The violence engendered by the drug cartels in Mexico delves much further than the horror in which the country’s citizens must endure. The drug thugs in question have expanded their reign of terror to taking advantage of Central American immigrants that are navigating across Mexico trying to make their way to the United States.
Each and every day as many as 1,500 refugees board a train that is known as “La Bestia” or “The Beast” in order to begin a hellish journey with the anticipation of a better life. But unfortunately for the immigrants, the Mexican drug thugs have found a way to capitalize on their migration attempt.
One facet of the cartel’s horrific system is to lie in wait for migrants and then abduct them as they are departing the train on the fringes of Mexico City. Once abducted, the ill-fated individuals are subjected to life-threats, physical torture, extortion and some cases even murder.
“[The gangs] wait as people get off the train,” explains Jorgé Andrade, a former migrant shelter employee. “They’ve often been riding the train for seven or eight days. The criminals make them pay a toll to walk the 20 kilometers to the shelter. If they don’t pay, they kidnap, beat them, ask for sexual favors. In the worst case, they’ll be forced to work for the gangs or be killed.”
Another tactic employed by the drug thugs is the hijacking of the train route itself. The migrants that ride “The Beast” do so in hopes of avoiding immigration checkpoints and encounters with corrupt law enforcement officials. But instead, they must undergo the cartel’s attempts to extort $100 out of each individual trying to board the train as a form of passage fee.
This is an unfortunate case of persons with no connections to the drug trade being inadvertently ensnared by the cartels that were created by the international war on drugs. It’s also proof and point that it isn’t necessary for an individual to be a drug consumer in order to be directly affected by the drug war.
The immigrants fleeing Central America are doing so in attempt to escape the violence and poverty engulfing their country, only to be faced with a hazardous journey in which they may not survive.
This just shows how important it is to bring an end to this antediluvian war on the world’s inhabitants. It’s not only those of us that choose to use cannabis for recreational, medicinal and wellness purposes that are suffering needlessly as a result of an outmoded drug policy, there are also numerous innocent persons that are affected on a daily basis.
We as human beings cannot allow this animalistic behavior to continue any longer. Get involved on a grass roots level and help bring an end to madness that is the war on tokers.