Government Corruption

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Afghan border police chief on trial over drug smuggling

Location: 
Afghanistan
With hundreds of billions of dollars involved, drug prohibition seems to corrupt at all levels. Now, a 60-year-old former Afghan police general who was in charge of border police in the three western provinces of Herat, Farah and Badghis is on trial for corruption charges -- accepting tens of thousands of dollars -- involved in the smuggling of 1,450 pounds of opium across the country's western border to Iran.
Publication/Source: 
Agence France-Presse (France)
URL: 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jXtulW2JS7lZKmL6OJy8LKRCSv0w

"Murder City," by Border Cognoscenti Charles Bowden (BOOK REVIEW)

"Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields," by Charles Bowden (2010, Nation Books, 320 pp., $27.50 HB)

by Phillip S. Smith, Writer/Editor

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Last Saturday, Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande River from El Paso, marked a grim milestone: its 6,000th murder victim since the beginning of 2008. The discovery of 10 bodies that day pushed the beleaguered city past that marker, but the week -- still only half-done as I write these words -- held more gore. On Wednesday, two headless bodies appeared propped up against the wall of building. The heads sat atop upended ice chests in front of them. Writing on the ice chests claimed that one of the men was a carjacker and the other a kidnapper and extortionist, and that both were members of the Aztecas, a street gang that peddles dope and acts as neighborhood enforcers for the Juarez Cartel.

Gruesome photographs of the death scene ran in the Mexican press -- there is a longstanding tabloid press there that positively revels in full-color photos of murder victims, car accident fatalities, burned bodies -- but, according to Charles Bowden, it is almost a certainty that we will never hear another word about them, that we will never know why they had to die so horribly, that no one will ever be arrested for their deaths, that we will never even learn their names.

And Charles Bowden should know. He's probably forgotten more about Ciudad Juarez than most journalists writing about the city ever knew. The poet laureate of the American Southwest, Bowden has been living and writing about the border for decades, and with "Murder City" he is at the peak of his powers.

"Murder City" is beautiful and horrifying, not just for the exemplary violence it chronicles, but even more so for the portrait it paints of Juarez as a community stunned and staggering, hit hard by the vicissitudes of the global economy, the corruption of the Mexican state, and the wealth and violence generated by the trade in prohibited drugs.  It is non-fiction, but reads like a surrealist fever dream.

We learn of Miss Sinaloa, an achingly gorgeous, white-skinned beauty queen, who turns up raving mad at "the crazy place," a desert shelter for the mentally ill, the homeless, the glue- or paint-destroyed kids. Turns out she had come to the city and been invited to a weeklong, whiskey- and cocaine-fueled party at a motel where she was gang-raped for days by eight Juarez policemen. Miss Sinaloa weighs on Bowden, a witness to the city's violence and depredations, its ugly degradation. She's gone now, taken back home by her Sinaloa family, but there's always another one, he writes.

We learn of reporters killed by the military. We learn about other reporters' poor salaries and about how their real pay comes in envelopes from shadowy men, and they know it means they will not write about certain things. We learn of one reporter who inadvertently crossed the military in 2005 and had to flee to the US border for his life when the military came looking for him three years later. He sought political asylum. What he got was imprisoned for seven months until a Tucson civil rights lawyer managed to spring him.

As Bowden notes:

"It is possible to see his imprisonment as simply the normal by-product of bureaucratic blindness and indifference. But I don't think that is true. No Mexican reporter has ever been given political asylum, because if the US government honestly faced facts, it would have to admit that Mexico is not a society that respects human rights. Just as the United States would be hard-pressed, if it faced facts, to explain to its own citizens how it can justify giving the Mexican army $1.4 billion under Plan Merida, a piece of black humor that is supposed to fight the war on drugs. But then the American press is the chorus in this comedy since it continues to report that the Mexican army is in a war to the death with the drug cartels. There are two errors in these accounts. One is simple: The war in Mexico is for drugs and the enormous money to be made by supplying American habits, a torrent of cash that the army, the police, the government, and the cartels all lust for. Second, the Mexican army is a government-financed criminal organization, a fact most Mexicans learn as children."

Bowden writes about a Ciudad Juarez policewoman taken away by the military and raped for three days. Bowden writes about the military patrol sitting yards away from a drug treatment center where armed assailants shoot the place up for 15 minutes, leaving eight dead. Bowden writes about how the press describes convoys of killers as "armed commandos" dressed in uniforms and says that's code for military death squads.

