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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Colombia Is No Model for Mexico's Drug War

 What's made clear in this Re-post of a Borderland Beat post is that, as in the United States, the War on Drugs is a war on the poor.  It isolates them, makes them subject to more criminals, and U.S. and Colombian authorities are indifferent to their plight. The big cartels were busted up and no one drug king pin is allowed to become like the Medellín Cartel and its successor, the Cali Cartel.  But what does occur is that there are now more small drug dealers, still operating and profiting, so much so, that coca production is higher not lower than before a war in which American Taxpayers have spent billions to support a militarization of Columbia's police.  Their are more "mules," farmers,  coca farm workers, and their families, all victims of the drug trade, helpless, defenseless, and ignored collateral of our insane policy.   The operation is tooted as a model for success, because the Government stopped the in-their-face terrorism against them, the Government itself.
Now, the Government has its power secure, the money for "fighting" the "War on Drugs" continues to fund military, police and government expansion and abuse of powers, and no one cares that the poor are the target, used in greater number to run the illegal trafficking of drugs and in the U.S. to fill the prisons, a growing industry of slave labor with no rights. 
A powerful film that underscores the plight and terror faced by the poorest in Columbia, and any other country where poor are coerced easy prey of dealers to transport their trade into the U.S., as a result of the "War on Drugs" is Maria Full of Grace.

Colombia Is No Model for Mexico's Drug War

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 | Borderland Beat Reporter Gari
By Sanho Tree
Institute for Policy Studies

Far from breaking morale, the tactic of taking out the heads of trafficking groups gives junior thugs a shot at becoming the kingpin--if only briefly.

When Washington ramped up its anti-drug efforts through Plan Colombia, more than 90 percent of the cocaine consumed in the United States came through Colombia. A decade later, we get about 97 percent of our cocaine via Colombia.

Amazingly, officials are hailing the program's "success" and want Mexico to learn from Colombia's experience. While Plan Colombia may have helped make that country safer from guerrilla attacks, it has failed as a drug control strategy. Adapting that program in Mexico won't staunch that country's bloodbath and isn't likely to produce better results. Click here to read the rest of the article.

And here's another article on the failure of Columbia's War on Drugs:

The Drug War Fails Again – Coca Production in Columbia Sky Rockets

Yet again the drug war has fallen flat on it’s ugly face. More specifically – Plan Columbia has gone and shit the bed.
Today the UN revealed that Columbian coca production increased 27% in 2007. 27 percent! That works out to 382 square miles of coca plants being grown at a time when the fight against coca growing is at its highest.
The US has spent 3 billion dollars since 2000 in an attempt to eradicate the coca plant in Columbia. And of course, quite predictably, the price and availability of coke in North America hasn’t changed over that time period. And now we see that the more tax dollars they spend on killing coca, more coca is grown. I won’t even mention that Columbia is also growing opium poppies now.
So what has the DEA and the US Federal Government accomplished in Columbia? The only thing they’ve done is spray poisonous herbicide on Colombian nationals, destroy the rainforest and cause/condone enormous human rights violations by the Colombian military. Not to mention that the US tax payer could have had better health care, schools, city infrastructure, libraries, parks, etc. with that 3 Billion dollars instead of having it go to a useless prohibitionist measure.

Click here to read the article.
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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