Author Archives: Alvaro Guerrero

Primary Sources

Looking through these primary sources, it reminded me of school children lined up or having lunch. It seems like they live a very structured life. They board a bus, go work, have lunch, work more and go home. The primary sources mostly reflect the type of work that the braceros perform and the conditions they work under. We can see the American capitalistic culture at work being reflected through the faces of the underpaid workers as they work all day in these farms and go back to their humble homes.

Research annotations

Teague, Aileen. 2019. “The United States, Mexico, and the Mutual Securitization of Drug Enforcement, 1969–1985.” Diplomatic History 43 (5): 785–812.
This academic journal is about the United States’ and Mexico’s efforts regarding the drug war and drug trade. Among the various themes covered, the most useful to my research are: the response Mexico had towards the drug control policies that the United States implemented, The political violence that these policies brought, and factors that contributed to the militarization of both regions. The author’s use of primary sources to back up their argument and the use of secondary sources to strengthen them is remarkable. This source is useful when trying to measure the impact that US policies have had in Mexico and its people.

Hunt, Edward. “Staying the Course in Mexico: The Role of the US in the Drug War, 2006–present.” Third World Quarterly, vol. 40, no. 6, June 2019, pp. 1184–1205.
The author argues that the Merida Initiative was one of the main factors that contributed to the violence. The Merida Initiative was a multi billion dollar US assistance that, after its put into effect, drug related violence increased, when replaced in 2012 there was an observable decrease in violence, and when a similar program was brought again, the violence increased again. Although the article does make a lot of speculations, it does make a good job at backing up their argument with credible evidence. This source is perfect when looking directly at the impact that the US had in Mexico with a specific policy.


I picked the article “Mexican Drug War” to evaluate. Part of the article focuses on the history of Latin America regarding the Mexican drug war. Based on the nature of the topic, the history of it has been rightfully described very negatively. The corrupt government and the ongoing problem that doesn’t seem to get solved or have any improvements is a great focus of the article. Although this is all true, very little is mentioned about the massive demand that the United States and other European countries provide for Mexico and the impact that these countries have on the ongoing problem in Mexico. Based on this, I came to the conclusion that the article is biased. After viewing some of the 410 sources that this article used, I concluded that most of these sources are reliable scholarly articles. When looking at the areas that I believed to be more biased, I noticed that the problem was not the sources themselves, but the interpretation and persona bias of the editor of this section. I plan to add more sources that depict that full picture of the problem and try to evaluate them and reflect what the article is trying to get across from a more unbiased point of view than the previous editor had.


The question that I wish to research is the involvement the United States plays in the drug war. Furthermore, how has the United States approached the drug war and what have they done to combat it from the demand side of the problem. The war on drugs has long been a source of tension for US-Mexican relations.This issue has often been portrayed as the problem being with Mexico and its people for bringing drugs to the United States, but the media does not talk about the things the United States can do to prevent the problem itself. I believe this question is important to understand Latin American history and their impact on the United States because it is often one of the main reasons why Mexicans or LAtinos in general are discriminated against and why this discrimination is justified.


The primary source “The World Was My Garden” by McCook was about the impact that US imperialism had on botany research and the market for plants. THe author argues that because of American expansion is that American Botany and agricultural research became cosmopolitan. His claims are backed by reliable sources and gives a great example of what American imperialism was and how it impacted us in the future.

The Imperial Enterprise and Educational Policies in Colonial Puerto Rico by Alfred W McCoy and and Francisco A Scarano was about the approach that the United States took towards providing Puerto Ricans with education. The author argued that The United States’ representatives felt the need to educate all of this uncivilized popula and turn them into “colored scholars.” The authors takes an unbiased stand and use reliable sources that illustrated the impact that the United States had on the Puerto Rican people.

