Bolivian president Evo Morales calls for legalization of coca

President Evo Morales is launching an international campaign to tout the benefits of the coca leaf and has been lobbying the UN to take it off of the list of prohibited substances.

Cocaine, which used to be an ingredient in Coca-Cola until the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed, is an appetite suppressant, controls altitude sickness and and an energy lift.

Coca-Cola (the cocaine helped give it its name), was originally an elixer as was Dr. Pepper (sans cocaine).

His appeal was in a New York Times editorial entitled Let Me Chew My Coca Leaves.

Note that chewing coca leaves is an ancient tradition for the Andean people dating back to the Incas. In fact its appetite suppression and energy attributes are what allowed the Spaniards to enslave the Inca Indians and cut down on the food they had to give them.

Read about his initiative here.

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Amnesty for illegal immigrants? Solve this first…

USA Today had a story Monday about Mexican drug cartels setting up shop in 195 cities in the United States. They said the DEA seized more drug related cash in Atlanta ($30 million) than in Chicago ($18 million) or LA ($19 million).

And that’s not the half of it. The violence is in Atlanta too.

A Rhode Island man who owed the cartels $300,000 was found in the basement of a Georgia home, chained to a wall. He had been beaten, gagged and was dehydrated. The police captured his attackers as they fled the house.

Another man was kidnapped in Gwinett County but the family was working with police and when traffickers went to pick up the $2 million ransom, they were greeted by police.

Speaking of ransom, Reuters reports that Phoenix, Arizona is now the kidnap capital of the United States.

Hit men dressed in fake police tactical gear burst into a home in Phoenix, rake it with gunfire and execute a man.

Armed kidnappers snatch victims from cars and even a local shopping mall across the Phoenix valley for ransom….Execution style murders, violent home invasions, and a spiraling kidnap rate in Phoenix — where police reported an average of one abduction a day last year linked to Mexican crime — are not the only examples along the border.

In southern California, police have investigated cases of Americans abducted by armed groups tied to the Tijuana drug trade. One involved a businesswoman and her teenage daughter snatched in San Diego last year and held to ransom south of the border.

In south Texas, a live hand grenade traced back to a Mexican cartel stash was tossed onto the pool table of a bar frequented by off-duty police officers in January. The pin was left in it and the assailant fled.

The drug war is so bad in Mexico, Arizona State Police told Reuters that last November, “Mexican police officers pinned down in a raging gun battle in Nogales, Sonora, reached out to them with an urgent request for more bullets.”

And while we’re halfway across the world searching for training camps for al Qaeda, we need to look no further than our own doorstep for training camps that are bound to impact us on a fairly regular basis.

Dallas News reports that the training has taken place

at locations southwest of Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville; near the town of Abasolo, between Matamoros and Ciudad Victoria; just north of the Nuevo Laredo airport; and at a place called “Rancho Las Amarillas” near a rural community, China, that is close to the Nuevo León-Tamaulipas border.

Two other ranches used as training camps, both east of Matamoros, have clandestine landing strips for cocaine shipments originating in Colombia and destined for the United States via Texas, according to the officials and testimony.

They are used

to train cartel recruits – ranging from Mexican army deserters to American teenagers – who then carry out killings and other cartel assignments on both sides of the border, authorities say.

More frightening is that Mexican officials say the camps are heavily fortified and can even bring down planes. But the idea that American teenagers are trained as assassins is just plain scary.

In small towns along the Texas-Tamaulipas border, the Zetas operate with seeming impunity, driving late-model SUVs and carrying gold-plated rifles. Roadside altars are appearing that pay tribute to “Santa Muerte,” the Saint of Death, adorned with candles and Grim Reaper figurines. Residents regard them as a sign of cartel activity.

According to the witness testimony and interviews with U.S. and Mexican officials, training in the camps may range from a few weeks to months, and trainees have included American teenagers.

One of them is Rosalio Reta, 18, who was sentenced last year to 40 years in prison for a murder in Laredo. Mr. Reta’s career as a cartel hitman began at age 13, he told investigators. Authorities say he may have been involved in as many as 30 execution-style murders in the U.S. and Mexico.

Last year, Mr. Reta gave Laredo police Detective Roberto García an account of how he and other high school-age boys were trained as teenage hitmen for the Zetas. Mr. Reta told Laredo authorities he spent months training under Mateo Díaz López, “Comandante Teo,” an alleged top Zeta member arrested last year in the state of Tabasco on drug and weapons charges.

Mr. Reta’s confession led to the discovery of three clandestine cells in Laredo, allegedly carrying out assignments for reputed cartel leader Miguel Treviño.

“I know we’re fighting terrorism throughout the world … but here along the border the narco-terrorists operate on both sides of the border, and so far it’s gone largely unnoticed by Washington,” said Webb County Assistant District Attorney Jesús Guillén, who prosecuted Mr. Reta.

Must be largely unnoticed because I don’t see how you’ll do a background check on these people. And they pay well.
According to the Dallas News,

Mr. Cárdenas used the ranch to raise cattle as well as to train his personal militia, many of them former army soldiers lured by promises of higher pay, according to the testimony. Pay started at about $300 a week but would double within six months – far higher than salaries for soldiers or police. Pay for hitmen and bodyguards began at $1,000 per week, according to testimony.

They also execute and dispose of their enemies there.

And if you’d like a comprehensive picture of this problem, go no further than our own government’s Congressional Resource Service, where you will find a 21 page report for Congress on the problem entitled Mexican Drug Cartels.

I think the Webb County Assistant District Attorney Jesús Guillén used the wrong adjective. Unnoticed isn’t the problem. I think ignored would be far more accurate. Guess stopping this problem just doesn’t fit into the grand scheme of things.

I hate to foretell the future to our illustrious congresspeople, but like neighborhoods where gangs slowly take over unnoticed, countries are the same way.

I’d prefer the United States didn’t turn into Columbia, and since Guzman, the head of one of the drug cartels in Mexico was just put on the billionaire list by Forbes, I would suggest the only way to quickly take the wind out of the sails of this pirate ship from south of the border, is to legalize the stuff they sell (90 percent of the cocaine, 80 percent of the methamphetamine and half of the marijuana), and be done with it.

Let Americans reap the benefits of the drug trade – legally, and keep our cities safe, cheaply.

And as for amnesty? Don’t even raise the topic until you solve this problem, and can guarntee the American people that the only people you are helping to gain citizenship, are the ones who are truly here to get a better life, want to work, pay taxes, raise their children, and assimilate.

I can handle your poor, huddled masses but I can’t forget when Castro decided to let people leave Cuba if they wanted to, and the ones he let leave were the inmates from his prisons and mental hospitals.

Get real people, we need a plan and amnesty ain’t it.

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