NewsBriefs BUTTONS

Mexico Pleads With U.N. to Change Course by Focusing on Demand, Not Supply


July 1993

Mexican officials, stymied by and fearful of the growing influence and firepower of drug cartels, issued a plea to the United Nations (U.N.) to aid in a revised strategy designed to refocus the drug war on demand reduction rather than supply interdiction (Gregory Katz, "Mexico To Offer Drug Plan: U.N. Aid, Focus On Users Sought," Dallas Morning News, 6/4/93, 1A).

Current U.N. policy based on interdiction and source eradication was strongly influenced by then United States president Ronald Reagan when adopted in 1988. "Mexico has followed the U.N. strategy," commented Mexican diplomat Migel Angel Gonzalez, who is coordinating the Mexican effort to refocus the drug war along with help from Colombia and other Latin American nations. "We have increased the number of people fighting drugs, we have greatly increased our capacity to intercept drugs. We have diminished by 65 percent the production of marijuana and by 40 percent the production of heroin. You could say we are doing better than ever before. And what has happened? The situation here is worse."

Mexican officials planned to make a formal proposal at a U.N. human rights conference in Vienna in mid-June. The proposal refocuses policy on cutting drug consumption in developed countries, particularly the U.S. President Bill Clinton is more likely to embrace such a concept than predecessors Reagan and George Bush, observers noted.