Remember those two headless gentlemen in the first paragraph? This is why we will never learn anything more about them. The reporters are scared for their lives. Bowden writes about the "narco-tombs," safe houses where victims are tortured and killed, then buried on the grounds. The exhumation of the bodies takes place with great fanfare, but the forensic scientist doesn't want her name used or her face shown, and then the bodies just vanish. Poof! They are never identified, no one knows where they went, no one knows why they died, no one knows who killed them.

Bowden writes about El Sicario, the former state policeman/cartel assassin, who talks with professional pride about kidnapping, torturing, and killing hundreds of people. Now, El Sicario is afraid. The killers are after him, and he has fled his former hunting grounds. And what is even more disturbing for the reader is El Sicario's statement that he doesn't even know which cartel he was working for. In the cell-like structure in which he operated, he knew only his boss, not the boss's boss, or even who the boss's boss was. El Sicario killed for phantoms.

But what is really terrifying is that El Sicario is being chased by "a death machine with no apparent driver," a web of hidden complicities where the cartels are the military are the police are the government, nobody knows who anybody really is, and the dead become evil by virtue of having been killed.

We can blame the cartels (or, obversely, drug prohibition), we can blame street gangs, mass poverty, uprooted families migrating to the city for jobs that have now vanished, corrupt cops, corrupt governments, but the violence may now have escaped any good explanation, Bowden writes. As the Mexican state fails to suppress the violence (at least in part because it is committing a great part of it, the killings are establishing "not a new structure but rather a pattern, and this pattern functionally has no top or bottom, no center or edge, no boss or obedient servant. Think of something like the ocean, a fluid thing without king and court, boss and cartel... Violence courses through Juarez like a ceaseless wind, and we insist it is a battle between cartels, or between the state and the drug world, or between the army and the forces of darkness. But consider this possibility: Violence is now woven into the very fabric of the community, and has no single cause and no single motive and no on-off button."

Absolutely chilling stuff, and absolutely brilliant. Bowden turns prose into poetry, and he provides an understanding of Juarez and its woes that hits you at the visceral level. "Murder City" will give you nightmares, but it's worth it.

Morales: Drug Cartels Better Equipped Than Bolivian Army

Location: 
Bolivia
Incredible profits are made available to criminal organizations due to drug prohibition, and some of the money is used to keep them on the technological cutting edge. Bolivia's President Evo Morales reports that drug traffickers have more technology and modern equipment than the country's police and armed forces.
Publication/Source: 
Latin America Herald Tribune (Venezuela)
URL: 
http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=361280&CategoryId=14919

Chronicle Reviews: Two Books on Mexican Drug War, One on Border

Drug War Chronicle Book Review: Ruben Aguilar and Jorge Castaneda, "El Narco: La Guerra Fallida [The Failed War] (2009, Punto de lectura, 140 pp., $10.00 PB); George W. Grayson, "Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State?" (2010, Transaction Publishers, 339 pp., $35.95 HB); Tim Grayson, "Midnight on the Line: The Secret Life of the US-Mexico Border (2010, St. Martin's Press, 304 pp., $25.95 HB)

On the streets of Mexican cities, a deadly, multi-sided war, complete with horrific exemplary violence -- among competing drug cartels, between the cartels and the Mexican state, and sometimes between different elements of the Mexican state -- rages on, the body count rising by the day, if not the hour. The cartels -- Frankenstein monsters birthed by drug prohibition, swollen with profits from supplying our insatiable demand for their forbidden goods -- not only fight the Mexican state, but also insinuate their way into it, and into Mexican society at large, buying with their immense wealth what they cannot command with their bullets.

This is commanding attention not only in Mexico, but also here north of the border, where the drugs are consumed and the cash handed over, where the fear looms that the violence will leak across the border. Despite the hyperventilating cries of some paranoid nativists, that has mostly not been the case, but if the violence hasn't arrived it's not because the cartels haven't extended their tentacles into Gringolandia. They are here, from San Antonio to Sacramento to Sioux Falls, doing business, and business is -- as always -- good.

