Tag: drug war Page 1 of 2

The FARC’s announcement to halt kidnapping: why?

The FARC’s announcement last Sunday that the organization will no longer kidnap civilians was a surprise to most observes and experts of the region. The mainstream media has…

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Why Guatemala’s Pérez Molina Is Considering Legalizing Drugs

Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina has been acting strange lately. Just one month after his inauguration, he is already ruffling U.S. feathers, and making waves in the politics…

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Overstating Cartels’ Relevance to the American Electorate

The lead article in last week’s Proceso talks about the political importance of capturing El Chapo for both the Calderon and Obama administrations. The article is worth a…

In Ciudad Mier, deploying troops is not enough

Back in November 2010, a small town on the US-Mexico border, Ciudad Mier, made headlines when most of the town’s residents left because of intense fighting between the…

Ideas, not money, will make Central America safer

Boz has a great point about the fresh funding headed to Central America: I think a lesson is that there is no amount of money that the US…

Reclaiming Brand Mexico

Roberto Newell Garcia of the Woodrow Wilson Center has published a great report titled “Restoring Mexico’s Reputation.” The basic premise of Newell’s argument is that Mexico is facing…

Central America, crime, and what the Americas are doing about it

On 3 March 2009, The Wall Street Journal published an Op-Ed titled “In Praise of Mexico’s War on Drugs”. Although it was written nearly two years ago, it…

Organized Crime in Costa Rica and the Other Balloon Effect

A few years ago, LatAmThought wrote about the balloon effect, which argues that cutting down on the production of drugs in one area simply pushes their cultivation elsewhere….

Colombian Trafficker Arrested in Rio

On 16 April, a joint task force of Brazilian and US agencies (including the Drug Enforcement Administration) arrested Nestor Caro Chapparo, aka Felipe, as he was leaving his…

From Partner by Default to Partner of Choice: Shifting US Policy in Latin America

On March 26, US Ambassador to Colombia William Brownfield said the US is close to signing bi-lateral military accords with two unspecified countries in Latin America. In October…

Selective Impunity

El Chiguire Bipolar has a good take on the concept of selective impunity. In the Onion-like fashion for which the blog is known, it tells the story of…

Merida 2.0: A New Phase in U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation

Responding to a growing sense that an exclusive focus on a military-led fight against drug trafficking organizations is failing to curb violence on the other side of our southern border, the United States and Mexico formally announced a shift in their counternarcotics strategy that had been in the works since the fall of 2009. The “new stage” in bilateral cooperation will aim to strengthen civilian law enforcement institutions and rebuild communities crippled by poverty and crime.

Beyond Playa del Carmen: Tourism and Diplomacy in Ecuador and Colombia

Last week’s Rio Summit between high ranking dignitaries of the Americas – The United States and Canada conspicuously excluded – produced a number of notable events: The announcement…

Anti-drug bases in Panama and the Drug War in 2010

One of the biggest stories emerging from the Americas in 2009 was Colombia’s decision to let the United States access military installations throughout Colombia in efforts to combat…

The International Reach of Organized Crime

Earlier this year, LatAmThought wrote a commentary about the international reach or criminal organizations in the Americas. Last week, we published an article on the International Relations and…

The Dangers of Prison Transfers

The (dare I say, even sarcastically) classic 1997 movie Con Air is based on the premise of a prison transfer gone awry. In the movie, a group of…

Europe-LatAm Cooperation – A Fresh Approach to an Old Problem?

There is no denying that US-Latin American relations have arrived at a crossroads. For years the United States followed an antiquated doctrine that was perceived by many in…

The End of the Drug War?

U.S. policy on drugs is as close to center stage as it has been probably since ten years ago, when Plan Colombia was first debated in Congress. This…

The War on Drugs: Eradication of Colombia’s Indigenous People

The deadline for the FARC to return the slain bodies of the 27 Awa indigenous community members killed earlier this month expired at 6:00 PM on February 23,…

Creative thinking on the drug war?

The taboo that kept some from outright admitting that current antinarcotics policies have failed has all but disappeared.  A recent report by former Brazilian President Crdoso, former Colombian…