Overkill is thy enemy

Partners in crime?
Partners in crime?

One of the challenges of writing about Venezuela for a foreign audience is that while your readers may be less informed about the country than you are, they generally have a refined sense of BS detection. Tell them what is going on, and they will be amazed, horrified even. But if you go too far with your stories and begin peddling unsubstantiated stuff, or even stuff that is likely true but not yet proven and highly unbelievable anyway, then you lose them.

The trick is to inform them of just how crazy Venezuela is without going overboard and losing credibility. It’s an uncommon skill, knowing when to stop.

I thought about this when reading John M. Ackerman’s piece for Foreign Policy on Mexico.

Ackerman, as far as I know, is a left-wing writer. He clearly despises the Peña Nieto government, and believes the protests currently happening there are entirely justified. Mexico is corrupt, violent, and downright disgusting to him. The 43 missing students are just the spark that broke the camel’s back, or something.

But it’s one thing to say that, and quite another to say that “President Barack Obama and the United States Congress are directly responsible for the tragedy of the 43 missing, and likely massacred, student activists in the Mexican state of Guerrero — and for the political crisis that has followed.”

I think Ackerman has some valid claims. I am certain that Peña Nieto and his government are not guiltless in all that is happening. With some effort, I could even consider the idea that Peña Nieto had the 43 students killed.

But Obama and the Congress? *Directly* responsible?

The link he makes is beyond flimsy. Obama supports Peña Nieto, and has been generously funding the war on the drug cartels. The two countries’ armed forces share intelligence. The US has failed to condemn Mexico for human rights violations. That, John M., does not mean the US is directly responsible for the tragedy.

John M., here’s my friendly advice. Less … is more. I’ve been in the business of decoding crazy to gringos for quite some time, and you just lost half your readership with such an outlandish statement. Try and make the facts speak for themselves. If you must analyze, do so with caution by offering original nuggets that sometimes run counter-culture. And if all you have to say is a cliché such as “it’s all the Americans’ fault,” then better not say it at all.

Just some friendly advice, blogger-to-blogger.

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  1. You are absolutely right but I think you too have gone too far sometimes. One can’t be diplomatic and emotionally detached while watching the destruction of your own country but when you write about it for a wider audience, things like that come in handy. You can always say “well, go to Reuters, The Economist… if you want not-so-emotional information” and I obviously do it but I prefer to find here what Juan Cristobal Nagel could write in those media outlets if you were given the opportunity rather than, for instance, rants about such and such minister and his failures

  2. I have just read your article “A beautiful boondoggle” and you use the word rant to describe what you wrote… good to know that we agree… A rant is basically a way to say “LOOK AT ME!…how bad I feel”… meanwhile, journalism, blogging… is something different

      • I never said that but I guess you are the first one (the last one too? I hope so) who is going to twist what I wrote in order to make me say what you want me to say… there are no words for you and the rest

        • Well, then let me say it in a way you don’t feel I’m twisting your words: I think it is ok for a blogger to express his(her) opinion in an emotional manner, even in the form of a rant, as long as he(she) doesn’t lie and the facts presented are accurate. When something outrageous happens you gotta get outraged. Nothing wrong with expressing it.

    • I understand, and sometimes I over-reach as well (you try writing three or four blog posts per week without sounded maniacal once in a while). However, I am also acutely aware to not overreach when writing for a place like FP.

      So yes, I rant sometimes, but this blog is not all rant. If it were, I wouldn’t have that many readers.

      • I certainly agree… teniendo en cuenta la situación de su país, no sentirse profundamente afectado sería inhumano y es comprensible que a veces intente canalizar esos sentimientos a través de este blog pero no creo que sea eso lo que sus lectores buscan(bueno, al menos algunos de ellos) .

        Un saludo entonces desde España con mis mejores deseos y esperanzas de que la situación en Venezuela cambie pronto.

    • How bad you feel because of the situation in your country is an important part of the truth that helps people understand the holistic situation.People will not get it, without it.

      If you want to communicate from one Economist to another , that is one thing.If you want to communicate from one human being to another, that is a bigger ball game.

      Saying that you feel bad about something is honest.

      Withholding the truth of emotion in order to manipulate, is a function of Narcissism, or simply a communication between technocrats.

