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The Mexican Drug War / August 14, 2009
By Pancho Montana

El Drug War

Hello there! Hola to the few who still check out this column to learn about crazy antics of America’s favorite suppliers. Yeah, I know I haven’t been updating you for a while on account that I’m getting lazy (weed ain’t exactly speed, neither is Rohypnol). And I don’t have much of an excuse since I’m unemployed and have a lot of free time on my hands, time which I spend doing everything but writing…

To be completely honest, I kinda lost interest in the whole Drug War. It became like watching a re-run of a sitcom you kinda like. Watch it long enough and you’ll start hating it little by little, because it always more of the same plot and punch lines: A big gunfight in Guerrero, another decapitation in Chihuahua, the biggest drug lab ever busted in Michoacan (and then a few days later an even bigger one is busted) or the detention of a “big” capo in Tijuana. Same ol’, same ol’.

Maybe it’s a problem with us Mexicans. Since we see and hear about it every day it’s become part of the daily grind, violence on the corner that you don’t even notice because you’re worried about what you’re gonna have for dinner.

And maybe that’s why the Americans are so worried about the situation in Mexico.

Narco-culture is like your 1960’s failed counterculture. The link here is drugs, but unlike your peace-loving hippies, the narcos are violent enough. More than enough, even. They have the cash and weapons and the capability to challenge the state.

Unlike the hippies, they are in a position to actually succeed in transforming the State in their narco-culture image. And that must scare the shit out of Washington. And so we get the Merida Initiative, or 1.6 billion worth of greenbacks for the Drug War effort.

It’s not just the American healthcare industry who doesn’t like Obama’s meddling much. A lot of Latinos are going to miss Bush and his 8 years of non-intervention in Latin America. Like you’d say in your Gringo Spanish, “It was mucho good for business.”

It’s silly when you think about it. $1.6 billion in anti-drug aid over three years? Last I read, you gringo drug users transferred something like $20 billion to my home country last year. Thanks for the cash…

A local Tamaulipas politician said it best when describing the narco-culture in our country (by the way, to be a politician here, you either have to be crazy or stupid—not brave though, all the brave politicians are in the cemetery):

“Narcos used to be our neighbors, now they are going to be in our Municipal Palaces”

Or in our vacation resorts, like “Comandante Colosio”, one of the people I talked about earlier who was captured in Cancun by the Mexican Army earlier this month, and the person I want profile for you today.

That was how his story come to an end. The rowdy and troublesome bandido is now being held “bajo arraigo“—meaning he is in a state of legal limbo in which the unlucky dude who is “arraigado” is held under arrest while the authorities investigate if he did anything wrong. Fuck what you heard, in Mexico you are guilty until proven otherwise.

That’s why the death penalty is a big NO-NO in this country, too many ways the State can fuck up, and the Mexican goverment fucks up A LOT.

But I want to return to the life story of Mr. Colosio, real name: Juan Daniel Carranco Salazar. After they got him, Juan quickly confessed he has been involved with the Gulf Cartel since 2002, starting off his career as a lowly “mover/transporter”. He doesn’t exactly say where, but most likely he was a “pusher”, which is a good position if you want to enter the good graces of los patrones.

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  • 1. AE  |  August 14th, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Hey don’t worry if no one reads your column. No one reads anything for the most part.

    I look forward the cartel dispatch each week. Keep it up. Don’t get bored. Don’t get shot.

  • 2. five to one  |  August 14th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    i read it

    sounds like gangwar land down there

  • 3. Robert Hodge  |  August 14th, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Hey Pancho,

    Sometimes your columns are difficult to comment on. But I do look forward to reading them.

  • 4. whaaat  |  August 15th, 2009 at 4:33 am

    Hey, I like reading your columns too. Please keep the stories coming, you’ve got a level-headed angle on things that’s hard to find elsewhere.

  • 5. EyesWideOpen  |  August 15th, 2009 at 5:30 am

    this is the first of your columns that I’ve read. It will not be the last. And I will tell my friends.

    Keep writing, please!

  • 6. J Dubb  |  August 15th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    The beginning of this column reads just like a Jim Anchower article from the Onion.

    “Hola, amigos. How’s it going with you? I know it’s been a long time since I rapped at ya.”

  • 7. Eye  |  August 15th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I also read every column from Pancho. It’s an interesting perspective of the “Mexican Drug War”, and more accurate than the habitual shit that spits the television…

    Saludos desde España.

