Century of Lies
Featuring Ôö£├ÂÔö£├ºÔö¼├║LucyÔö£├ÂÔö£├ºÔö£├┐ one of the fugitive reporters of Blog Del Narco who have written a new book: Ôö£├ÂÔö£├ºÔö¼├║Dying for the Truth Ôö£├ÂÔö£├ºÔö£Ôöñ Inside the Mexican Drug WarÔö£├ÂÔö£├ºÔö£├┐ + Richard Feldman of Natl Rifle Owners Assoc, Terry Nelson of LEAP, Doug McVay, Bill O'Reilly Vs DTN & Ben Jealous of NAACP
Century of Lies / April 14, 2013
DEAN BECKER: The failure of Drug War is glaringly obvious to judges, cops, wardens, prosecutors and millions more. Now calling for decriminalization, legalization, the end of prohibition. Let us investigate the Century of Lies.
DEAN BECKER: Hi friends. This is Dean Becker. I think we have a very important show for you today. I hope it’s one you’ll share with your friends and family around the country. I think it tells a very important story of courage especially from these two young ladies involved in this interview.
DEAN BECKER: This past summer I drove across America (7,000 miles) with Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, the Caravan for Peace. The reason they made this trip across America was to inform the American people of the horrors, the butchery, the barbarism that is going on south of our borders in Mexico in regards to the drug war.
We have today Lucy who’s one of the fugitive reporters of Blog Del Narco. They’ve written a very powerful book, Dying for the Truth – Inside the Mexican Drug War.
We have with us a translator who will translate the words of Lucy as she describes the contents of this book and the situation in Mexico.
My first question for Lucy is there are reports that the levels of violence is coming down. Is that true?
“LUCY”: [via translator] You are correct in some areas of Mexico the levels have gone down but there is still executions. There is still shootings. Also there are parts in Mexico where it used to very calm has higher violence now. It’s kind of like an adjustment.
DEAN BECKER: I can understand that in any war the battlefield changes, the casualties move around. I understand that.
This book, Dying for the Truth – Inside the Mexican Drug War, contains very graphic photos. I’ve seen horrible car wrecks and all kinds of things but I’ve never seen anything like the chopped up bodies, the situation where people are used as an example, where notes are attached warning others not to go down this same failed path.
We have a situation here where Lucy and the translator do not want to divulge their names and I understand that. I want to clarify why that is true. How widespread is the corruption? How widespread are these cartels and their members?
“LUCY”: [via translator] I’m sorry Dean what did you want to clarify?
DEAN BECKER: I wanted to know how widespread, how much involvement do these cartels have in monitoring “everyday life” and influencing the actions of people in Mexico.
“LUCY”: [via translator] You can’t really calculate how many members a certain cartel has. There is a big presence in Mexico. Within the years they have mixed with the civilians. It’s really affecting the lives of normal people because they extort the people and charge them a certain amount of fees to let them work.
The people are learning within the years they have learned to identify who is a real civilian and who is part of the cartel.
DEAN BECKER: This brings to mind that we have situations in Mexico where some of the cities, the populace of the city are starting to take back control, wanting to arm themselves, wanting to keep these cartels from remaining or taking over their city. Speak to that please.
“LUCY”: [via translator] People who have fear become tired of living in fear and eventually they lose their fear. There is some examples in the city of Naucalpan and the city of Guerrero where these people started to defend themselves. There’s other cases also where people have just grabbed whatever they have within reach and defended themselves.
This is a reflection of what is happening in society. People get abandoned by their own government and so they feel they have to do something. They have to take matters into their own hands.
DEAN BECKER: I hear stories that they busted Carlos Beltron, they killed other cartel leaders. Does this make any difference?
“LUCY”: [via translator] The War on Drugs has been going on for years. It’s been a long time since the government declared the war against the drugs. This has been a problem because the innocent people are stuck in the middle of this. This is the difference that it has made – the innocent people are left in the middle.
DEAN BECKER: As I said earlier the book shows the horrible nature of this, the way the cartels inflict their pain and misery and they leave notes trying to warn the populace not to interfere. It occurs to me that the situation has reached a point where…we talked about the populace rising up in certain areas. They raid birthday parties. They kill innocents just for the sake of showing that they are violent, to let people know they are real, a means to create fear, that even if it has nothing to do with drugs they want people to be afraid of them, right?
“LUCY”: [via translator] Fear is a very convenient way not only for the cartels but also for the government. It’s almost like a game. Everything since Calderon started as President. It started with the authorities killing some cartel members. They would kill them very theatrically so it became a game. The cartels would start killing also very theatrically to create fear.
DEAN BECKER: Once again we’re speaking with “Lucy” (that’s a nom de plume). She is one of the fugitive reporters of Blog Del Narco. They have a very powerful book, Dying for the Truth – Inside the Mexican Drug War.
Now, Lucy, you’re talking about instilling fear into people. The book shows people beheaded. It shows people chopped up into tiny pieces stuffed into garbage bags and left on police station front steps.
I want to ask you this. There’s a chapter in the book that talks about a busload of people, 70-something people, being pulled over by the cartel, taken out into the desert and then killed. Let’s talk about that situation. They wanted these people to either join the cartel or to die. Is that true? How often does that kind of situation play out?
“LUCY”: [via translator] That was a bus in Tamaulipas and there have been a lot of similar situations. There have been a lot of kidnappings especially in that part. There were instances where people would come from Central America to come to the United States so they would cross through Mexico and they would intercept whatever bus they were riding in and they would want them to work for the cartels.
That happened a lot. That’s because the military had a crisis. They wanted to grow the military so they were trying to get people to join them. In fact they had a lot of people from Central America doing that kind of thing. A lot of times they would have them join the cartels and then they would kill them.
DEAN BECKER: Here in the U.S. the drug gangs (those gangs that sell drugs on American streets) love to recruit kids 15 and even younger to sell these drugs. You have a similar situation in Mexico where kids 15, 14, 13 and even 12 are being used by these cartels. Speak to that please.
“LUCY”: [via translator] That happened a lot in Mexico, too. We even had babies that got killed because of the cartels. For example there is this one little boy named El Ponche who got recruited very, very young to join one of the cartels. This little boy became a serial killer. A lot of people got affected. The government did not help, did not do anything about it. They were all victims and nobody could get saved.
Not only kids were recruited but also elderly people from 60 to 70-years-old.
DEAN BECKER: In the book it talks about the violence, the influence of the cartel became so extreme in certain towns that people left. There are now some ghost towns because of the influence of the cartels. Will you speak to that?
“LUCY”: [via translator] There have been a lot of places especially that are very sensitive to the violence especially in Tamaulipas where the government, military and the navy – nobody could get to so the cartels would come in and use this place as a base, their headquarters. They would take everything from the people. They would take their money, their ranch – everything that they could. The government was not helping them.
A lot of these people left. They said, “What are we doing here? The government is never going to come and help us.”
A lot of people left. A lot of people who couldn’t leave would commit suicide – not because they were hungry. They were hungry but they committed suicide because they didn’t have any help. They would throw themselves from bridges.
DEAN BECKER: That leads me to my last question which kind of ties in with that. I hear so many stories that members of the government – police, federal, military – are involved, are, in fact, part of the cartels, part of the problems. Please address that.
“LUCY”: [via translator] We are in Mexico and Mexico is very corrupt. That answer will tell you everything.
DEAN BECKER: Fair enough.
Once again we’ve been speaking with “Lucy”, a nom de plume of one of the fugitive reporters of Blog Del Narco. They’ve written a great book you need to read to understand this drug war. It is “Dying for the Truth – Inside the Mexican Drug War.”
Lucy, are there any thoughts you would like to close with?
