Ask almost any U.S. citizen who is to blame for the drug problem in the United States and the massacres in México, and the answer is likely – México. That is the narrative that the United States government has been peddling since Richard Nixon launched Operation Intercept placing the blame on México for the drug problems in the United States. Never mind that the consumers are the U.S. citizens whose money is the one that funds the chaos and murders in México, not to mention the weapons.

México is the convenient scapegoat for U.S administrations to distract voters away from the real problems in Washington. The Drug War also conveniently funds many government workers and even allows for the U.S. government to mount clandestine and, sometimes, illegal operations away from the eyes of the electorate. México and Mexicans have paid a heavy price for the U.S. addiction to drugs.

Mexicans have been pointing this out for many years but U.S. voters love the narrative where Mexicans are the culprit.

Imagine my surprise when Secretary of States Rex Tillerson recently agreed that the drug war battles and the mayhem, mostly suffered by Mexicans, lies squarely on the shoulders of the United States. What is more shocking is that Tillerson is a Donald Trump appointee.

On May 18, 2017, Tillerson agreed during the U.S.-México cabinet meetings that the U.S. “must own the problem.” “It is ours,” Tillerson is quoted by CNN. During the new conference, Tillerson was quoted by CNN as stating:

“We know what we own, and we as Americans must confront that we are the market. There is no other market for these activities. It is all coming here. But for us, Mexico wouldn’t have the trans-criminal organized crime problem and the violence that they’re suffering,”

Tillerson added, “we really have to own up to that.” [1]

Because there are those readers that are so engrained into the false narrative of blaming México it is important to see other sources to ascertain whether the quotes attributed to Rex Tillerson are accurate.

On May 18, 2017, the U.S. Department of State posted on its official website a press availability of announcement. In the posting, the U.S Department of States stated, “America must also confront the reality that we are the market, but for the seemingly endless demand by addicted users and the successful recruitment of young and vulnerable new users, there would be no market.” The website posting included, “We Americans must own this problem. It is ours.” [2]

Also, Texas Monthly quoted the Secretary of State as well. According to the Texas magazine, Tillerson stated, “We Americans must own this problem” and “It is ours. There is no other market, it is all us. But for us, Mexico wouldn’t have a transnational organized crime problem.”

There you have it, what México has been saying for years – that the United States is to blame for the drug wars killing Mexicans. More importantly, this very important fact was accepted by a Donald Trump appointee.

Although the United States has officially acknowledged this simple fact, there are many U.S. citizens who will refuse to acknowledge it, pretending instead that there was no such acknowledgement or ignoring it altogether. For many it is much easier to blame México and Mexicans.

Although the fact remains that it is a U.S. problem, México must also acknowledge the part it plays in the problem. By doing so, both countries can work together in cooperation to solve the problem.

That leaves one impediment, will Donald Trump acknowledge México and Mexicans as the friends that they are and work together in cooperation, or will he continue to pursue The Wall that will never be built?

1. Kosinski, Michelle; “’We are the market’: Tillerson faults US for evils of Mexico’s drug trade”; CNN, May 18, 2017
2. U.S. Department of States website Press Annoucement posted on May 18, 2017; “Press Availability With Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Luis Videgaray Caso, and Mexican Secretary of Government Miguel Angel Osorio Chong”, accessed on May 25, 2017; Link:
3. Reigstad, Leif; “Rex Tillerson Says the U.S. is at Fault for Mexico’s Drug Violence: Your Roundup”; TexasMonthly, May 19 ,2017

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

5 replies on “U.S. Secretary of State Agrees U.S. is the Problem”

  1. I agree with you that the USA is the demand and cause of the problem. I tell my Canada friends up here that, when they light up (not legal here), it causes murder in Mexico.

    I once read a compilation of drug use stats here and if i recall, there is a base usage of about 9% of the adult population that are users, mostly pot. It is higher on the coasts, in trailer parks, and off the charts on Indian reservations. Also, it is mainly a youth problem as people grow out of it as they age. At least as measured by admissions to rehab programs.

    We have met the enemy and it is us.

  2. I agree that the US has the marketand as such is a big part of the problem. But it doesn’t fully explain why only Mexico seems to have out of control cartels. Canada doesn’t seem to have that issue. I’m not suggesting that cartels aren’t active throughout North America, but the only place they seem to be more in charge than the police is Mexico.

  3. Martin
    Mexico has it’s drug problems to it’s not just the U.S.. Also what do you think would happen if the drug money from the U.S dried up in Mexico. There would be all out war going on between the families that own Mexico and the Cartels they control. Martin Illegal drugs and human trafficking are big pillar of the Mexico’s underground economy and without it Mexico’s economy would totally tank and imploded.
    Martin it’s just like El Paso if the illegal drug money and other dollars from human trafficking were taken out of El Paso ,which is as much as 40% plus of the money in circulation in El Paso, El Paso would go down the toilet.
    Martin why do you think there was such an uproar in Mexico when U.S states started legalizing Pot because it meant big lose of revenue for Mexico

  4. You’re correct but one cannot overlook that Mexico has always been a country of violence and corruption. So if it wasn’t the drug trafficking, it would be something else. Nothing will change until the Mexican government ends corruption and help the people.

  5. The drug business is good business for the US government on several levels. Not only is it a big money maker, that’s why we never see the CEOs of the laundering financial institutions chained and prep-walked, but it also serves to prop-up and/or bring down other nations’ governments. Iran-Contra comes to mind, when the Reagan/Bush administration introduced the crack to the black neighborhoods (no violence here).

    Maybe God wasn’t away on business when He ‘geographed’ the US next to Mexico, knowing that the former would always be in need of a scapegoat.

    The violence of the ‘non-violent’ US is perpetrated on those nations it wishes to exploit and in certain US populations it wishes to destroy. Mexicans know their government is corrupt. US citizens have been bamboozled by their government that only other governments are corrupt.

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