A Mexico where violence aren’t  the drugs

by Ricardo García.


During the development of this thesis various facts raised that further have changed  the situation of violence in the country even more. Mexico is a country that is crossing by unemployment, poverty, corruption and impunity (see Gráfica 1.), as well as the problem of drugs; this last one -ironically- it has been the one of greater attention on the part of the  Mexican State as a main factor of insecurity and violence. This has led to a strategy characterized on a direct attack to those who disrupt order and security; an attack of excessive violence actions, in addition, this strategy has not given optimal results for Mexican society.

Main Causes of the Insecurity. Mexico 2011-2014. 1st: Unemployement. 2nd: Drugs, 3rd: Poverty, 4th: Corruption, 5th Impunity.

It is true that the past 10 years, Mexico has had a presence of violence that has left physical marks, which had an impact on the people’s psyche, individually and collectively. It’s a violence that has left more than 70 thousand crimes per day; an average of 53 intentional killings per day, 9 missing persons per day, of course this facts are the known ones, they are official ones, but while it may or may not be conservative, they are evidence of a scenario where, despite the existence of a security policy, it doesn’t provide what aims: security and certainty of the people. Also has distinguished itself, as mentioned above, in the presence of corruption and impunity, where elements of the institutions responsible for security and social development, directly or indirectly participate with cells of the organized crime gangs and drug traffic. Just mention the events of Tlatlaya or Ayotzinapa.  Which can be seen as a process of hybridization between crime and authorities, what has given rise to that there is a trend of low confidence in the institutions. (See Cuadro 1.1).

Confident Level in the Institutions. 1st: A Lot, 2nd: Any, 3rd: A Few, 4th: Nothing

It’s true that drugs have played a crucial role for the development of a security policy, as well as on the topic of drugs (Regulation), where, although it’s true, the strategy against these has tried, and has made an official attack where the enemy seems to be undefined; there isn’t any identification about it, but is attacked. The security policy has seen the use of drugs as a problem, which combines the social representations and political discourse made towards these. This has given rise to generate a negative image about everyone who consumes or uses drugs, sometimes images built from a classist notion. The drugs are seen as a threat that attacks the social order, because, from the political discourse, transgresses social life.

Therefore, the so-called drugs war sees itself as the ideal achievement of liberating society from the dangers of drugs, this under premises of eradicating or preventing the use. But not only this last is presented, but the same policy has been characterized by a model both repression and militarization, which settles a multi-million-dollar investment; while the important structural issues (corruption, poverty and unemployment) are undermined or invisibilities, despite its importance for the society. It’s a policy that generates effects of bullying, where the military-police repression is supported by the law (legitimate use of force and violence).

Drug War. Mexico 2007- 2014. Arrows: Organized Crime and Drug Traffic/ State Strategy. Circles (from right to left): Increased Violence, Insecurity Sensation, Increased Crime and Distrust of the authorities.

The previous replies that, although there are strategies to deal with drug traffic and crime, this provides no guarantee that the Mexican context is safe (see Cuadro 1.2), since sometimes the same strategies give rise to insecurity. On this, can be alluded that the presence of military-based security causes an increase in such violations, as it expresses the citizens in support of non-governmental organization human rights BC (CADHAC), regarding the militarization that suffers from the State of Nuevo León: ” our experience tells us that military in the streets cause an increase in violations to the human rights of civilians” (CADHAC 2016).

In addition, the violent incidents and how it handle,  has resulted in the  existence of a culture that promotes not only crime, but also sometimes exalts them; is a kind of spiral that will increase, not only in the type of violent acts, but its form to perform(beheaded, burned, disappeared in acid, etc). This scenario, as a kind of terrorism, generates in the civil society, not only impotence, but is organized and form groups that seek to generate not only actions against the insecurity, but also against the violation of human rights, the exclusion and marginalization of people who use and consume drugs. On this point we seek to question and criticize the notion that even if it doesn’t get them delinquent, it criminalized them.

Here is where the young people, as an actor who has close relationship with this phenomenon, is the consumption and use of drugs, or the concern for having a safe space without uncertainty, by which they require tools that help them to their development and personal channeling, as they are not only subjects with the right to participate, but to organize as a part of responsibility to themselves and to the society. For it is necessary to recognize that the war has left negative results and generates alarmist situations for its presence. Emphasize that drugs are not something of which you must defend, it is clear that exist a relationship with crime and violence, but if no one makes reflexive actions and practices, we will only have exclusion, stigmatization and fear about what happens.

To this, and as a part of the work that Students for a Sensible Policy of Drugs (sub Mx) develops, it’s true that the Calderon’s Government strategy (2006-2007), wasn´t the most appropriate to deal with organized crime, because his results were and continue been negative. Additionally, we recognize that illicit drug traffic is no longer part of the armed forces- core strategy part- main objectives since Mexico is crossed by a social tragedy context, where there’s a adversity for equality and respect for human rights, as well as impunity; in addition of a lack of implementation of institutional justice, is the presence  of  corruption.

Therefore, EPSD Mx not only seeks to make visible the damages, causes and consequences of the Government strategy against crime and drugs, but it seeks to develop, propose and carry out strategies to improve the conditions of life within this security crisis. It seeks to remove the image about “in Mexico it is no longer safe to live” (see Cuadro 1.3).

