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
- March 16 - March 25
- April 3 - April 13
- July 23 - August 1
Fighting for Human Rights: Delegation Witnesses the Economic and Political Realities of the Colombian People
By Kristen Treinen “Be proud of your son; he never folded.” - Juan Iván Hurtado Garcia, whose brotherJairo was disappeared by the Colombian government on May 16, 1997 These words continue to haunt us delegates who went to Colombia. Marleny, Jairo Iván Hurtado Garcia's...read more
The deaths of at least 6 rural farmers in Tumaco, Colombia on Thursday, October 5th showed yet again the high cost in human lives and human rights of the "War on Drugs" and its militarized approach. More than 200 rural farmers, or campesinos, were gathered to impede...read more
Struggle and Solidarity: Learning the Truth About the Drug War in Mexico By Luciano A. Ramirez Guerra Our delegation arrived in Mexico City and was greeted by a modern metropolitan environment that was a drastic change in scenery to our group from rural Nebraska. The...read more
Today, September 26th, 2017, marks the third anniversary of the forced disappearance of 43 students of Ayotzinapa, at the hands of the Mexican State. Today, September 26th, 2017, marks the third anniversary of the death of 3 students and 3 civilians and at least 29...read more
by Laura Krasovitzky “The war on drugs has in fact been a strategy to disguise social control and political repression, which serves to prevent and dislocate social unrest produced by displacement.” The quote above is one of many infuriating, yet unsurprising,...read more
In La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras, the hometown of the murdered indigenous, feminist, environmentalist leader Berta Cáceres, a slogan has taken hold in the 18 months since her assassination. “Berta no se murió, se multiplicó.” Berta hasn’t died, she’s multiplied....read more
[Note from the Honduras IT: This blog post was written on August 14th. At six o'clock this morning, August 15th, a contingent of National Police and Cobras arrived in Pajuiles, fired tear gas into the homes of community members, and arrested five people, including one...read more
WFP Urgent Action and Condemnation of Violent State Response to General Strike in Buenaventura, Colombia Police Repression of Civic Strike in Buenaventura, Colombia: Demand the US State Department And Congressional Leadership Act to Promote a Peaceful Resolution!...read more