
Are we really this sick? This unhappy? This weak?

Though there is no language explicitly targeting any one group, minorities have clearly been the big losers in the war’s justice lottery. To use an old-fashioned term, it’s racist. African-Americans are 13 times as likely to go to jail as white people for the same drug offense, and today, more African-Americans are caught up in the criminal justice system than were enslaved on the eve of the Civil War.

This tactic doesn’t seem to be having much impact on the street market, however. Though we are smoking, snorting and shooting slightly less than we did in the ’70s, the U.S. is still the biggest consumer of illegal drugs in the world. And when you consider how many people are reaching for legal pharmaceuticals, the fact is today—after more than 40 years of drug war, millions of incarcerations and record levels of overdoses—we are consuming more drugs than ever.

Over the counter sales are up, too, from $2.9 billion in 1971 to $17 billion in 2010, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

While the criminal justice system is culling vast throngs of miscreants who turned to drugs to solve their problems, our medical system has been promoting drugs as the answer to everything from depression to limp dick. We’ve got a whole slew of drugs to help you get off the other drugs. We’ve even got drugs for people who were born with sparse, bald-rat eyelashes. Hallelujah for modern medicine! The lashless will suffer the indignity of applying mascara no more!

Spending on legal prescriptions doubled from 1999 to 2008, when the grand total came to $234.1 billion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nine out of 10 elderly Americans took some kind of prescribed substance in the past month. Our nation’s children are also apparently terribly ill, with one out of every five kids under the age of 12 taking at least one prescribed medicine in the past month.

This is the crisis of today: Nationwide, overdose deaths doubled in the last decade thanks to the surging popularity of painkillers. For the first time in history, ODs outnumber traffic accidents as cause of death. Pills are responsible for more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. It’s a worldwide epidemic, but as the most medicated country in the world, America is leading the trend. And, of course, New Mexico has the highest overdose rate in the country.

Which brings us back to that measure up in Santa Fe. The memorial calls for a study into several harm-reduction strategies, including medically supervised injection sites for intravenous users. While controversial, such programs have been proven effective in reducing overdose fatalities while increasing access to drug treatment programs and health services. Hopefully the study will help guide New Mexico away from its heritage as the likeliest place in America to die of overdose. Our state government’s unanimous support for the memorial should be applauded for seeking alternatives to the clearly ineffective drug war.

But even the most innovative harm-reduction programs do nothing to address our nation’s fundamental problem: We use drugs for everything. That is the underlying pattern of behavior causing us true harm. Are we really this sick? This unhappy? This weak? And, if so, are drugs really the answer? When we toss back those little pills, we need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves: Why?