Archive for the ‘Drug Wars’ Category

Central America Drug Threat Growing

February 29, 2012

Central America Drug Gang Violence At ‘Alarming Levels’ — BBC

Drug-related violence is at “alarming” levels in Central America and poses a threat to the region’s security, the UN drugs watchdog says.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) also said Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua had become major transit countries for traffickers.

North America remained the biggest drugs market, the INCB’s report said.

The board also warned that illegal internet pharmacies are increasingly using social media to target consumers.

Drug-related violence in Central America involving trafficking organisations, local and transnational gangs, and other criminal groups “has reached alarming and unprecedented levels”, the INCB’s annual report says.

Read more ….

My Comment: First it was Colombia …. and then Mexico …. and now Central America. The drug trade is doing what most business enterprises do …. they grow and expand to other markets. Unfortunately with drugs, the currency of blood and violence is part of the trade.

Momentum Gaining For Legalizing Drugs In Latin America

February 14, 2012
The submarine, which had 10 tonnes of cocaine on board, was arrested by the coast guard some 280 km off Guatemala’s Pacific coast. Photo by usdoj.gov

 

Legalizing Drugs Gains Ground In Latin America — Christian Science Monitor

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina has suggested decriminalizing drugs in order to reduce violence in the Americas.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina has repeated his suggestion that Guatemala and the other nations of Central America should consider decriminalizing drugs in order to help reduce violence.

The Guatemalan president said he will propose legalizing drugs in Central America in an upcoming meeting with the region’s leaders. President Perez Molina said in a radio interview that legalization would include decriminalizing the transportation of drugs through the area. The Guatemalan president said the war on drugs, and all the money and technology received from the US, has not diminished drug trafficking in the area. While the details would have to be worked out, he would also consider setting up legal mechanisms to sell drugs (link in Spanish).

Read more
….

My Comment: The U.S. government is voicing their opposition, but with the drug wars now taking thousands of lives each year in Central America …. and with no new ideas on how to combat this epidemic of violence …. legalizing the drug trade is now becoming a viable policy for some.

What is my take …. if history is any indication …. this is a terrible mistake. After the Civil War the U.S. had an open policy (legally speaking) towards drug use. Opiates, cocaine, marijuana …. all of these drugs were legal in the U.S. …. and legal for a number of years. Laws to restrict these drugs were only implemented to stop the horrible social and medical costs that were becoming prevalent as time was passing by.

In the modern era, different countries are trying different approaches. Afghanistan has failed in its drug policy, resulting in a million plus opium addicts. But I know that Portugal is trying the “legal” approach, and they have had some success. Will the Portugal model work in the Americas? …. in the U.S.? …. I guess we are going to find out in the next few years because the consensus among many in government is that in order to destroy the drug cartels …. legalizing drugs will need to be implemented and regulated by the government to eliminate the market that the cartels have carved for themselves.