      However, expressing oneself should not include lies, slander, manipulation , foul language, or wild accusation.That’s aggression, not communication or honest self expression.

      So when taking that into account, emotionality is very much a part of the reality that bears on the truth.

      False emotionality is not.

  3. “Ackerman, as far as I know, is a left-wing writer.”

    And isn’t PRI and Peña Nieto also identified as ‘left-wing’? And isn’t Obama the golden boy of the ‘American left’?

    God, what am I missing? But it can only be good news that the left is fighting among itself.

    I’m curious to know what is his stance on Venezuela’s ‘revolución’, though. I would bet 5 dollars that he would pull an Eva Golinger/Mark Weisbrot and say that “Venezuela showed advances in terms of social inclusion and gender equality”, or another meaningless BS alike.

  4. When I read your comment I thought his piece was going to be about how, if congress and the president decriminalized cocaine, and clamped down on gun smuggling, organized crime in Mexico would shrink dramatically, and we wouldn’t have these massacres. Instead, it was a rant and not a very enlightening rant, I agree. If the POTUS is not aware of the corruption in Mexico at the federal level, as well as every other level, I would truly be shocked. The PRI tried to revert to the old tried and true strategy of looking the other way while trying to appear not to, and sure enough, it didn’t work. So North American policy makers, and their constituents, have to start thinking out of the box.

    • People tend to have this utopian view that the Mexican cartels, Las Farc or the cocaleros bolivianos will magically turn to selling insurance or installing cooktops if cocaine gets legalized, but that ain’t not how it’s like in the real world…

          • This is shoddy commentary, like the other FP article JC quotes. The guy takes two nuanced positions, and turns them into an either/or, black white argument, no doubt to generate hits.

            You’re suggesting eliminating a $230 billion source of income won’t have a significant impact on the cartels? Are you suggesting the Mexican and Colombian governments who support “normalization” are a bunch of utopian dreamers? I spend more time than most tourists in areas where the FARC operate, and I am well ware of their “diversification”, but you can’t build a $230 billion empire around kidnapping farmers and extorting pizza restaurants, believe me.

          • The point is not that “you can’t build a $230 billion empire around kidnapping farmers and extorting pizza restaurants”, the point is that the $230 billion empire has already been built, and the Frankenstein has already left the lab and is now walking on his own legs across the country.

            Notice how the article says that in 2008 there were 468,000 people working for the cartels in Mexico, imagine how big that figure is now. Let’s pretend for a second that the will US suddenly halt all cocaine buying from Mexico from now on, what do you think that all this contingent of 468,000 criminals will be doing in one year? Selling curtains? Opening Taco Bell franchises? Or still engaged in criminal activities? Probably the latter, right?

            And these cartels have already passed the “extorting pizza restaurants” stage, because we are not in Al Capone’s Chicago anymore. In comparison, the drug dealers here in Rio are already providing TV cable and internet services to the people living inside their territories. You may argue: “And why the hell do the people hire their damn services, given that they can get TV cable and internet from legalized official providers?” Well, they don’t really have a choice. They can get killed if they choose a competitor inside what is considered as the “cartel’s territory”. Now think that the Mexican cartels are uncountable times more sophisticated, wealthier and control far more territory than the ones here do… Did you read that part of the article in which is said that the Mexican cartels have sold ” $300 million worth of stolen oil” to the US? And you are talking about “extorting pizza restaurants”? Seriously?

            Moreover, the Farc won’t even need to deepen their ‘diversification’, as ‘producers’ can only grow coca leaves in the amounts required to supply a market like the US in three countries: Peru, Bolivia and Colombia, for obvious reasons of soil, climate, amount of rainfall, altitude etc. Or do you think that you can harvest coca leaves in Nunavut? Hence, the Farc will certainly increase Its profits and employ a lot more people after they legalize cocaine in the US; but yeah, we probably won’t need the middle men in Mexico to send the drugs to the US anymore. I grant you that. Not that that would have made the Mexican cartels ‘shrink dramatically’, as you have suggested.

            Anyway, I understand why do you think like you do, I just think that it’s a naive perception of reality. The trend of Mexico selling less cocaine to the US, while their murder rates get higher should have rung a bell, because it’s just too obvious, isn’t it? Or maybe you have been living in the first world for just too long.

