After several decades of “drug war”, accompanied by a huge cost in human lives and material resources, drug traffickers are now stronger than ever and control a larger territory than ever before.
In the past six years, occurred in Mexico more than 47,000 murders related to drug trafficking. Of 2.119 in 2006 rose to nearly 17,000 in 2011. In 2008, the U.S. Justice Department warned that the DTOs (Drug Trafficking Organizations), linked to Mexican cartels, were active in all U.S. regions. Mafias operating in Florida associated with the Gulf Cartel, Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Federation. Miami is one of the main reception and distribution of drugs. Besides those mentioned, other cartels, such as Juarez and Tijuana, operating in the U.S..
Cartels in Mexico took on greater force after replaced the Colombian Cali and Medellin in the 90′s and now control 90% of the cocaine entering the United States. The greatest stimulus to drug trafficking is the high U.S. consumption. In 2010, a national survey of the Department of Health revealed that approximately 22 million Americans over age 12 use some type of drug.
These, which are just some of the most disturbing statistics, let question the effectiveness of the “war on drugs”. It is impossible to believe that there is really a political will to end this scourge universal when we look at the role played by the drug trade in the counterinsurgency, the expansion of transnational and geopolitical ambitions of the United States and other powers.
Consider, in brief, recent history (1). The administration of Richard Nixon, to start the “war on drugs” (1971), developed at the same time the heroin trade in Southeast Asia in order to finance their military operations in that region. Heroin produced in the Golden Triangle (where they join the mountainous areas of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar) was transported in planes “Air America”, owned by the CIA (2) (3). In a televised press conference on June 1971, a reporter asked Nixon: “Mr. President, what will you do with the tens of thousands of American soldiers returning to heroin addicts?” (4)
The operations of “Air America” continued until the fall of Saigon in 1975. While the CIA was trafficking opium and heroin in Southeast Asia, trafficking and consumption of narcotics in the United States became a national tragedy. President Gerald Ford asked Congress in 1976 the passage of legislation instructed to substitute the probation to prison, to establish mandatory minimum sentences and refuse bail for certain drug offenses. The result was an exponential increase in the number of convictions for offenses related to trafficking and drug use and subsequent conversion of the United States has the largest prison population in the world. The brunt of this punitive policy fell on blacks and other minorities.
U.S. administrations during the 80 and 90 South American governments supported directly involved in cocaine trafficking. During the Carter administration, the CIA intervened to prevent two of the cartel leaders Roberto Suarez (King of Cocaine) were brought to trial in the United States. To be free, able to return to Bolivia and play starring roles in the coup (“Cocaine Coup”) of July 17, 1980, financed by drug barons. The bloody dictatorship of General Luis Garcia Meza was supported by the administration of Ronald Reagan.
The most conspicuous involvement of the Reagan administration in the drug trade was the scandal known as “Iran-Contra” whose axis was publicized fund raising to finance the Nicaraguan Contras through the illegal sale of arms to Iran, but is well documented, In addition, Reagan’s support, for this same purpose, trafficking in cocaine within and outside the United States.
. These connections the journalist William Blum explains in his book “Rogue State” (5). In Costa Rica, which served as the Southern Front contras (Honduras was the Northern Front) operated various CIA-Contra networks involved in drug trafficking. These networks were associated with Jorge Morales, Colombian drug lord lives in Miami. Morales planes were loaded with weapons in Florida, flew to Central America and returned laden with cocaine. Another network based in Costa Rica was operated by anti-Castro Cubans employed by the CIA and military instructors. This network used contra planes and a company selling shrimp that laundered money for the CIA in the transfer of drugs into the U.S..
In Honduras, the CIA hired Alan Hyde, the leading dealer in the country (“the godfather of all criminal activities,” according to reports from the U.S. government) in their boats to transport supplies to the contras. The CIA, in turn, would prevent any action against Hyde counternarcotics agencies.
The paths of cocaine had important stations like Ilopango airbase in El Salvador. A former CIA officer, Celerino Castillo, described as flying planeloads of cocaine north, landed with impunity in several U.S. locations, including the Air Force base in Texas, and returned with plenty of money to finance the war . “All under the protective umbrella of the United States government.” Resume operation was performed under the direction of Felix Rodriguez (alias Max Gomez) in connection with the then Vice President George HW Bush and Oliver North, who was on the staff of the National Security Council under Reagan.
In 1982, CIA Director William Casey negotiated a “memorandum of understanding” with the Attorney General, William French Smith, who exempted the CIA from any liability related to drug trafficking operations conducted by its agents. This agreement was in force until 1995.
Reagan and his successor, George HW Bush, sponsored the “man of the CIA in Panama,” Manuel Noriega, linked to the Medellin cartel and laundering large amounts of money from the drug. When Noriega ceased to be useful and became a nuisance, the U.S. invaded Panama (December 20, 1989) in an unprecedented barbaric act against international law and sovereignty of a small country.
