MEXICO CITY — After years of covering the drug war in Mexico, after looking down from a helicopter to see burning marijuana fields that soldiers had set aflame and after riding along with federal police as they looked for heroin and cocaine traffickers, I got a very different perspective when I visited Baltimore.
On a reporting trip there last year, I accompanied a former drug dealer to one of the so-called open air markets, where marijuana and heroin were hawked in plain view on a busy street. It was a striking paradox. South of the border, I’d watched soldiers torch drugs to destroy them. Here, 40 miles from the White House, I was watching people sell them openly.
That image came to mind early this month, when President Trump gave Mexico an ultimatum to stop the northward flow of narcotics. “We’re going to give them a one-year warning, and if the drugs don’t