          • Going into the technical details of how you’d go about creating a legal market for hard drugs, I wonder how much the price and availability of hard drugs would really drop with legalization. In the USA there is a huge illicit market for medications, these are chemicals for which you’d usually require a medical prescription. How do such meds compare with recreational drugs? Given how thoroughly regulated meds are I don’t see the FDA going soft on use of hard recreational drugs. I don’t see a simple way to make the illicit market disappear while still regulating the product to protect consumers. Is the idea that recreational drugs will be readily sold OTC? Is the plan to give your friendly corner dealer a license to sell? I don’t think so, for many many reasons. So individuals previously involved in criminal distribution would likely continue to be marginalized.

            The effect of legalization will presumably benefit producing countries more, but for similar reasons the effect may be smaller than one might think. The greatest effect will be in protecting small-time coca growers, by creating a legal umbrella for their activities. I can see pharma spinoffs taking over purification and synthesis of heavy drugs and raising competition on the cartels, and taking a larger share of profits by ensuring a certified quality product compared to cartels. Will we perhaps even see the return of Coca-cola to it’s roots with a re-release of the original formulation of its powerful tonic?

          • “The effect of legalization will presumably benefit producing countries more, but for similar reasons the effect may be smaller than one might think. The greatest effect will be in protecting small-time coca growers, by creating a legal umbrella for their activities. I can see pharma spinoffs taking over purification and synthesis of heavy drugs and raising competition on the cartels, and taking a larger share of profits by ensuring a certified quality product compared to cartels. ”

            Assuming that the pharmaceutical manufacturing will happen in Canada and the US, then I must agree with you, but I don’t see a reason why the drug lords in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia will sit idly by while these “small-time coca growers” take their profits on coca leaves’ production. That’s very unlikely to happen. Legalization of cocaine in the US might trigger a war at unprecedented levels in these countries.

          • Marc, I think that small time growers will always be (relatively speaking) on the losing end. My point is that removing the risk of crop eradication, allowing the formation of legal growers associations, providing certification (organic coca anyone?), and especially reducing reliance on violent groups for protection, such results of legalization would benefit coca growers in the long run, providing them with protections that for instance coffee growers enjoy.

            The drug lords will not respond to legalization sitting down. They will probably retain significant control over the growers in the short run. But if there are incentives associated with operating legally within the confines of a regulated industry, this will pressure illegal operators to clean up their act. You will never eliminate the mobsters, I’m talking about shifting away from the nastier fringes within a spectrum of behavior.

          • Gro. Methadone is a narcotic substitute that is legal and made available to users. What the difference is between methadone and say, cocaine, from a public policy perspective, is beyond me. There is a growing consensus in Latin America that normalization in the north would have a significant impact on the drug trade, notwithstanding that Marc has read otherwise in a magazine. I’d add, as a public policy move in the first world, many people like me fail to see the utility of incarcerating addicts and forcing them to consume dangerous, expensive product which they have to finance with activities that are bad for society and which has the collateral effect of financing mayhem in places like Venezuela. But I understand many people freak out at the notion that things like cocaine and pot would be available in a store, and think that mayhem will break out if they are. It is not a simple issue, but I think it is an issue that merits people putting aside their prejudices and thinking about a different approach, because the current approach does not work.

          • Gro. I read your second response, which I fully agree with. Plus, the huge profits on cocaine in the current system have driven out more diverse agriculture. People will open up other businesses contrary to what Marc thinks. Most people in coca production are not inherently evil. If there are viable alternatives, they will move to them.

          • Marc, I would argue that though, Taco Bell will never be a success in Mexico, the equivalent or much better opportunities would move in if the margins on producing and moving drugs went down substantially. From what I have seen, businesses close when the narcos move in, and people engaged in things like say, fishing, are forced to either give up their boats and move away, or work for the narcos. It sounds like what you are saying is that half a million Mexicans should be rounded up by force of arms and thrown in jail as a solution. You call that realistic?