Primary Source Analysis

The primary source that I chose to analyze was Colored Officers or No Colored Soldiers by Presley Holiday. Sargent Presley Holliday’s document was a response to Roosevelt’s attack on African American soldiers. The document is critical of Colonel Roosevelt’s criticism of black troops. Presley Holleyday claims he was there during the battle and that colored soldiers were fighting just as hard as white soldiers. Holliday states in his document that after Roosevelt threatened to shoot anyone who backed from the from, they all responded “We will stay with you, Colonel”(77) He then goes on to call the claims that Roosevelt made “uncalled for and uncharitable.” (77) He ends the document by explaining that it is not just to have white officers for black soldiers and once again criticized Roosevelt for his false accusations. This document shed light on the reality or at least gave a different perspective on the role that African American soldiers played. The altering of history is seen again and again and we can see that with this document. We see here that once again, colored soldiers were not only not getting the credit they deserve but were also made to be worse than they actually were.


The Wikipedia Article takes a pretty neutral stand, besides the fact that through the article there is a huge amount of criticism of Mexico and their involvement in the drug trade with the United States (which is a fair judgement) Nonetheless, there is not sufficient information on how the high demand of drugs in the United States is what fuels the drug trade in the first place. From the introductory paragraph, we can see that there is some diction and structure components to the article that might influence the reader towards a certain viewpoint. For example, the introductory paragraph ends with “The Mexican government has asserted that their primary focus is on dismantling the powerful drug cartels, rather than on preventing drug trafficking and demand, which is left to U.S. functionaries. ” It is common knowledge that most of the demand for drugs comes from the United States. Therefore, is the United States’ responsibility to fight the drug problem that have to diminish demand.
The Article is backed up with reliable sources. Some sources are from government agencies and others are from credible sources like news channels. All of the topics the articles covered were very interesting and relevant to the topic. Most of them also contained sufficient relatable information. Not everything in the article is neutral. Like I mentioned earlier with the example in the first paragraph, there is information and structural components that give some biases information towards a certain point of view.
The article did not really overrepresent any viewpoint, but it definitely underrepresented others. For example, there was only about three sentences throughout the article that talked about the part the United States’ demand for drugs plays in the drug war. There is also not enough information on the effect that the drug war has had in Mexico and the reasons why being in a drug cartel can be a tempting opportunity to a person living in poverty. After checking a few citations, the liks do work and they lead to reliable articles and journals. There was not any paraphrasing plagiarism that I could find throughout the article. All the facts that I checked seemed to have reliable and accurate sources.


Through both primary sources we can see that the relationship between Latin America and the US has not been the best. There is a general understanding through Latin American countries that the United States is simply richer and has more power than they do. The United States has been seen as a bully and an abuser of its power. We can see that with Bolivar’s letter where he states “Can you imagine the opposition that would come from the new American states, and the United States, which seems destined by providence to plague America with misseries in the name of Freedom.” (Pg. 173) We can see that Bolivar knows that America will abuse of its power and use freedom as an excuse to do so. The United States is also seen as an extremely materialistic nation that only cares about its money and power. Rodo wites about this when he calls the United States “The embodiment of Utilitarianism” He believes that in order for the United States to become even richer, they are willing to sacrifice many happiness and the happiness of the rest of the Americas for their own selfish desires.

They say, I say

To summarize the main argument of this piece is that when we write about someone else’s work, we should make sure to give ourselves the space to state our argument at some point while accessing the other person’s work. The order in which we state our things is also very important. In order to keep the reader interested, it is very important to explain what you are responding to very early in the text to keep the reader interested and not confused. I very much agree with all the arguments this reading made. Thinking back at previous papers I have written I subconsciously already do all of this because I know my paper would not make sense otherwise.

MLK Day of Service

This Monday, I took the day to attend as many talks as possible. I remember last year, I only attended to one and I absolutely loved it. These conversations deal with issues that I find extremely important and that affect me personally. The talk that impacted me the most was called “Decolonizing Desire.” This talk opened my eyes to what I find physically desirable in people and why I find them attractive. I am a lot more conscious and willing to try new things.