Jeronimo Saldana

Before We Say 'No More Drug War,' We Need to Shout 'Black Lives Matter' and 'Not One More'

In the summer of 2014, after serving 18 years of a life sentence on felony drug charges, Jason Hernandez of Denton, Texas became the first Latino to receive clemency from the Obama administration. His life became intertwined with the failed war on drugs when, as a teenager, he began selling marijuana and crack cocaine to meet the growing demand in his neighborhood. Jason’s incarceration did not stymie the flow of drugs into Texas nor did it make his community any safer, it simply created a vacuum for someone else to fill while also perpetuating the criminalization of an already afflicted community.

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The Murders Don't Stop: How the War on Drugs Is Responsible For Mexico's Outrageous Death Toll

When I first shook hands with Felipe de la Cruz Sandoval this winter outside of the Mexican Consulate in NYC, images of my one of my favorite tios sprung to mind, creating an immediate sense of kinship towards the short, mustachioed Mexican professor.  De La Cruz Sandoval, thousands of miles from his home in Ayotzinapa, Mexico where 43 of his students were forcibly disappeared by cartel gunmen and corrupt municipal officers, was doing exactly what my tio would do- travel the world in search of justice.

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