“LUCY”: [via translator] We have hope. We’re not all bad. There’s good people in Mexico and we have hope.
DEAN BECKER: You know I’m not a religious guy but after that interview I felt like saying a prayer because what if it did do some good. What a situation.
This next segment is from “Good Morning Joe”. It features Richard Feldman, President of the Independent Firearm Owners Association.
RICHARD FELDMAN: The Vice President said to us the President said everything is on the table. I think it is time in this country that we have an adult discussion about the War on Drugs and the role it plays in violent crime in America.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Let me ask you why do you oppose the banning of high capacity magazines and assault weapons?
DEAN BECKER: So, as you just heard, Mr. Scarborough totally ignored this request for an adult conversation. There was not much said for a couple of minutes until VP Biden, who was on the panel, spoke up with this.
JOE BIDEN: Number 2…by the way Richard is absolutely right. As you know I was the author of the drug strategy. The truth of the matter is that 60% of all violent crime in America is a consequence of drug abuse. The idea that we are not insisting on extended background checks for the 40% of druggies out there who go buy stuff and don’t have to go through anything makes no sense.
DEAN BECKER: So the adult conversation according to VP Biden is to blame drug users for all the crime never once mentioning the harms and the consequences of drug prohibition.
TERRY NELSON: This is Terry Nelson of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
According to the United Nations Office of Drug Control globally more than 15 million people consume illicit opiates1 (opium, morphine and heroin). The large majority use heroin, the most lethal form. More users die each year from problems related to heroin use, and more are forced to seek treatment for addiction, than for any other illicit drug. Among illicit narcotics, opiates are also the most costly in terms of treatment, medical care and, arguably, drug-related violence. In addition, heroin is the drug most associated with injection, which brings about a host of acute and chronic health problems, including the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. In Central Asia, Ukraine and the Russian Federation, injecting opiates is linked to nearly 60-70% of all HIV infections.
To me one thing is obvious. With an estimated 2.1 million HIV positive children in the world and an additional 370,000 new cases a year. And, millions more with Hepatitis this is definitely a world public health and safety issue. Yet, the United Nations continues to support the failed drug war policy that is causing so much crime, violence and health issues in the world. This report clearly indicates that those that support prohibition of drugs instead of education and treatment do not support public health or public safety.
The number of people that would die each year from overuse of regulated and controlled heroin and other drugs is minimal compared to the number that die now from unregulated and uncontrolled drugs. A 2006 article in Psychology Today indicates that approximately eight thousand people overdosed in the U.S. from heroin, cocaine and meth.
It all has to be kept in perspective as there are far fewer deaths from illegal drugs than there are from car accidents. Yet, we are spending approximately seventy billion dollars a year on the war on drugs and associated costs. If we chose to end the war on drugs and implement a system of legalized regulation and control of all drugs we could easily reduce the number of overdose deaths and the spread of diseases. The savings could go towards educating the public about drugs and the damage they can cause when abused and treatment centers to cure health ills.
Globally the end of the drug war would benefit hundreds of millions of people and save countless lives. Ending the prohibition it policy of the United Nations is the right thing to do for all concerned. Especially the children. The children that you hear politicians speak of protecting as the reason to continue the drug war. The only ones being protected by the war on drugs are the groups and corporations that are benefiting from this failed public policy.
Even the drug czar has admitted that we cannot arrest our way out of our drug problems. So why does he continue to support a failed policy. LEAP call for the legalization of all drugs and the implementation of a strong regulatory model to regulate and control these substances.
This is Terry Nelson of LEAP, www.leap.cc signing off. Stay safe.
DOUG McVAY: A new survey was released recently, measuring American attitudes toward pain and prescription drugs. The results reveal that many Americans patients and doctors are badly misinformed about pain management and the use of opioid pain medicines.
