Wednesday, September 16, 2009

UTEP to Sponsor War on Drugs Conference

We have all seen those news stories about people who witness a violent crime and do nothing. There are plenty of reports of someone being molested and no one coming to the rescue. Such stories tug at our consciences. In a way that is what is happening to all of us in El Paso now. We stare at the hideous violence in Juarez. Is there nothing that we can do?

In her blog entry, War on Drugs: Is It Working?, our City Representative Susie Byrd says it best:

"So it is easy to seal ourselves off from the violence in Juarez, not cross over. Bemoan the daily headlines and trust the law enforcement agencies that it will not spill over. But as citizens of El Paso, as citizens of the United States, we should not let our sense of security distance us from the violence in our sister city, from the violence begat from an insatiable hunger for illegal drugs in the United States and the laws that have created irresistible profit margins for greedy thugs with guns. The violence in Juarez is our problem. This region, El Paso and Juarez, have sat perched at the edge of a great renaissance. The insecurity in Juarez has unraveled economic gains in our region. Momentum is lost. Worry sets in.

We can't really afford to just stand by."

The University of Texas at El Paso is sponsoring a two day conference on the U.S. war on drugs beginning with a reception this coming Sunday night. Scholars, journalists, politicians and others will discuss the American drug war policy since its inception under President Nixon, its broad consequences and possible alternative strategies. For more information, go to

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