Throw in some festering anti-immigrant (read: Mexican) sentiment, Congress's failure to act on comprehensive immigration reform, and some zealotry from the land of Sheriff Joe, and Mexico and the border are commanding a lot of attention. That's being reflected in the publishing world. Over the past two or three years, I've reviewed a handful of titles about Mexico and the border (and read more), and now we have three more contributions -- one an academic study of the cartels by a leading American Mexicanist; one a polemic against President Calderon's drug war by a Mexican journalist and a former Mexican foreign minister; and one a journalist's look at the world of smuggling, of both drugs and people, and counter-smuggling along the 1,700 mile border.

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George Grayson's "Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State?" is an extremely thorough and comprehensive history and analysis of the rise of the cartels in the context of the weaknesses of the Mexican state. If you can't tell your Carillo Fuentes from your Arellano Felix, if you're not sure if it's the Gulf Cartel or the Zetas, if you keep getting "La Barbie" mixed up with "El Chapo," Grayson will save you. He's got all the cartel players and all their nicknames -- and they all have them -- he's got all the busts and the shootouts, he's got what is so far the definitive history of the cartels and Mexico's response to them.

But Grayson is a political scientist, and that means we also get a history lesson on Mexican politics and culture, which for Grayson is largely a history of authoritarian institutions (the Catholic Church, the "perfect dictatorship" of the PRI), which the cartels imitate in their internal structures. Under the PRI, which ruled until Vicente Fox's PAN won the presidency in 2000, drug cartels existed, but in a modus vivendi with elements of the state. It was the political earthquake that shook loose the PRI that also unleashed the cartel wars, as old arrangements no longer served and new ones had to be forged. The ramping up of the drug war, first under Fox, and then under his successor, has only worsened the situation.

Grayson doesn't see any easy way out. It is "extremely difficult -- probably impossible," he writes, to eradicate the cartels, even with heightened law enforcement measures on both sides of the border. Raking in billions of dollars a year and employing nearly half a million Mexicans (and no doubt, some Americans, too), the cartels may just be, in a phrase, too big to fail. Just like the Mexican state, in Grayson's opinion. It may be corrupted, it may be suborned, but it goes on.

Although Grayson certainly plays it close to the vest, in the end he denounces the drug war. "Few public policies have compromised public health and undermined fundamental civil liberties for so long and to such a degree as the war on drugs," he writes.

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One gets the feeling that Jorge Castaneda, coauthor along with Ruben Aguilar of "Narco: La Guerra Fallida" (sorry, it's only available in Spanish), would like to be part of that Mexican state again. The former foreign minister has for years publicly suggested that it is time to talk about drug legalization, and "Narco" feels like part of a campaign to position himself for a run at office in 2012 or a post in whatever government emerges after elections that year. It is a polemic aimed directly at President Calderon's drug policies.

Castaneda and Aguilar set out to systematically demolish the reasons cited for ramping up the drug war, and do a pretty thorough job of it. (Although not everyone agrees with them. I saw Castaneda roundly berated at a Mexico City conference earlier this year for arguing that drug use in Mexico was not a significant problem, one of the central claims in the book.) Guns coming into Mexico from the US are not the cause of the violence, they also argue, and a full-blown confrontation with the cartels is not the way to go.

Instead, they propose increasing public security and reducing the "collateral damage" from drug prohibition and the drug wars by concentrating police on street crime and selectively targeting the most egregious drug offenders. The others? Perhaps a modus vivendi can be reached, if not at the national level, perhaps at the state or local level, as long appeared to be the case in Sinaloa. Decriminalization is another response, although not without the US joining in at the same time, lest Mexico become a drug tourism destination. And harm reduction measures should be applied. But "Narco" is ultimately a call for ending drug prohibition -- and a marker for Castaneda in forthcoming political moves.

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Of course, all those Mexican-controlled drugs have to get here somehow, which means they have to cross the US-Mexican border, and Reuters reporter Tim Gaynor's "Midnight on the Line" has got that covered. This is a fast-paced, entertaining, and insightful look at the contraband traffic -- both drugs and people -- across the border and the people who try to stop it. Gaynor works both sides of the border, talking to coyotes in Tijuana, showing up in a dusty Sonora border town and following the illegal immigrant's harrowing journey through the searing deserts of Arizona, and interviewing all kinds of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol folks, as well as other officials on this side.

