The other day, my fiance asked how my parents were doing and I replied, “They’re heading across the border to buy drugs.” No sooner did I say that than we both cracked up. What I said is true, but it paints the wrong picture. It’s not like my folks were off to mix and mingle with Mexican drug lords. They, like many other law-abiding US citizens, visit the border town of Algodones, Mexico to purchase prescription drugs at reasonable prices.
From what I’ve read, Algodones is to medical needs what Las Vegas is to gamblers. The place is chock full of dentists, doctors and deeply discounted medicines. You can park in the US and walk over to Algodones where eager English-speaking vendors await you.
While Algodones is thriving, other Mexican border cities are having a rough time. Hundreds of residents from Ciudad Mier recently fled to another town after the Zetas drug gang threatened to kill anyone who stayed there. I found a good article about it here on a blog written by Sylvia Longmire, a US – Mexico border expert.
Longmire’s Mexico’s Drug War blog is a good source of info on the situation. Poor Mexico! It is so tragic. Something like 30,000 people have died since 2007, when President Calderón declared war on the drug cartels. How’s that policy working out for you, Presidente? :/
I am no pundit, and I rarely talk politics on here, but I do wonder how it would impact the Mexican drug war if the US legalized marijuana. I guess I can ask Ms. Longmire that question over at her blog.
This bad publicity must be killing tourism. I have such magical memories of Mazatlan and Mexico City (I loved the pyramids and have a soft spot for Xochimilco!) Sadly, I would now think twice about vacationing in Mexico. Obviously, something needs to be done, but I don’t know what.
What do you think?