          • Canuck, I see one insurmountable obstacle to legalization, and that is a change in the designation of opioids and other heavy drugs (as opposed to pot) as safe recreational drugs. I cannot see the stuff being sold legally in an OTC setting for recreational purposes. Legalizing it at best would mean controlling its distribution (as is methadone) by the FDA through narrow channels and would involve significant regulatory overhead. The price to the addict might drop and that might reduce one problem. Its nature as a generic plant extract would make production cheap, so I can see how the narcos would lose a large part of what they make on distribution. But there are by some accounts 1.4 million coke “addicts” in the USA alone, and I cannot see them lining up for coke at official dispensaries (although what do I know, I don’t have a hankering for the stuff), since the market (except for crack) is high end. My guess is that the market for the illicit stuff would remain substantial, just as it does for illegal meds. I can also see how such a legalization would involve a wealth transfer to developed nations from the narco states (or more specifically from the narcos, but by some accounts narcos are important drivers of economic development in Colombia, Mexico and others).

            For numbers see for instance http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-scope-cocaine-use-in-united-states

          • It is amazing how some people when faced with all of the logical reasons for ending drug prohibition will simply invent more reasons to not do it.

          • Roy: I never said I was against revoking drug prohibition, merely that I don’t see it happening or having a significant positive effect. It’s a question of who carries most of the burden: the consumers (addicts), the producers, and the victims of drug violence and incarceration, and my point is first off that legalization shifts the burden, but a substantial public health problem will remain, and I have reason to suspect that regulation will remain stiff which will continue to encourage a substantial illicit market. Legalization is not equivalent to allowing Joe Blo to start peddling junk uninhibited. Let me give you another simple reason why you may not get the desired effect: if you lower drug prices you will increase accessibility and thus consumption. That is an unwanted response. A real solution goes deeper than deregulating the drug market.

          • I see no reason why we should not treat recreational drugs in much the same way we treat alcohol and nicotine. Alcohol Prohibition in the U.S. was universally recognized as a social disaster. Why can we not see recognize that the same negative consequences produced by that prohibition are fully present as a result of drug prohibition? And why should we not apply the same compromises that we made with alcohol and nicotine to other drugs?

            After 50 years of the war on drugs, I don’t see anyone claiming success. It has been a failure of epic proportions. We need to change course on this issue as quickly as possible. Since we already have a model for the control of some “drugs” such as alcohol and nicotine, it only makes sense to apply that model to other drugs.

          • The simple answer is that alcohol, nicotine, coke and all the other psychotropic substances vary in effect. But your point (and that of earlier posts) is taken, the “war on drugs” is a mess and there may be better ways to address the public health issue.

          • Gro. Thank you for identifying an article that rationally articulates the relevant considerations. The medical establishment has reached a consensus that addiction is a chronic illness. It follows that a regulatory response is called for, not a military/penal response. I don’t think you get to the appropriate regulatory response without looking hard at harm factors, and those are complex issues. But they have to be looked at.

          • Canuck, I believe our visions collide because while my main concern is with South America’s well-being, yours is with the [developed part of] North America’s well-being. Nothing wrong about that.

            So, let me try to be clear for one last time:

            I don’t doubt that the legalization of cocaine might be very beneficial to the US, which is an advanced country that will probably regulate and monitor very well the selling of said drug to the final user.
            (Please notice that I didn’t write one single line above saying that the legalization of cocaine would be bad for the US.)

            In my view, the issue here lies in the fact that for a very obscure reason that only God knows why, you can only produce coca leaves in South America. Sure, you can hypothetically grow coca leaves from Saskatchewan to Texas in which would be the future ‘cocaine belt’, but you would have to build hundreds of thousands of hothouses simulating the Andean climate, soil etc. in the perfection, the problem is that that would make the final product costly and prohibitive to the consumers in the US, and they would be forced to resume buying the cheaper cocaine smuggled by the Mexican cartels into the US, what would make the legalization of cocaine in the US ineffective. The millionaire/billionaire celebrities and businessmen would probably buy the expensive final product made in US/Canada, but 99% of the users wouldn’t. Thus, it’s a no-brainer, the US will have to keep buying the raw material from South-America, and since the legalization of cocaine in the US will obviously increase consumption to unprecedented levels, production of coca plants in Bolivia, Peru and Colombia will have to grow to meet the demand.

            And while the legalization of cocaine might be very good for the US, the effects of such legalization in South America will certainly be disastrous, I can already envision the headlines:

            “Farc grows its coca plants’ production 10-fold in one year to supply the growing American demand, Colombian government says that it can’t do anything about it because what Farc is doing is now legal.”

