Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

O'Neil analyzes developments in Latin America and U.S. relations in the region.

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Mexico’s Interior Minister Blake Mora Dies in Helicopter Crash

by Shannon K. O'Neil
November 11, 2011

Mexico's Former Interior Minister Blake Mora applauds during a discussion with victims of the violence in Mexico City (Courtesy Reuters).

Mexico’s interior minister, Jose Francisco Blake Mora and seven others, including Deputy Interior Minister Felipe Zamora and spokesman Jose Alfredo Garcia, died tragically today in a helicopter crash. They were  flying from Mexico City toward Cuernavaca for a meeting with prosecutors in Xochitepec, Morelos. His death comes just a week after the three year anniversary of the tragic death of one of his predecessors, Juan Camilo Mourino, who also died in a plane crash in November 2008. There is no evidence yet (in either case) that foul play was involved — though conspiracy rumors are sure to fly.

The interior minister is no longer the preeminent government post (once second only to the Presidency in terms of power), but it is still a vital Cabinet position, and one crucial for executive-legislative relations, for coordinating the work of various ministries and secretariats, and importantly for the government’s security strategy. While a blow to the government and its security team, Mora’s death won’t likely change the Calderón government’s broader drug war policy during this last year of his administration. Sadly, it will mean that the administration will now be searching for a fifth individual to fill Blake’s shoes.

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  • Posted by malcolm kyle

    An appeal to Prohibitionists:

    Colombia, Peru, Mexico or Afghanistan with their coca leaves, marijuana buds or poppy sap are not igniting temptation in the minds of our weak, innocent citizens. These countries are duly responding to the enormous demand that comes from within our own borders. Invading or destroying these countries, thus creating more hate, violence, instability, injustice and corruption, will not fix our problem. We need to collectively admit that we are sick. — Prohibition is neither a sane nor a safe approach; left unabated, its puritanical flames will surely engulf every last one of us.

    Most of us are aware by now that individuals who use illegal drugs are going to get high, ‘no matter what.’ So why do you not prefer they acquire them in stores that check IDs and pay taxes? Gifting the market in narcotics to ruthless criminals, foreign terrorists and corrupt law enforcement officials is seriously compromising our future. If you remotely believe that people will one day quit using any of these ‘at present’ illegal drugs, then you are exhibiting a degree of naivety parallel only with those poor wretches who voluntarily drank the poisoned Kool-Aid in Jonestown.

    Even if you cannot stand the thought of people using drugs, there is absolutely nothing you, or any government, can do to stop them. We have spent 40 years and over a trillion dollars on this dangerous farce. Practically everybody is now aware that Prohibition will not suddenly and miraculously start showing different results. So why do you wish to continue with it? Do you actually think you may have something to lose If we were to start basing drug policy on science & logic instead of ignorance, hate and lies?

    Maybe you’re a police officer, a prison guard or a local politician. Possibly you’re scared of losing employment, overtime-pay, the many kick-backs and those regular fat bribes. But what good will any of that do you once our society has followed Mexico over the dystopian abyss of dismembered bodies, vats of acid and marauding thugs carrying gold-plated AK-47s with leopard skinned gunstocks?

    Kindly allow us to forgo the next level of your sycophantic prohibition-engendered mayhem!

    Prohibition Prevents Regulation : Legalize, Regulate and Tax!

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