Gaynor demonstrates with some verve the continuous, perpetual struggle between contrabandistas and the US authorities (or, like the Minutemen he interviews, volunteers) who struggle to choke off that traffic. He tracks for sign with Indian scouts on an Arizona reservation that has in recent years become a smuggling hotspot, he rides horseback and in a Blackhawk helicopter with the Border Patrol and tags along with one of its SWAT teams, he learns about the drones patrolling high overhead and the tunnels being bored far beneath the ground. And he introduces us to the people involved on both sides.

Gaynor concludes arguing -- no doubt much to the consternation of the "secure the border" crowd -- that the border is tighter than ever, and that the steady increase in federal officers there this decade has had an impact. But, he notes, this success has perverse results. Tightening the border has been "a market maker for ruthless and profit-hungry coyotes and drug traffickers, for whom smuggling has never been more profitable," he writes. And so it goes.

Gaynor's book is no doubt the easiest read, Castaneda's is more a marker of a political position than anything, and Grayson's belongs in the library as a desk reference for anyone really serious about following the cartels and Mexican politics. Happy reading.

Plan Colombia: Ten Years Later

The United States has been trying to suppress Colombian coca production and cocaine trafficking since at least the time of Ronald Reagan, but the contemporary phase of US intervention in Colombia in the name of the war on drugs celebrated its 10th anniversary this week. As Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) security analyst Adam Isaacson pointed out Wednesday in a cogent essay, "Colombia: Don't Call It A Model," it was on July 13, 2000, that President Bill Clinton signed into law a $1.3 billion package of mainly military assistance known as Plan Colombia.

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Plan Colombia coca eradication scene
Plan Colombia was supposed to cut Colombian cocaine production in half by mid-decade, and while total US expenditures on it have now risen to $7.3 billion, that goal was clearly not met. But, a decade down the road, there has been some "progress." The leftist peasant guerrillas of the FARC have been seriously weakened and are operating at half the strength they were 10 years ago. Violence has steadily decreased, as has criminality. The Colombian state has been strengthened -- especially its military, which has nearly doubled in size.

Still, as Isaacson notes, those gains have come at a tremendous cost. Thousands have been killed at the hands of rightist paramilitary groups aligned with powerful landowners and political elites, and while those paramilitaries officially disbanded several years ago, they appear to be reconstituting themselves. The seemingly endless "parapolitics" scandals linking the paramilitaries to high government actors demonstrate that the price of "progress" in Colombia has been corruption, impunity and human rights abuses.

And the war continues, albeit at a lower level. Some 21,000 fighters from all sides and an estimated 14,000 civilians died in the fighting this decade, and all the while, peasants were planting and harvesting coca crops, and traffickers were turning it into cocaine and exporting it to the insatiable North American and, increasingly, European markets.

While Colombian and US policy-makers have hailed Plan Colombia as a "success," neither Isaacson nor other analysts who spoke to the Chronicle this week were willing to make such unvarnished claims. "'Success' has come at a high cost," wrote Isaacson. "Colombia's security gains are partial, possibly reversible, and weighed down by 'collateral damage,'" including mass killings, other human rights abuses, and the weakening of democratic institutions."

"Success has eluded efforts to achieve Plan Colombia's main goal: reducing Colombian cocaine supplies," wrote Isaacson. Despite years of aerial eradication, coca remains stubbornly entrenched in the Colombian countryside, showing a significant decline only last year, after Colombia switched its eradication emphasis from spraying to manual eradication. "This strategic shift appears to be reducing coca cultivation, for now at least. In 2009 -- a year in which both aerial and manual eradication dropped sharply -- the UNODC found a significant drop in Colombian coca-growing, to 68,000 hectares."

But, as Isaacson and others note, that decline has been offset by increases in cultivation in Peru and Bolivia. In fact, total coca cultivation in the region has remained remarkably consistent since 2003, at about 150,000 hectares per year.

"If you look at it from point of aiding the Colombian government to fight against the FARC and other insurgents, it has worked," said Juan Carlos Hidalgo, Latin American analyst for the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute. "A decade ago, Colombia was close to being a failed state, with the FARC controlling large swathes of territory and threatening major cities. Today they are terribly weak and on the run, and much of their leadership has been killed," he noted.

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coca seedlings
"Due to the widespread use of helicopters and the fact that guerrillas don't have that kind of mobility, the Colombians and Americans have been successful in shrinking the area of operation available to the guerrillas, and that has hurt the guerrillas' ability to recruit," said Larry Birns, director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. "A few years ago, there were maybe 16,000 FARC operating in six or seven major theaters, and now it's about half that. But that doesn't necessarily mean the FARC is finished; we haven't seen any sign of that. Their options are fewer, but they are far from disappeared. Plan Colombia has been successful in empowering the Colombian military, but not so much in solving the problem of the FARC insurrection."