Cuadro 1.3

EPSD’s Goals

Dynamic Is a civil society organization, it is not linked to any political party. Socialization of learning results of workshops, trainings, courses; development of feedback.
Security is important, does not seek to put at risk.
Speeches’ generation Define Against who is the war?, and not only have the justification “is is attacking criminals”; the war is not between good and bad people.
War generates symptoms of a disease.
We don’t approve or condemn the use of drugs; we respect for the rights of people.
No support for the war on drugs
Knowing the situation The issue of drug lacks consensus, and therefore of social acceptance. 
The situation that exists has different edges (extortion, crime. Attacks…),what is needed is to recognize violence through any scope and person.Follow-up to the discussions of legalization of marijuana (Interior Ministry).
Proyects Change agenda about drug policy.
Make visible the existence of censorship and repression, both journalists, defenders of  human  rights, civil, youth organizations.
Anecdotes of users of cannabis (Universidad de Morelia).
Healt Guide for Users of Substances psychoactive (Guadalajara).
Creation of a dictionary about drugs.
Medical Marijuana: Diffusion of Benefits and Support to Patients (Guadalajara)
Institute of Fine Arts Intervention Workshop: History, General education on  drugs and harm reduction.
Social Service and Volunteering
Links  and


Journalists, defenders of human rights, women, migrants, youth, among others, to give visibility of drugs’ effects , experiences, and perspectives.Council to prevent and eliminate discrimination at Mexico City
Institute of youth
Collective for a comprehensive policy toward the drug AC
Wikipedia: revision and updating  documents
420 Guadalajara
Medical Cannabis News



Conference on drug policy reform (Washington).
Conference Global ibogaine (March 2016).
Dissemination and invitation to universities
Congress of philosophy and drugs at the Faculty of philosophy (UNAM).

Own elaboration based on available documents, as well as the presence during EPSD’s meetings.


Within the dynamics of work in EPSD Mx we seek make aware and educate society, mainly from universities, about the problems that carry the current drugs policies in Mexico, with the aim of improving the situation, because as it has been seen since the beginning of the war’s strategy,      the prohibitionism does not work and isn’t adequate. That is why the EPSD MX first actions to deal with the situation of the Drug War, is to take a political stand against this one, what give standing to a reflection beyond the issues raised by the same strategy –military cut.

Therefore, seeks to develop a constant job, wherever exercised a practical discourse that  position the safety as the main factor of this organization, as well as the recognition and the respect of the human rights within a war that has not produced any results. EPSD members are trying to generate projects of social impact, as the realm of policy, dynamic that you are helped by the multiplicity of disciplines that exist between each of its members, such as public administration, ethno history, political science, medicine, psychology, philosophy, nutrition, history, journalism, anthropology and sociology, which helps an inclusive and interdisciplinary work on drug policy, as well as the dynamics of these within the society (use and consumption).


BATAILLON, Gilles (2015). “Narcotráfico y corrupción: las formas de violencia en México en el siglo XXI”, en Nueva Sociedad, núm.255, enero-febrero, pp.54-68. Disponible en: http://nuso.org/articulo/narcotrafico-y-corrupcion-las-formas-de-la-violencia-en-mexico-en-el-siglo-xxi/

CADHAC (2016). “La militarización de la seguridad pública continua en Nuevo León”. Mayo 20. Consultado el 20/05/2016 de: http://www.cadhac.org/comunicado/la-militarizacion-de-la-seguridad-publica-continua-en-nuevo-leon/

CIDH Informe sobre Seguridad Ciudadana y Derechos Humanos, OEA. Consultado el 24/08/2015 de: http://www.cidh.org/countryrep/seguridad/seguridadiv.sp.htm

ENVIPE. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía: http://www.beta.inegi.org.mx/proyectos/enchogares/regulares/envipe/2016/

MORALES OYARVIDE, César (2011). “La guerra contra el narcotráfico en México. Debilidad del Estado, orden local y fracaso de una estrategia”, en Aposta, Revista de Ciencias Sociales, núm.50, agosto-septiembre. Consultado el 25/10/2015 de: http://www.apostadigital.com/revistav3/hemeroteca/oyarvide.pdf

Observatorio Nacional Ciudadano (ONC) (2015). “Reporte de delitos de alto impacto. Diciembre 2014”. Consultado el 25/10/2015 de:


Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA) (2009). Informe sobre seguridad ciudadana y derechos humanos, Comisión Interamericana de los Derechos Humanos, OEA/Ser.L/V/II, Doc. 57. Consultado el 25/10/2015 de:


RUBIO, Luis (2008). “Delitos y guerras”. CIDAC, noviembre 30. Consultado el 25/10/2015 de: http://cidac.org/delitos-y-guerras/

Secretaria de Gobernación “Programa Nacional de Seguridad Pública 2014-2018”. Consultado el 25/10/2015 de:


Secretaria del Ejecutivo “Estadística delictiva”. Consultado el 12/05/2015 de:


Secretariado del Ejecutivo (2016). Cifras de homicidio doloso, secuestro, extorsión y robo de vehículos 1997-2015. SEGOB., SESNSP, enero 1. Consultado el 12/05/2015 de: http://secretariadoejecutivo.gob.mx/docs/pdfs/cifras%20de%20homicidio%20doloso%20secuestro%20etc/HDSECEXTRV_122015.pdf


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