Skip to content

Buying Drugs in Mexico

Pensive mariachi dude. Photo by Tui Cameron
Pensive mariachi dude. Photo by Tui Cameron

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?

Tui Snider
Follow me:
Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. Buying Drugs in Mexico | Mental Mosaic: have blog, will travel…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  2. I am terrified of visiting Mexico. Irrational perhaps, but true. I’ve heard so many stories. I have friends who go there quite regularly, but it’s not an interest for me at this time. There are other hellish places I would rather see first! haha.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      I definitely understand your trepidation towards visiting Mexico right now. Hellish places, eh? The mouths of volcanoes and such? ;p ~Tui

  3. I say legalize pot. Not only will it take power away from the thugs in Mexico, but think of the job market boom for the pot growers of America!

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Vonnie: Makes sense to me… I actually asked this question over at the blog I mentioned in this post. I am curious to hear her perspective. Thanks for dropping by! :) ~Tui

  4. When we visited Mexico, I loved swimming in the cenotes and walking through the ruins of Chichen Itza. It is a beautiful country.

    Maybe Mexico could learn from Portugal, which decrimininalised all drug possession nine years ago. Since then, they have seen a dramatic decrease in heroin use and HIV transmission.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Lydia: I had no idea Portugal did that. I have a friend who lives there and will ask what he thinks about it all… The only ruins I want to see in Mexico are ancient ones, I don’t want to see them create modern ones through this drug debacle.

      Jyllian: Thank you! :) I was trying really hard to snap a shot of that guy without him noticing me. I took a bunch of his knees and the sky before I finally got one with him in it.

  5. It’s a very sad thing. My parents don’t even want to visit family there anymore. The last time they went for a funeral and they saw cops/law enforcement officials ready and loaded with gear at 3pm.

    I have a friend who just moved back to Lewisville. She was living in Tampico and she said it has really gone downhill and it’s just not safe to be out a night anymore. It’s a shame because Mexico is a beautiful country.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      I agree! Mexico is beautiful and this situation is very sad. How terrible not to be able to visit loved ones! :( I feel sorry for all the people who just want to live a peaceful life there. I understand Calderon wanting to take a tough stance on drugs, but is has really backfired. Thanks for visiting, Sonia! ~Tui

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.