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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TEXAS FAITH: What can religious groups do to help along the Mexican border?

What is the U.S. responsibility, if any, in helping to curtail drug-related violence in Mexico? And how can religious groups make a positive difference along the border if it's too dangerous to send volunteers there?

My weekly response to Dallas Morning News 's call on issues though the Texas Faith Panel. The other 7 opinions are at http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/01/texas-faith-what-can-religious.html 
Bob Epstein, commander of North Texas drug enforcement agency scared the devil out of Rotarians in a meeting in December last year when he shared about the terror of drug cartels, he thinks it is the biggest threat America faces in this decade.  Most people walked out shaking their heads in disbelief about meth seizures in Plano, Mesquite and else where in North Texas.

Nearly 35,000 people have fallen victim to the drug related killings in Mexico and the US in the last four years and the violence continues in border towns and has reached here in the heartland. Part of the delays on I-35 corridor is caused by monitoring for drug and gun smugglers.

What is our responsibility?  

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was precise when she spoke about American responsibility for the drug problem. "Stubbornly high U.S. demand drives the trade, and firearms smuggled from the United States are involved in much of the violence."

"The U.S. has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support and will deliver another half-billion in equipment and training this year. It has helped train thousands of policemen and sent helicopters and other crime-fighting technology." Clinton adds.

Indeed, the Mexican elite force was trained by the United States, ranked next only to the seals, and now they work for the drug cartels for higher wages. 
Our responsibility falls in curtailing drug consumption and accounting for Gun sales. As long we are a haven for drug sales, the cartels will fight to retain their sales and the violence will continue.

It is our duty to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen, and our safety invariably hinges on safety of the neighbors who surround us; Mexico

We should never give up spiritual solutions to mitigate the conflicts and nurture goodwill.

Mother Teresa gave sane advice, "if you want peace, go talk with your enemies, you don't talk peace amongst your friends." In the early seventies smaller towns in India were terrorized by the dacoits and J.P. Narayan, a spiritual statesman offered amnesty to those who laid their guns down and India witnessed amazing piles of surrendered guns. Are the drug lords in Mexico tired of fighting? Can we lure some with amnesty? Can we embrace one lord at a time?  Would that be less expensive than going on an all out war?

Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Pluralism and Islam offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.MikeGhouse.net/

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