Museum Dedicated To Mexico's War on Drugs 

Museum Dedicated To Mexico's War on Drugs 
Posted by FoM on March 03, 2001 at 06:37:32 PT
By Lee Romney, Times Staff Writer
Source: Los Angeles Times
Hidden away on the top floor of the Defense Secretariat here is a museum that would truly blow the minds of Cheech and Chong.   Dedicated to Mexico's fierce war on drug cultivation and traffic, the museum is equal parts memorial, instructional tool and grudging appreciation of the absurdly creative mind of Mexico's public enemy No. 1. 
 "Their ingenuity has no limits," Capt. V.M. Jimenez, the Defense Secretariat officer in charge of El Museo de Enervantes, marveled as he offered a recent tour of the narcotics museum to foreign diplomats and other visitors.  There are gruesome photos of a woman whose heroin-filled buttock implants ruptured on a failed mission north, and oil barrels that concealed the radio communications equipment of drug traffickers. Quesadillas, doughnuts, sandals, fruit and even a stack of phone books all harbor secret compartments that were stuffed with marijuana, cocaine and heroin derived from the Sierra Madre's poppy fields.   Then there is the miniature floor model of a pickup truck confiscated by soldiers. The truck was equipped to spew oil, smoke and three-pointed tacks at potential pursuers. A life-size model of a marijuana growers' camp displays handmade sprinklers, a rusted press used to compact the plant into transportable bricks, and a grower relaxing with a can of Modelo beer in hand.   To be sure, the museum's mission is a somber one: It is a newly anointed training center for the nation's drug-fighting troops filled with lessons on interdiction and eradication. For starters, it offers a remembrance wall listing the 380 soldiers, by rank, killed in the fight against drugs since 1976.   Near the entrance stands a mannequin of the quintessential culprit: "El Narcotraficante." He wears gaudy gold bracelets and chains, a fancy watch, and--almost always, the captain stresses--a Texas-style cowboy hat and boots of exotic leather.   But the street soldiers in the northbound drug trade are hardly ever so well dressed. The museum also showcases the children who are recruited--sometimes unwittingly. A tiny bicycle's wheel rims were once packed with cocaine, and a sad-looking doll that was once stuffed with illicit bounty peeks from behind the glass of one display.   The museum is also a primer on the horticulture and eradication of marijuana and opium poppies, Mexico's two illicit cash crops, and the physiological effects of addiction. A marijuana plant more than 15 feet tall hangs wrapped from the ceiling. Lining one wall are photos of an elaborate greenhouse operation said to have belonged to the fugitive Arellano Felix brothers, head of the Tijuana-based cartel.   Jimenez demonstrates how a flammable gel is used to torch marijuana fields. And photos show uniformed troops constructing dirt berms on remote landing strips to trip up small aircraft bringing cocaine from Colombia.   The arsenal of confiscated weapons fills about one-fourth of the small museum. There are handmade guns and grenade launchers, as well as engraved AK-47s and sophisticated military-style weapons.   A .38-caliber pistol that is said to have been confiscated from drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman sports a 24-karat gold handle adorned with 22 emeralds and other stones. The stones spell out the initials ACF, allegedly for the late Juarez drug cartel leader Amado Carrillo Fuentes, who was said to have given it to Guzman.   If anyone doubted the cunning and corrupting power of the traffickers, the escape of Guzman in January from a maximum-security prison near Guadalajara should be persuasive. More than 70 guards and officials, including the director, have been arrested on suspicion of helping him escape.   The museum is not open to the public. Visitors are closely escorted--and filmed.   Still, defense officials are proud of the display. President Vicente Fox has poured new resources into the drug war, and the museum shows that the army is on to more than a few of its opponents' tricks. The display of trafficking devices, confiscated weapons, photos and dioramas offers lessons to troops. Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: Lee Romney, Times Staff WriterPublished: Saturday, March 3, 2001 Copyright: 2001 Los Angeles TimesAddress: Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053Fax: (213) 237-4712Contact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Articles - Mexico
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Comment #3 posted by Hermann Goering on March 03, 2001 at 16:21:44 PT
zieg heil
"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."- Hermann Goering, founder of the Nazi Gestapo - 
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Comment #2 posted by elemento on March 03, 2001 at 10:28:47 PT:
Rant and Rave
This piece is a typical example of the inflammitory button pushing sensationalist drivel poured out in such vast quantity by the propaganda/disinformation machine LATIMES. Things have gotten worse sinse Hearst, that old scoundrel. Save the children before it's too late! Mobilize for 4:20 Action Squads now to Save the Biosphere from the rapacious cancer memes that are jamming our bandwitdth!You Can Help by Centering Yourself Right Now and Taking a few Deep Breaths. Think about your loved ones and stay with what you know in your gut. Aloha
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Comment #1 posted by zenarch on March 03, 2001 at 08:08:48 PT
absurdly creative?  Mexico's public enemy?
absurdly creative mind of Mexico's public enemy No. 1.1)The need/love of money motivates creative minds! It drives our whole corporate economy. It's not absurd, it's ordinary run-of-the-mill capitalism sans the regulatory oversight of government!2)Mexico's public enemy No.1 is poverty NOT drugs! The solution to poverty is a booming economy - like the one provided by the drug trade!What part of this is so difficult to understand?
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