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
- November 30 - December 9
- February 23, 2018 - March 4, 2018
- March 24, 2018 - April 1, 2018
- March 24, 2018 - April 1, 2018
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
The Honduras International Team recently had a letter to the editor published in the LA Times in response to a Sonia Nazario op-ed about US-funded anti-violence initiatives and their role in reducing migration. We do think, given the 150-word limit, we got the main...read more
By Anita Kline, WFP delegate to Colombia in December 2016 “Tell me about your trip to Colombia!” The leaders of our Witness for Peace delegation had prepared me for this moment. I understood that uncovering connections across international borders is a critical aspect...read more
The Mérida Initiative, also referred to as Plan Mexico, is described by the U.S. Department of State as “an unprecedented partnership between the United States and Mexico to fight organized crime and associated violence while furthering respect for human rights and the rule of law.” The reality of the Mérida Initiative, however, is something entirely different.read more
Global Witness Report on Honduras Vindicates Berta Cáceres Act: We Urge Refining Recommendations for US
A new report from the human rights NGO Global Witness outlines the role of US foreign policy and commercial investment in widespread and systematic abuses of human rights in Honduras. The report, entitled Honduras: The Deadliest Place to Defend the Planet, is the...read more