Tags: Mexico | drugs | space | museum

Mexico's Museum of Drugs Needs More Space

Friday, 15 Jan 2010 09:58 AM

MEXICO CITY -- When the Mexican military opened its Museum of Drugs in 1985, there were only a couple of dusty display cases in a small cramped room.

A year earlier, journalist Alan Riding had published a book still cited today about contemporary Mexico called "Distant Neighbors." His examination of all things Mexican was omnivorous: chapters on energy, politics, culture, corruption, poverty, agriculture. Yet there is only a single paragraph on narcotics trafficking. A short one. On Page 337.

How the situation has changed. The museum is now housed in spacious suites at Mexico's version of the Pentagon, but its curators say they are running out of room for all the contraband they would like to showcase.

The legacy of President Felipe Calderón will be, for better or worse, his confrontation with the drug mafias, which continue to shock and amaze with their brutality and brazenness. On Saturday, Mexicans opened their morning newspapers to read that cartel assassins in the state of Sinaloa had peeled the face off their victim and sewn the skin onto a soccer ball.

The museum is open to Mexican officials, visiting diplomats and graduating army cadets, who tour the exhibits to learn about their only real enemy, the drug cartels. Occasionally the brass lets a journalist have a look, but the greater public is not permitted.

Army Capt. Claudio Montane, the museum's curator, meets visitors at the door and explains, "The idea is to show the history of drugs, the various methods of the narcos, our operations and interceptions against them, as well as their mode of life, the social phenomenon of this narco-culture."

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MEXICO CITY -- When the Mexican military opened its Museum of Drugs in 1985, there were only a couple of dusty display cases in a small cramped room.
Mexico,drugs,space,museum
278
2010-58-15
Friday, 15 Jan 2010 09:58 AM
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