            A naive person who has been living in the developed world for too long may argue that you can require producers in peru, Bolivia and Colombia that they must have a “seal proving the certified origins” or other similar naivety.

            The truth is that with three or four calls threatening the right people the Farc will have a “seal certifying anything they want” in one or two hours.

            Now, if you prove me that you can grow cheap coca leaves in Canada and the US, I will be 100% on your side and even go with you to demonstrations calling for cocaine legalization in the US.

            PS: Regarding Mexico, just google about how they are smuggling oil for the US. Oil is different than coke, isn’t it? Criminals will be criminals. Only jail can solve the issue.

          • Marc, I understand that you think I fall into the category of naive and ignorant gringo, and though your observations conflict with my belief that all latin americans are charming, witty, and attractive, I can live with it. To date, I have not heard of the FARC taking over coffee and banana production, which are also products you cannot grow in Sakatchewan, so I think your hypothesis of the effects of eliminating the black market for cocaine need some further consideration. I have also not heard that the narcos are pushing out Chevron and Exxon, though they may smuggle some oil (some large corporations clearly do have a stake in the other side of the war on drugs, but that is another issue). Really the origins of my thinking on this issue, while influenced by my experience at home, originate from Latin America. It just so happens, Latin American leaders and experts point to possible solutions that may work for both the third world and the developed world. Clearly as it presently stands, your viewpoint is still, marginally, the predominant one, at least in North America, though I would not suggest you would find any comfort in knowing you think like most gringos on this subject. Clearly we have not convinced each other.

          • Came across an interesting commentary in the NYT I thought I’d share from http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/alternative-takes-on-eric-garner

            For anyone not familiar, Eric Garner was asphyxiated by police while being subdued in NYC. He was being arrested for selling *cigarettes* illegally. The officer responsible has been released of criminal responsibility leading to demonstrations in the city.

            It’s Rand Paul’s opinion that is interesting in the context of the discussion:

            Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, also had an unusual, though not preposterous, take on the case. Riding his anti-government, anti-tax hobby horse, he said during an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball that there was something larger at work than police abuse: “Obviously the individual circumstances are important, but I think it’s also important to know that some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes, so they’ve driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive.”

            Politicians, he went on to say, were partly responsible for the incident — because they had instructed the police to arrest people for selling loose cigarettes.

          • When there is a massacre of 43 people directly relating to the contraband cigarette trade, rather than one death marginally related in the minds of a small minority of people to said trade, I will be convinced that it is an apt forecast of what would happen to the decriminalization and regulation of drugs. Rand Paul is interesting, as is the school of thought he is borrowing from (I studied Posner in university as well), but to say that all regulation leads to the same mayhem as criminalization is to my mind reductio ad absurdum. You’ve hit on some powerful points though, and concerns held by people I know and respect.

          • Canuck: Paul’s response is funny because I think Garner’s problem was that he could not come up with a better idea than to sell marked-up cigerettes, and presumably didn’t have much of a choice – more Les Miserables than Scarface. Paul finds a problem with high prices due to over-regulation creating an incentive to sell cigarettes illegally, rather than the fact that the guy could not find something less risky and more wholesome to do.

            A little while back Toro compared drugs to oil to dollars, as in, given the incentive to trade/smuggle oil or drugs or dollars, it’s gonna happen. But drug use leads to evident externalities such as health problems that are not evident with oil (ignoring global warming, congestion, smog and the like). Like cigarette consumption, there is a consensus that drug use needs to be regulated or penalized so as to discourage consumption and pay for treatment. The positive aspect of the drug market’s existence is less evident. It is generally regarded that the cost of drug consumption to the individual and society exceeds the benefits. Those that clearly benefit are the producers and narcos.

            The massacre in Mexico has as much to do with the incentive for moving drugs as with Mexico being a brutal place, and similarly in the USA the problem with drugs is as much cultural as penal/regulatory. Softening the penal code will not reduce the demand for drugs, probably the opposite. The problem is not with the supply, it’s with the demand. And as far as a regulatory solution is concerned, the key question is whether a regulated (rather than illicit) supply can satisfy that demand, or whether the illicit drug market will remain substantial, and what social costs it will carry.