The sponsor, Research! America, noted in its news release, quote:
Most Americans are concerned about the misuse of pain medication to treat chronic pain. A high percentage (82%) believes that taking prescription painkillers for long-term, chronic pain could result in addiction, which nearly 50% of Americans describe as a major health problem. An overwhelming majority (85%) are very concerned or somewhat concerned that prescription pain medication can be abused or misused. Indeed, 40% believe that prescription medication abuse and addiction is a major problem in their community.
More than anything, these numbers prove the power of propaganda. Now let's look at the facts.
The Merck Online Manual for Health Professionals advises, quote: Opioid analgesics are useful in managing severe acute or chronic pain. They are often underused, resulting in needless pain and suffering because clinicians often underestimate the required dosage, overestimate the duration of action and risk of adverse effects, and have unreasonable concerns about addiction. Physical dependence (development of withdrawal symptoms when a drug is stopped) should be assumed to exist in all patients treated with opioids for more than a few days. However, addiction (loss of control, compulsive use, craving and use despite harm) is very rare in patients with no history of substance abuse. End quote.
The federal Institute of Medicine noted in its excellent 2011 report titled "Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research, that, quote:
the majority of people with pain use their prescription drugs properly, are not a source of misuse, and should not be stigmatized or denied access because of the misdeeds or carelessness of others.
Here then are some numbers.
One hundred million Americans suffer from chronic pain, which is often under-treated. According to a US Food and Drug Administration analysis of prescription data, approximately 3.8 million Americans annually receive prescriptions in an outpatient setting for extended release/long acting opioid products. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that in 2011, a total of 4.5 million Americans were current, illicit non-medical users of pain relievers, of which an estimated 1.8 million people were dependent on or abused pain relievers.
The Centers for Disease Control determined that in 2010, there were 38,329 drug overdose deaths, of which 16,651 involved prescription opioid drugs. The CDC also found that thirty percent of the time, a benzodiazepine was also involved. Though they didn't separate out the figures in these data, in an email one of the CDC's researchers told me that alcohol-in-combination is typically reported in about 20 percent of opioid overdose deaths.
The point is: Pain management is a complicated issue. It's where healthcare and drug control policy collide. Sadly, as the debate drags on, innocent patients are suffering.
For the Drug Truth Network this is Doug McVay with Common Sense for Drug Policy and Drug War Facts.
DEAN BECKER: From Bill “the liar” O’Reilly…
BILL O’REILLY: The first of my talking points, have illegal drugs harmed your family?
According to U.S. Department of Health more than 38,000 people died from drug overdoses in the USA in 2010 the last statistics available. The Department of Health also says about 22 million Americans ages 12 or over need treatment for substance abuse in this country – 22 million.
Yet many on the left are demanding softer drug laws. They don’t believe that selling hard narcotics causes enough damage to be classified as a violent crime. That, in itself, is hard to believe – another radical left position.
Drugs like cocaine, meth, and other opiates kill people – lots of people – and the pushers who sell them are partially responsible for those deaths. That is violence – is it not?!
Many celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Jamie Fox, Will Smith, Mark Wahlberg and Kim Kardashian also LL Cool J signed a letter to President Obama that says, “Mr. President it’s evident that you have demonstrated a commitment to pursue alternatives to the enforcement-only War on Drugs approach and address the increased incarceration rates for non-violent crimes.
“The greatest victims of prison industrial complex are our nation’s children. Hundreds of thousands of children have lost a parent to long prison sentences for non-violent drug offenses leaving those children to fend for themselves.”
Completely absurd and misguided in the extreme.
DEAN BECKER: WOW. Bill O’Reilly says there’s 38,000 illegal drug deaths in the U.S. in the year 2010 so I looked it up the CDC website. It says 60% of those deaths were pharmaceutical drugs – legal drugs, store pills like Oxycontin and anti-psychotics for people with mental health problems.
Bill O’Reilly says 22 million Americans are in need of treatment so I looked that up. SAMSA, the government agency, says “In America there are a total of 22.6 million who use ‘illegal drugs.’ Of that, 17.4 million are marijuana users leaving 4.8 million using the other drugs like the pharmaceuticals.”
