Under Barack Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder, the British Empire's modern Opium War has been made U.S. policy: federal agents have been ordered to not enforce federal anti-drug laws, resources for national and multilateral anti-drug enforcement have been slashed, drug banks like HSBC have been given a free pass, and U.S. neighbors to the south have been encouraged to consider legalizing production and consumption of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.
With that truth in mind, consider the implications of what Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez had to say on the immigration crisis in a lengthy, and very moving interview published by the Mexican daily, Excelsior, three days ago.
President Hernandez stated emphatically that the Central American immigration crisis is driven by the lack of economic opportunities and by violence in the region, and some 85% of that violence is generated by the drug-trafficking which feeds U.S. drug consumption. Hernandez called upon the U.S. to assume co-responsibility for dealing with the drug problem.
Honduras is dedicating a huge percentage of its limited resources to regaining territory from the drug murderers.
"Little by little, we are regaining ground and giving people back their birthright of freedom to walk and live healthily.... If we worked together on this, as they worked with Colombia, as they worked with Mexico, I'm sure that with the effort which Honduras is making, already liberating certain zones, I am sure we would get out of this much quicker."
Instead, he pointed out, marijuana is being legalized in some states in the U.S.
"For the United States, for certain officials, the drug consumption problem is a health problem, and a problem of how much it costs to rehabilitate someone or to prevent them from becoming an addict.
"For us, here, it is to die. That two or three generations of youth go into the Maras, which is the armed wing of the drug trade, gives a very different dimension to the problem."
The vast majority of children who are fleeing north to the United States come from urban areas where drug violence is concentrated, and most of them have a parent or both in the United States, he reported. The "coyotes" who run the human traffic going north are intertwined with the drug-traffickers. People must understand the great natural desire of children and parents to be together. This is not some minor thing. These are human beings, he exclaimed.
"If Honduras is a place, along with the rest of Central America, of opportunities, of economic growth, of living in peace and tranquility, no one would emigrate there."
The Honduran government, with its limited resources, is mobilizing with the private sector, and civic and religious organizations, to receive in an orderly manner the expected mass inflow of people being deported back, ensuring that the children return to school and some place safe, and that adults are enrolled in some government assistance program. The First Lady, now chairing a national Migrant Task Force, and half the cabinet personally went to the airport to receive the first planeload of deportees sent back last weekend.