Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 2015
Source: Tampa Bay Times (FL)
Copyright: 2015 St. Petersburg Times
Note: Named the St. Petersburg Times from 1884-2011.
Author: Doug Dear
Note: Letter of the Day
Page: A10


Re: Notorious drug kingpin escapes | July 13

In Don Winslow's most recent book, The Cartel, he describes the 
elaborately choreographed escape of the head of the fictional El 
Federacin, the world's most powerful drug cartel. The book's time 
proximity to Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman's escape (it was just 
published in June) gives Winslow's story a prescient quality.

Winslow's account also undercuts the simplistic accusation (made by 
Donald Trump among others) that the escape is evidence of Mexican 
malevolence toward the United States. By portraying the global impact 
and political complexities of the illegal drug business, he shows 
that it is the marketplace that determines the direction of the drug 
business. Thus it is not a problem that will be solved by changing 
immigration law or policy. How would tweaking immigration policy have 
curtailed the illegal importation of alcohol during Prohibition?

As the book demonstrates, there are too many vested interests on all 
sides of the drug war for anything, much less immigration policy, to 
have a meaningful impact. It is the war itself that is flawed. I 
believe an answer could be found in the realm of economics, if anyone 
with sufficient cachet were to really look.

Doug Dear, Tampa
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom