The Extradition of Ignacia Jasso la viuda de González

Friday, January 2, 2009: 2:00 PM
Park Suite 1 (Sheraton New York)
Elaine K. Carey , St. John's University, Queens, NY
In 1942, narcotics trafficker Ignacia Jasso la viuda de González, La Nacha,  made a crucial error of stepping into a planned snare of US narcotics officers in El Paso, Texas.  In turn, Harry J. Anslinger, the Director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics, demanded her extradition.  This was not the first time the U.S. demanded the extradition of a Mexican citizen for a crime committed in the US; however, Jasso’s case offers insight into Mexican revolutionary rhetoric and its relations with the Untied States. With the consolidation of the Mexican revolution during the 1930s, the government embarked on developing its economy after years of revolution and displacement.  Illegal contraband on the U.S.-Mexican border became a growing concern for customs officials and police that undermined attempts to develop certain industries and fill state coffers.  This extradition case that occurred during World War II when allegedly addiction to opiates was at an all-time low reveals a public policy dilemma for the Mexican government.  Such cases established Mexico as a source of supply of opiate derivatives for the United States.  It also demonstrates how Mexicans and American officials and citizens constructed vastly different interpretations  of La Nacha and her drug smuggling empire.  Moreover, it highlights the tension between nationalism and  the emerging drug war Mexico during the administration of Manuel Ávila Camacho.
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