Drug War & Militarization
Two decades of counter-narcotics assistance in Latin America have shown that military aid does little to reduce drug production and trafficking. At best it creates a balloon effect, spurring drug-related violence in region after region.
But as the Drug War manifests in new countries, it’s met with the same one-size-fits-all military strategies – at the insistence of the U.S. government.
Current U.S. drug policy stems from a failure to recognize the roots of the drug trade: U.S. demand and the devastating poverty that drives people to grow and sell drugs. And the War on Drugs itself has proved a failure: today both violence and drug use are at all-time highs.
As long as addicts in the U.S. continue to provide an ample market for cocaine, cartels in Mexico will kill to control that market. The peaceful future that we all seek cannot be found in the barrel of a gun, but in well-funded schools and well-stocked U.S. drug rehab clinics.
A change in direction is long overdue. Witness for Peace calls on the United States to:
- Redirect Plan Colombia, Mérida Initiative and CARSI funds to anti-poverty and youth empowerment programs.
- Prioritize drug abuse prevention, addiction treatment and poverty reduction on both sides of the border.
- Renegotiate trade policies like NAFTA, CAFTA and the U.S.-Colombia FTA, which exacerbate the poverty, displacement and social inequalities that give cartels opportunities for recruitment and influence.
Latest Updates on Drug War & Militarization
Honduras: Nonviolent Resistance to Land Takeovers through Community Organizing and Coalition BuildingMay 25 - June 3
- June 18 - June 25
- June 18 - June 27
- June 25 - July 5
- July 14 - July 23
By: Witness for Peace “This is struggle is not just for Rio Blanco, not just for the indigenous,” explained a Lenca woman as she approached her town’s sacred river, “but for the whole country, for the entire world. For Mother Earth.” Armed authorities block path of...read more
Por: Acción Permanente por la Paz “Esta lucha no es sólo para Río Blanco, no es sólo para los indígenas,” explicó una mujer Lenca en camino al río sagrado de su pueblo, “sino que es para todo el país, para todo el mundo. Para nuestra Madre Tierra.” Autoridades armadas...read more
By Lisa Taylor, Witness for Peace Colombia Team A slightly edited version of this article appears in Upside Down World. This February 4, celebrating the “historic collaboration” between the United States and Colombia, current Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos...read more
Por Lisa Taylor, Acción Permanente por la Paz Colombia Este artículo aparece en inglés en el periódico en línea Upside Down World. Este 4 de febrero, celebrando “la colaboración histórica” entre los Estados Unidos y Colombia, el presidente actual de Colombia Juan...read more
In Honduras, Attempted Murder Against an Indigenous Youth is Worth 30 to 90 Days in Jail By Gloria Jiménez and Bryan Rogers On July 15, 2013 the life of Tomás García was brutally taken, and his 16 year old son nearly lost his own, struggling to defend their land...read more
by Maggie Ervin with Nadín Reyes Maldonado In his state of the union address a few weeks ago, Mexican president Peña Nieto acknowledged that this past year had been “difficult.” In fact, his entire term has been difficult. Not so much for the companies benefiting from...read more
by Sue Davis (WFP Mexico Program delegate) “If you promise a girl heaven, you can take her to hell.” (Quote from a human trafficker overheard by human rights attorney Malika Saada Saar.) This quote took on many layers of meaning as our group encountered various...read more
by (Ret.) Detective Russell JonesThe American War on Drugs has contributed mightily to the violence and poverty individuals, families, and children must endure or escape just to survive in Latin America. The region will never achieve full political and...read more