Pubdate: Wed, 01 Jan 2003
Source: News & Observer (NC)
Copyright: 2003 The News and Observer Publishing Company
Author: Armando Ortiz-Rocha, Consul of Mexico


I read with concern your Dec. 29 article headlined "Drug traffic's newest 
wave." Even though it does not seem intentional, its orientation harms the 
Latino community settled in this region, especially those of Mexican 
origin. It is very unfortunate that the article attempted to analyze an 
extremely complex subject through a stereotyped vision that was overcome 
several years ago in the bilateral agenda between Mexico and the United 
States. It is true that in Mexico there are important criminal 
organizations involved in drug trafficking, which are being firmly fought 
under President Vicente Fox's administration, and it is also true that some 
Mexican workers are being used to smuggle drugs into the United States. 
However, as Andrea Bazan-Manson, executive director of El Pueblo, Inc. [a 
Hispanic advocacy group in Raleigh] was quoted as saying, the vast majority 
of Latino immigrants come to this country to work arduously in order to 
forge a better future for themselves and their families. It is true as well 
that the drug activity has no nationality, that the most attractive market 
for the trafficking organizations is on this side, and that thousands of 
individuals participate in the distribution chain, mainly American citizens.

Comments tendentiously directed towards Mexico and its nationals as the 
source of serious drug-related problems that, sadly, many sectors of 
American society undergo, originate from a twisted focus that not even the 
former U.S. anti-drug czar, Barry McCaffrey, was able to modify. McCaffrey 
always insisted that the war against drugs had to be combated through 
education and cooperation, not by promoting stereotypes.

I hope readers will reach a just and balanced opinion of the Latino 
presence, particularly the Mexican one, in this hospitable great state of 
North Carolina.

Armando Ortiz-Rocha

Consul of Mexico

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