          • And also this from the New England Journal of Medicine, on medical trials with heroin:


            Across the street from my office, a person can buy alcohol at a government regulated store, a person can buy cannabis from a government regulated dispensary if their doctor says they need it (which, as anyone who has tried pot will “self-report”, successfully treats everything), and outside the cafe where I go regularly, people sell hard drugs- you can just sit and watch them work. And I have my coffee from Colombia, which is unregulated and not too far off the price some crack, if you get a fancy one and throw in a couple of muffins. So you have the whole range of markets on display, for things which cause social harm of varying degrees (arguably alcohol being one of the worst), and things which people will buy, whether they are illegal or not.

            The door is opening to regulatory uses of “hard drugs”, thanks to studies like this one (or no thanks, depending on how you see it), and the door is now open on soft drugs. We will have to see how the regulatory model words out.

  5. But it’s one thing to say that, and quite another to say that “President Barack Obama and the United States Congress are directly responsible for the tragedy of the 43 missing, and likely massacred, student activists in the Mexican state of Guerrero — and for the political crisis that has followed.”

    Blaming the US for whatever bad thing that happens in Latin American has been standard, even reflexive. lefty boilerplate since before I was born. On a US blog, I once brought up the vast increase in the murder rate under Chavismo as an example of bad governance. The reply came back was that the CIA was fomenting a war in the barrios.

    Blame the US: it’s what lefties do. Roll your eyes and get on with your life. You can no more stop lefties from blaming the US for everything than you can stop the sun from rising in the east.

    • Gee, what an insightful discovery…. Blaming the “other ” is a tried and true tool to redirect political responsability. The sad irony is that you are imcapable of seeing that you are doing the exact same thing by blaming “the left”. You sound as politically naive as any idiot that buys into the imperialist conspiracy explanations.

    • Fred
      The sad irony is that you are imcapable of seeing that you are doing the exact same thing by blaming “the left.”
      You have reading comprehension problems. While I stated that that lefties engage in “blaming the US,” I fail to see where I engaged in “blaming ‘the left’ ” for anything other than blaming the US. Which after all was the topic of the thread: a lefty blaming the US. I merely pointed out this blaming is by no means limited to Ackerman in 2014 regarding student murders in Mexico. If you object to my pointing out the truth, and that my pointing out the truth is not “balanced,” so be it. Ciao.

  6. I used to follow Ackerman on Twitter, but found him unreliable. In the present case, the trick is to avoid mentioning that both the City government which handed over the students to their murderers, and the state government which has allowed the narcos to infiltrate politics there, are PRD, not PRI (Peña Nieto’s party.) As President, Peña Nieto gets some blame, sure, but Obama? That’s politics for children.

  7. Is Barry O. directly responsible for the disappearance of 43 students and the continuing carnage in Mexico? No. So that’s definitely overkill.

    Is Barry O. (and the Congress) somehow responsible for the continued chaos and crime in Mexico? Yeah, perhaps. (Think Operation Fast and Furious, continued American support for war on drugs despite its proven futility, support for Mexican army and police despite dogged allegations of human rights violations)

    Maybe the latter was what Ackerman was trying to say. It IS, however, a significant exaggeration, I accede.

  8. If Frankenstein has escaped from the lab, is blaming it on somebody, or a heated debate defining the proper roll of journalism more important than what to do about it? Bad people do bad things everywhere. That’s been going on for a long time. It is infuriating! It is important to rant about it! The more ranting; the better! Looking the other way is bad! However, bad people are doing bad things in Washington as well! It’s all over the place! By the way, ranting can put you in prison or even kill you!

    • Although bad people are worth ranting about, stupid people are a disaster! The economic catastrophe in Venezuela is more a product of stupidity than anything else!

  9. I think you are profoundly mistaken. The whole point of the “blame Obama” part is, precisely, to engage with the US reader. The “far left” (although well, in the US thats everything a micron to the left to center-right) reader, which only wants to hear what is the role of the US.

    In that, the “left” and the conservative Americans are the same: they only think the important part of the world is the US, and the rest of the world, its politics, particular circunstances, etc… is just the background where the mighty US makes his evil or virtuos play.

    Of course the US has a great responsability in what happens in Mexico and could help more, but “direct responsability” for the 43 students that have… well, at this point, I think is a safe bet to say they are dead… thats, again, the same myopic effect. It only matters if it is US, if it happens it is because the US did it, and the rest of us are just watchers on own our dramas.


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