U.S.-backed war on drugs has accomplished nothing, says university chancellor

The war, which has left 150,000 dead and 28,000 missing in Mexico, turns 10 in December.

Photo: EL UNIVERSAL Archives
English 29/11/2016 15:05 Teresa Moreno Mexico City Actualizada 15:22

The U.S.-backed war on drugs, which turns 10 in December, has accomplished nothing, says Enrique Graue Wiechers, the chancellor of one of Mexico's largest and most important universities, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

The university chancellor said that the country desperately needs to reassess its policies on drugs with a completely different perspective that would give Mexico a better global reputation, since today it's mostly known as being corrupt and violent.

“We really need to do something else, and this is why I celebrate the opportunity to serve in this extraordinary panel where we can discuss what we can do to create a new Mexico. A Mexico that allows us to get rid of that corrupt, violent image once and for all and instead become a leader among countries. The truth is that the war on drugs has accomplished nothing,” said the chancellor during the inauguration of a Forum aimed at creating better policies on drugs.

Graue also said that over the last ten years, Mexico has gone from simply being a transit country where drugs passed through on their way to the U.S., to becoming one of the major drug producing countries in the world.

Since starting in 2006, the war on drugs has left 150,000 casualties and 28,000 missing people in Mexico alone.

During his speech, he said that during this time, Mexico has gone to build up a reputation of being a violent and dangerous country and as a result, it hasn't been able to fully take advantage of the opportunities that opened up with the signing of the NAFTA in the 90s.

“We missed the opportunity to become a powerful emerging market with the signing of the NAFTA and build up a reputation with our North American commercial partners as being a progressive country. We instead are now known as a dangerous and violent country,” said the chancellor.