  • 8. Thuggin  |  August 15th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    this is some of the greatest writing I’ve read. your comparing the 70s “counter culture” to the zetas is interesting and thought provoking as fuck. and you’re probably high when you wrote it… all hail to pancho the great!

  • 9. mx?  |  August 15th, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    the zetas are more like the death squads you invented during your central american adventures, the counterculture reference refers more to the wide acceptance and/or tolerance of the community, but the narcos have no interest in replacing the state.

    Why? so we can convert to a true, fully-fledged narco-state and give the Americans a reason to invade AGAIN? NO, Thank you very mucho but no, but we would like our land back seeing as you stole it and all, or at least give us some casinos like you did with the indians, motherfuckers! native-americans I mean.
    Or is the drug trade our “indian casinos”? hmm, maybe…

  • 10. Cuppy  |  August 15th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Hey do you know if the cartels have any internships open. I can help them make powder instead of tar heroin. I’m sure they already know how but I wonder why they don’t do it? anyone know?

  • 11. Jimbo  |  August 16th, 2009 at 4:46 am

    The American people must like being Mexico’s bitch. They don’t want to elect some officials who will really enforce the border and keep all that ugliness and craziness down south then they must just like the abuse. It’s just like an S&M homosexual relationship and white American trash like being the bottom.

  • 12. aleke  |  August 16th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    I don’t usually comment, but I damn well make sure to read your columns. Keep writing! Maybe find some speed, it seems to do a load of good for the Exile.

  • 13. Gautam  |  August 17th, 2009 at 12:52 am

    I love the photograph on page 2 – BATISTA!

  • 14. Johan  |  August 17th, 2009 at 1:08 am

    I too always look forward to your column. Thanks for the writing.

  • 15. mx?  |  August 17th, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Hey Eye, who has presence in España, Golfo o Sinaloa? or do “they outsource” to local gangs?

  • 16. mx?  |  August 17th, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Well cuppy you could always start as a sicario and work your way up, I hear there are a lot of vacant spots in Cd.Juarez/El Paso, with the thousands death last year in the city alone and all.

    Hey, You know Im jokin around, right?, DONT GO TO CHIHUAHA, I say again, DO-NOT-GO-TO-CHI-HUA-HUA, that place is a fucking warzone, specially the border.

  • 17. badnewswade  |  August 17th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    The Google of organised crime… Like it!

    Keep ’em coming, dude!

  • 18. Sender  |  August 18th, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Interesting war. As such it is for control of territory and it involves a multiple tier liquid alliances stance. As the attrition rate is getting high, even for Narco Standards it can be seen that truces have been signed amongst the most significant players. The army walking into one of Chapo’s 2.4 km2 compound is one of those interesting moments where one of the most firm alliances of this war has been weakened. The government actually touching Chapo’s interests??? well, maybe not. Nobody was captured there so who knows what really happened. Maybe since satellites could see the little city in the sirra churning hundreds of kilos of crystal meth a day it became too embarrasing…
    Calderón’s adventure begins now when there are no true victories to claim. Drugs, any kind, can be had in the street at any time so here’s when the paradox of irregular wars begins to bite: Defining victory; Mission creep in an age of reduced budgets; water rationing in México city; no border to run to (nobody’s hiring up north) colapsing oil exports (That last one is the most frightening of all and it is not a scenario, It’s a solid bet for end of 2010). Calderón used to boast he enjoyed exercizing power…
    It’s pretty certain he isn’t so comfy now, confronting the possibility that there will be a very hostile takeover of the presidency at his mandate’s end…

  • 19. Jyp  |  August 23rd, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Hey Ponch, this is great shit, man. Fits right in here, on the best fucking mag in America. All you guys, you rock.

  • 20. Noah  |  August 24th, 2009 at 6:18 am

    keep it up

    — Faithful Reader

  • 21. mx?  |  August 25th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    hey sender you make some very good points.
    Well see what happens in 2012 or maybe in 2010 for the celebration of the hundred years of la revolucion with the threaths of an awakening guerrilla in…you guessed it, the state of Guerrero. Its in the name, I guess.

  • 22. Antonio Garcia  |  October 25th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Thank goodness I’m out of jail now since they took that picture of me and my freinds

  • 23. EL Compa Sicario  |  November 6th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    vete a la verga puro sinaloa compa
    compa r-r6 te vo a matar

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