So he’s claiming that every drug user, including every pot smoker, needs treatment. Then he goes on to say that nobody from the left is willing to stand up and speak up and refute his assertions.
These days I’m not so sure I want to claim the left but he’s never asked me to refute his bovine feces. I’d carve him up like a Christmas turkey.
Next up thanks to Current TV we have Ben Jealous, head of the NAACP, talking about incarceration in these United States.
ANCHOR: Why are there so many people in prison in this country?
BEN JEALOUS: Because for about 40 years we’ve decided that this is how we solve almost every problem whether it’s homelessness or drug addiction – just put them in prison. We’ve gotten to a place where black men in this country are three times more likely to be incarcerated than black men were in South Africa during apartheid when they were the world’s leading incarcerator.
So not only have we taken over this spot and, quite frankly, the last two countries that held it no longer exist – the former Soviet Union and the former South African Republic – but we’ve taken it to a whole other level because we decided that incarceration was a panacea.
What we now know is, for instance, for drug addicts rehabilitation is 7 times more effective dollar for dollar than incarceration.
ANCHOR: How would you grade this President, then, when it comes to his policy on crime in the country?
BEN JEALOUS: I think like a lot of issues that hope really lies in the second term. The first term we’re willing to say, “Look, you had to deal with 2 wars, with a big recession and something that felt like the eve of the country tearing apart at home. The Tea Party cut a fissure into the country.
“Great, we’re through that. The beginning of the second term we want to give you an A on this term and that’s why we’re coming to you early.”
ANCHOR: Do you feel that the continuation of the drug war is the greatest obstacle towards real prison reform? Or does it work the other way? Is the prison industrial complex keeping the drug war alive?
BEN JEALOUS: There is a prison industrial complex that gets in the way of reform efforts. You have to be willing to put pressure on in the middle because the folks in the middle are the ones that say, “Oh, I don’t want to be portrayed as ‘soft on crime’ in the next election so I know it’s right but I’m going to wrestle with my conscience and, by God, I’m going to win. I know what’s right but I’m not going to do it at any costs.”
Those are the folks we just have to push out of the way and say it’s time to man up, it’s time to woman up, it’s time to just say this is the right thing and we’re going to do it because it’s about people’s families.
What we’ve seen in the last 20 years is the number of women in prison skyrocket. Here’s the thing. When mom goes to prison the kids go to foster care.
Hallelujah, the Feds are thus far remaining silent about the legal pot in Wahington and Colorado... urah...
The states seem to be battling over legal weed, medical marijuana and prison reform. Praise be.
But at the back of their minds and included in every new look at the use of the cannabis plant there still exists reefer madness, bold glaring reefer madness.
We'll let you smoke in your basement, but to do so in public is verbotten. Just remember, we will give up the right to lock you in a cage, but we will still do everything possible to incapacitate your life.
Test your urine before we give you a job. Keep you from driving, by taking away your right to a driver’s license. Prevent you from obtaining an education because we want to influence your direction in life. Any way possible, we will stand in your way of progress, because we do not like weed.
We feel a moral obligation to turn you back to the American way of... tobacco, Jim Beam and doctor blessed prescription pills. We do this in the name of the Almighty.
DEAN BECKER: I guess I’ll step down from my pulpit now for the week. I’m hoping you are feeling more motivated to do your part. The evidence is open, ugly, glaring – it’s everywhere. We’re just waiting on you to help bring about the end.
I got to say it again – there is no basis to this drug war. It’s not based in reality. It’s a pipe dream of men who died long ago. Prohibido istac evilesco!
For the Drug Truth Network, this is Dean Becker asking you to examine our policy of Drug Prohibition.
The Century of Lies.
This show produced at the Pacifica Studios of KPFT, Houston.
Transcript provided by: Jo-D Harrison of www.DrugSense.org