Mexico Beset By Violence

This story is chilling even by recent standards: Christmas approaches, mobsters have chosen a new target, turning their sights on humble schoolteachers. Painted threats scrawled outside numerous public schools demand that teachers hand over their Christmas bonuses or face the possibility of an armed attack on the teachers -- and even the children. To make the point clear, assailants set fire to a federal preschool in the San Antonio district a week ago, leaving the director's office in smoldering ruins. Scribbled on the wall in gold paint was the reason: ``For not paying.''

The targeting of teachers in Juarez's 1,270 preschool, primary and secondary schools is a sign of the depravity that rules in a city whose name has become synonymous with homicide. Gangs already have shaken down other parts of the municipal social fabric -- doctors, dentists and even ambulance drivers. Now with the targets being teachers, parents have pulled thousands of children from schools where heightened security already had turned them into seeming prisons, enclosed with coils of barbed wire atop concrete walls.

The cycle here is basically as follows: the prohibition of narcotics results in Americans buying lots of drugs on the black market, which empowers narco-gangs throughout Mexico and central America, destabalizing governments and leading to lawlessness that immiserates their populations, threatens the stability of our southern neighbor, and sends illegal immigrants fleeing to our country in search of jobs and safety.
Then prohibitionists argue that legalization would have bad consequences.
Compared to what?