"A magnificent washing-machine is sold here, its trademark is Aruba. The machine is an Aruban-Colombian product, its model called Cartel. The brand is well-known for its good performance in the United States and Europe. It is recommended by former ministers, members of Parliament, owners of casinos, supermarkets, cosmetics manufacturers and importers of cars and batteries. The washing-machine fits everybody who has become inexplicably rich from one day to another."
The possibilities of a lasting peace in the region are placed in doubt by a new and silent war: one unleashed against drug trafficking, and in which the role of the region's armed forces remains unclear.
The Mexican army, that historically has maintained a stringent "nationalistic" stance towards the United States, now supports a form of militarization that, disguising itself as a "war on drugs", imposes a "democracy of national security".
The following essays present insights into the various levels of military involvement in the war on drugs and the implications of this involvement in terms of democracy and human rights in the Western hemisphere.
Despite spending some $20 billion over the past decade on international drug control and interdiction efforts, illegal drugs from Latin America still flood the United States - a fact that concerns many within the military itself.