More than forty years have passed since President Richard Nixon described illegal drugs as “public enemy number one” and declared a “War on Drugs.” Recently the United Nations Global Commission on Drug Policy declared that “the global war on drugs has failed with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.” Arguably, no other country has suffered as much from the War on Drugs as Mexico. From 2006 to 2012 alone, at least sixty thousand people have died. Some experts have said that the actual number is more than one hundred thousand. Because the war was conceived and structured by US policymakers and officials, many commentators believe that the United States is deeply implicated in the bloodshed.
A War that Can’t Be Won is the first book to include contributions from scholars on both sides of the US–Mexico border. It provides a unique breadth of perspective on the many dimensions of the societal crisis that affects residents of both nations—particularly those who live and work in the borderlands. It also proposes practical steps toward solving a crisis that shows no signs of abating under current policies. Each chapter is based on well-documented data, including previously unavailable evidence that was obtained through freedom-of-information inquiries in Mexico. By bringing together views from both sides of the border, as well as from various academic disciplines, this volume offers a much wider view of a complex problem—and possible solutions.