Beyond the human carnage of Mexico's drug conflict, another innocent bystander — the environment — has long been a victim.
"When I grew up in Mazatlán, I'd hear people say, it's better to live five years rich than a lifetime poor," I was told by Daniel, who is studying law at a university in Mexico City. "Sometimes it would even be written on walls."
In a different context this phrase might be promoting righteous work for personal progress. But since we were talking about the drug cartels in Mexico, I knew the meaning was shady – it is a justification for what decent men resort to while dancing to the seductive song of the drug trade.
As the drug war escalates, more civilians are caught in the crossfire. There have been innocent bystanders for decades, far from the gun battles in cities: the damage of drug production to the land, water and air. The environment has been the forgotten victim, raped and pillaged without notice.