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Diverging US, EU drug strategies in Afghanistan

Location: 
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
Spero News (TX)
URL: 
http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?id=8832

Deadly Drug Cartels Moving Into Peru

Location: 
Lima
Peru
Publication/Source: 
CBS News
URL: 
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/03/world/main2641228.shtml

Peru's President Looking for Trouble in Coca Lands

Peruvian President Alan Garcia appears determined to spark an open confrontation with the county's hundreds of thousands of coca growers. Two weeks ago, we reported on a coca grower strike in Tocache. That was resolved last week with an agreement to end forced eradication of coca crops there. Now, Garcia has declared that forced eradication will resume and, for good measure, he is threatening to use military force to wipe out the numerous backwoods labs that process coca leaves into cocaine.
Peru, the world's No. 2 cocaine producer, should launch air strikes and machine-gun attacks to destroy jungle drug factories and airstrips used by traffickers, President Alan Garcia said on Monday. Garcia said a day earlier the destruction of coca crops would resume in one of the most-important cocaine-making regions in the South American country. Officials had made a deal with local farmers to halt the eradication. "We've got to finish every last cocaine factory and every last airport. Use the A37 planes, bomb and attack these airports, these cocaine factories with machine guns," Garcia said, directing his comments to the country's interior minister, who is in charge of the police that lead the fight against drugs. Peru is the second-largest producer of cocaine in the world after Colombia. "I'm not willing to be blackmailed ... I'm not going to be a straw doll or puppet of the political fears," said Garcia, who took office in July. According to official figures, Peruvian police raided 718 cocaine factories last year and seized 14.7 tons of partially processed cocaine. They also destroyed more than 25,000 acres of illegal crops of coca, the plant used to make cocaine.
While Garcia appears to be seeking confrontation, his leading rival, Peruvian Nationalist Party leader Ollanta Humala, who came in a close second to Garcia in last year's elections, has a better idea: Buy up the crop. According to Humala, $250 million over four years would buy 90,000 tons of coca leaves, which could be processed into legitimate nutritional and medicinal products, and would provide a window of opportunity for coca farmers to switch to alternative crops. Humala said he is worried about growing social conflict in the coca zones. Garcia, on the other hand, seems determined to exacerbate it.
Location: 
Peru

Peru Prez Orders Bombing Drug Labs

Location: 
Lima
Peru
Publication/Source: 
Prensa Latina (Cuba)
URL: 
http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID=%7BA751397D-E40F-4968-A3F5-A21D112E48D1%7D)&language=EN

Opium for the people: Extraordinary move to legalise poppy crops

Location: 
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
The Independent (UK)
URL: 
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/article2411398.ece

South America: Bolivia Moves to Block Coca Crop Expansion

The Bolivian government announced Tuesday a new plan to confront the expansion of coca farming in national parks and areas protected under national law. Under the plan, aimed at growers in the traditional coca-producing Yungas area near La Paz, local coca grower unions will be responsible for ensuring that production does not spread.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/coca-leaves-drying-by-highway.jpg
coca leaves drying by highway, Chapare
According to the Bolivian Information Agency, government officials had been visiting the Yungas since last month to announce the changes, which include banning new planting in fields that have been abandoned for two years or more.

The government of President Evo Morales, a former coca grower himself, has made progress in reducing conflict between coca growers and the government in the Chapare, his native region, but tensions have been rising in the Yungas. While Morales has expanded the amount of coca that can be grown in the Chapare, that has not been the case in the Yungas.

Under Morales' "coca, yes; cocaine, no" policy, the Bolivian government is seeking to end forced eradication of coca crops and replace it with "rationalization," or negotiated eradication of excess crops. The idea is to reduce social conflict by bringing coca growers into the decision-making process rather than imposing eradication on them.

"The farmers' unions, as the smallest units of social organization in the tropics of Cochabamba (Chapare) and the Yungas of La Paz, assume direct responsibility for preventing the cultivation of coca leaf in fields that have been abandoned by their owners for more than two years," said the proposal from the Deputy Minister of Social Defense and Controlled Substances, Felipe Caceres.

The plan also includes marketing the coca crop for licit uses and support for interdiction work aimed at disrupting the cocaine traffic.

Afghan drug post created

Location: 
Washington, DC
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Washington Times
URL: 
http://washingtontimes.com/world/20070327-102126-1274r.htm

Influential House Armed Services Chair Calls for Rethinking "Plan Colombia," Bush Moves to Export "Plan Colombia" to Afghanistan

For Immediate Release: March 22, 2007 For More Info: Bill Piper, (202)669-6430 Influential House Armed Services Chair Calls for Rethinking “Plan Colombia,” Tide against Latin American Drug War Grows Misguided War on Drugs Undermining War on Terror as President Bush Moves to Export “Plan Colombia” to Afghanistan Nation’s Leading Organization Opposed to War on Drugs Calls for Alternative, More Effective Strategies A top U.S. lawmaker urged the Bush administration yesterday to rethink U.S. financial support for Colombia's fight against drug trafficking, which he said has yielded few dividends. “We have spent over four billion dollars since 1999 to stem the flow of illegal drugs into our country and aid the Colombians in their fight against home-grown terrorists,” said Representative Ike Skelton (D-MO), chair of the House Armed Services Committee. ”But, according to the latest figures from the Justice Department, the supply and purity of illicit narcotics on our streets has not changed much in the last several years,” the Democratic lawmaker said during a hearing of top U.S. military commanders from around the globe. In 2005, 169 Democrats and 19 Republicans voted to cut funding to the Andean Counterdrug Initiative (more commonly known as “Plan Colombia”). The House could vote on the issue again later this year. A growing number of Latin America experts, elected officials and environmental groups support cutting U.S. funding to the drug war in Latin America because it has failed to reduce the availability of drugs, is destabilizing Latin America, hurting poor families, and driving drug traffickers deeper into the rainforest, destroying one of the world’s most delicate ecosystems. Even as evidence mounts that the U.S.-led drug war in Latin America is doing more harm than good, the Bush Administration is seeking to escalate the drug war in Afghanistan, importing the same policies that backfired in Latin America: forced eradication of farmer’s crops, fumigation, and heavy-handed military tactics. A report by the United Nations and World Bank last year concluded that the Bush’s Administration’s drug strategy in Afghanistan is driving poor people into the hands of the Taliban, destabilizing the Afghan government, and increasing the power of the country’s crime syndicates. Last year Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO), who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, suggested licensing Afghan farmers to grow opium for legal pain medication. That proposal, and other alternatives to the Bush strategy, is gaining support around the world, most notably Canada and the United Kingdom. “The U.S. exported its punitive drug policies to Latin America and devastated the region, now the Bush Administration wants to export this failure to Afghanistan,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. "Only the stakes are much higher in Afghanistan. If policymakers allow the war on drugs to undermine the war on terror, the cost could be huge in terms of lost American lives,” Piper said.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Dutch Court Rules That Fisherman Can Write Off Smuggled Drugs

Location: 
The Hague
Netherlands
Publication/Source: 
Fox News
URL: 
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,261633,00.html

Colombia changes tactics in war against drugs, guerrillas

Location: 
Bogota
Colombia
Publication/Source: 
The Telegraph (GA)
URL: 
http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/news/world/16975013.htm

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