Bill Clinton Apologizes to Mexico For Drug War

By Victoria Kim 02/18/15

The former president is sorry for mistakes made by him and his predecessors.

Bill Clinton
My bad.

On a visit to Mexico this month, former president Bill Clinton apologized to an audience of students and entrepreneurs at the Laureate Summit on Youth and Productivity, a conference on the future of education in Mexico, for the devastating impact that United States drug policy has had on narco-trafficking south of the border.

“I wish you had no narco-trafficking, but it’s not really your fault. Basically, we did too good of a job of taking the transportation out of the air and water, and so we ran it over land. I apologize for that,” Clinton said.

The former president was making references to policies that started under his predecessors, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, who invested heavily in intercepting trafficking routes in the Caribbean Sea that ran between the U.S., South America, and Central America.

As a result, trafficking moved ashore, through Mexico. Clinton had a hand in boosting drug trafficking in Mexico, as well. In 1994, the year the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect and opened the border, commercial-vehicle smuggling increased by 25%.

This is not the first time Clinton has commented on the failure of U.S. drug policy. Ryan Grim and Matt Ferner noted as much in their piece for the Huffington Post, which explains in-depth how the American drug war has shaped narco-trafficking in recent history.

Also, in the 2011 documentary Breaking the Taboo, Clinton said, “Well obviously, if the expected results was that we would eliminate serious drug use in America and eliminate the narco-trafficking networks—it hasn’t worked.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr