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Mass Graves in Mexico  40 students presumed murdered by police/drug cartel

October 20, 2014

The facts are simple.  The conclusions are not.  The facts are 43 students at a rural Mexican teacher’s college are missing and presumed dead.  Searchers found 10 mass graves in the area.  They uncovered 28 badly damaged bodies so far.  We know the students were stopped by police as they traveled to a remote town.  We know the police have close ties to the narcotics gangs.  22 policemen have been held for questioning.  The local police chief has fled to avoid questioning.  The head of the local drug gang died in a shootout with police.  Local sources assume the police gave the students to the local drug gangs for execution.

Protesters demanding an investigation burned down the capital office buildings in Chilpancingo.  Chilpancingo is the capital of the Mexican state of Guerrero.  You may be familiar with Guerroro since Acapulco is its largest and the best known city.

How does this relate to us in the US?  The problem is not a thousand miles south of the border.  Everyone in the United States is familiar with the problems of political corruption.  In the case of the murdered students, I see a confluence of monopoly power created by bad political decisions.

Drug prohibition put enormous wealth into the hands of corrupt people.  Politicians created and maintain that prohibition.  Crushing government regulation and corruption smothered honest businesses.  The bad business environment drove people into the black market.  Politicians created those regulations, and pass more every month.  Politicians prohibited the civilian ownership of firearms and their use for self-defense.  That left law-abiding citizens as easy victims.  Each of those decisions can be reversed in Mexico.

We tried the same political policies in the United States.  The difference between Mexico and the US is simply a matter of degree.  Think back and you can see our politicians trying to sell us similar decision.  We know where these decisions lead.

Drug prohibition creates local monopolies controlled by drug gangs.  Government regulations create huge barriers that protect existing companies.  The prohibition against armed self-defense creates vulnerable victims who depend on either the police or the drug gangs for protection.  That sounds all too familiar.

Those political choices led to this ugly situation in Mexico.  It does not explain why we voted for similar choices in the United States.  I hope we will learn from 43 Mexican students who wanted to be teachers.

Elections have consequences.

This article first appeared at


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