Michael Ruppert, a journalist and former narcotics officer, presented a long statement in 1997, accompanied by documentary evidence, to the intelligence committees (“Select Intelligence Committees”) of both houses of Congress. In one paragraph it states:
“The CIA trafficked in drugs not only during the Iran-Contra, it has for all fifty-year history. Today I will present evidence to demonstrate that the CIA, and many figures which became famous during the Iran-Contra affair, as Richard Secord, Ted Shackley, Tom Clines, Felix Rodriguez and George HW Bush (6) have been selling drugs to Americans since the Vietnam era. “(7)
In 1999 the Clinton administration bombed mercilessly Yugoslav people for 78 days and nights. Here again, the drug appears in the background of motivations. The intelligence services of the United States and their counterparts in Germany and Britain used the heroin trade to finance the building and equipping the Kosovo Liberation Army. The heroin from Turkey and Central Asia passed through the Black Sea, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania (Balkan Route) to Italy. With the destruction of Serbia and the strengthening-wanted or not-of the Albanian mafia, the Clinton administration left the way clear of drugs from Afghanistan to Western Europe (8). According to reports from the DEA and the Department of Justice of the United States, 80% of the heroin that enters Europe passes through Kosovo.
Several U.S. administrations, particularly that of George W. Bush have been complicit in the genocide in Colombia. The “war on drugs” held by U.S. billionaire financial resources, technical assistance and substantial military aid, has failed to stop the flow of cocaine and, conversely, has been instrumental in the emergence and development of paramilitary groups to narcoterratenientes service and as a pretext to maintain control over workers and the peasant population. Plan Colombia was a complete failure but served as a cover for U.S. interference in the country and clearly showed their true objective, the counterinsurgency.
It is often forgotten that the drug is probably the most lucrative of the capitalists. With the war in Colombia profit companies that produce chemical herbicides, the aerospace industry that provides helicopters and aircraft, weapons manufacturers, and generally, the whole military-industrial complex. The billions of dollars generated by illegal drugs increase the financial power of transnational corporations and the local oligarchy.
The recent statement of the Central Secretariat of the FARC-EP (9), during the forty-eighth anniversary of the armed struggle rebellious, drug-complaint capital this link:
“… Drug money become land, flooding the banking, finance, productive and speculative investment, hospitality, construction and procurement, resulting in functional and even necessary in the game of capture and movement of large capital characterized neoliberal capitalism today. The same happens in Central America and Mexico. “
The Free Trade Agreement US-Mexico (NAFTA) has forced many farmers to competition from U.S. agricultural products, to cultivate their lands poppy and marijuana. Others, against the alternative of slave labor in the maquiladoras, they prefer to enter the drug mafia networks. The large increase in freight traffic through the border and banking controls to combat terrorism have shifted money laundering banks to commercial corporations. The complexity and volume of financial transactions and instant and constant flow of capital “on line”, make it extremely difficult to trace illicit transactions.
One consequence of NAFTA is the almost total impunity that accompanies the flow of drug money to both sides of the border. As in Mexico, Free Trade Agreement recently entered into force in Colombia stimulate violence, drug trafficking and the repression of workers and peasants. The “Merida Initiative”, in turn, is only the Mexico-Central American version of Plan Colombia.
We must meditate on the fact that in all scenarios where the U.S. has intervened militarily, especially in those where he has held with fire and sword the country, drug trafficking, far from diminishing, as expected, has increased and strengthened. In Afghanistan, poppy cultivation declined during the Taliban government to then reach under the U.S. occupation, accelerated growth. Afghanistan is currently the largest producer of opium in the world but also not just export it as a paste for processing in other countries but that makes the heroin and morphine is its own territory.
If you stick to historical facts, could argue that U.S. policy has been to “war on drugs” but of “drugs war”.
1) could start very early date, for example at the time of the “Opium Wars” of the British Empire to strengthen its hold on China, but not necessary for the purposes of this article.
2) Alfred McCoy: “The Politics of Heroin: The Complicity of the CIA in the Global Drug Trade”, New York, Lawrence Hill and Co., 2003.
3) Prior, “Air America” had helped the Kuomintang forces loyal to Chiang Kai-shek, to transport opium from China and Burma to Bangkok in Thailand. The French intelligence services also used the heroin trade to finance its covert operations in Indochina.
4) Rick Perlstein, “Nixonland”, Scribner, 2008, p. 567.
5) William Blum, “Rogue State”, Common Courage Press, 2005, p. 294-297.
6) Richard Secord: Major General of the United States Air Force, convicted for his role in the Iran-Contra, exonerated in 1990 by decision of the Supreme Court. Ted Shackley, “the blond ghost”, head of the CIA station in Miami during the October Crisis (“Cuban Missile Crisis”) and during Operation Mongoose (“Mongoose”) directed against Cuba, Director of Operation Phoenix ( “Phoenix Program”) during which they were killed over a hundred thousand Vietnamese directed many covert CIA operations, died of cancer in 2002. Tom Clines: one of the leading figures in the Iran-Contra scandal, between 1961 and 1962 participated in CIA covert operations against Cuba under the command of Ted Shackley was in charge of the secret war in Laos and participated in Operation Mongoose; among other misdeeds was in charge of the CIA operation in Chile that overthrew President Allende. Felix Rodriguez: Cuban-American, was one of the leaders of “Operation 40″ or “40 Murderers” and the mercenary invasion of Cuba in 1961. Participated in the murder of Che in Bolivia. George HW Bush, former CIA Director (1976-1977) and former U.S. president (1989-1993).
7) Quoted by Daniel Estulin: “Shadow Masters”, Trine Day, LLC, 2010.
8) Michael Ruppert, “Crossing the Rubicon”, New Society Publishers, 2004.
9) FARC-EP: “48 years of rebel armed struggle.” Of the Central Secretariat of the FARC-EP Mountains of Colombia, May 27, 2012.