"On the military side, the counterinsurgency, there has been definite progress," agreed Vanda Felbab-Brown, a drugs and counterinsurgency expert at the Brookings Institution. "The situation in the late 1990s was very bad. The FARC was in the hills above Bogotá, and the paramilitaries were highly organized. Today, the FARC is much weaker, land travel is more possible, and other security indicators also show progress. That said, the FARC is still around in substantial numbers and can jeopardize security and economic development in particular areas. And the paramilitaries are back, even if the Colombian government insists they are not the paramilitaries. They are, for all intents and purposes, just like the paramilitaries of the 1980s and 1990s."

"The idea was that if they suppressed the coca, the capabilities of the FARC, the ELN, and the paramilitaries would be substantially weakened," said Felbab-Brown. "They said that if you eliminated coca in Colombia, the conflict would end, but I don't think you can bankrupt the belligerents through eradication. That didn't pan out. In some places, the government was able to diminish at least temporarily economic flows to particular elements of the FARC, but that was the result of military operations, not eradication," she argued.

"A lot of people say the FARC have lost their political agenda, that they are just traffickers, but I don't subscribe to that view," said Felbab-Brown. "If someone wants to conduct a rebellion, they have to have a way to finance it. I don't think the FARC is any different. One of the big accomplishments of the US and the Colombian military was taking out a lot of top FARC leaders," she continued. "Their current leaders have been out in the jungle so long, they suffer from a lack of intellectual imagination. But the FARC are peasant guerrillas, with a few intellectuals and students, and they were never strong ideologically. There is no equivalent of Comrade Gonzalo [of Peru's Shining Path] or Mullah Omar or Bin Laden for the FARC. And I think they've run out of ideas. Times have changed, and the ideological story they want to tell the world and their members is crumbling, but it's not the case they are just interested in money. They still want power, they still believe in narratives of war and conquest, but they don't have anything to frame it with anymore."

"They are about more than just criminality," agreed Isaacson. "They're raising drug money to buy guns and those guns are for something. While their ideology may be pretty stunted at this point, they are driven by a desire to take power -- unlike, say, the Sinaloa cartel, which is driven by a desire to sell drugs. They hate Colombia's political class, and they represent that small percentage of peasants on the fringe. Those boomtowns on the frontier, that's where the FARC's base is. Wherever there is no government and people are on their own, the FARC claims to protect them. They are not bandits -- they are more dangerous than bandits."

The paramilitaries continue to wreak havoc, too, said Felbab-Brown. "They assassinate community leaders and human rights organizers," she said. "In some areas, they collude with the FARC; in others, they fight the FARC over cocaine routes and access to coca production. They are still a real menace, and it is very discouraging that they have come back so quickly. That shows the failure of the Colombian government to address the real underlying causes of the problems."

That has been a serious flaw from the beginning, the Brookings Institution analyst said. "At first Plan Colombia was aimed at root causes of conflict and coca production, but that was dropped, and in the Bush administration it morphed into a counternarcotics and counterinsurgency project. Economic development was a minor component of the plan, and the US never tried to pressure Uribe to take on economic redistribution and the distribution of political power, nor has the US been very vocal about human rights and civil liberties issues."

"When Plan Colombia was first conceived, it was primarily a domestic program aimed at drawing in the Colombian population, which at that time had become totally disaffected from the state," recalled Birns. "It was to emphasize economic development, nutrition, and education. It was the Clinton administration that militarized Plan Colombia and made it into a security doctrine rather than an economic development formula."

That only deepened in the wake of 9/11, said Birns. "Increasingly, Plan Colombia morphed first into a counternarcotics program than again into an anti-terrorist vehicle. The US began to define the FARC, which never had any international aspect, as terrorists. It was a convenience for the US policy of intervention to emphasize the terrorism aspect."

But at root, Plan Colombia was first and foremost about reducing Colombian coca and cocaine production. "It wasn't sold here in the US as a counterinsurgency effort, but as an effort to reduce the supply of cocaine to the US market," Cato's Hidalgo pointed out. "If you look at the acreage of coca planted in Colombia, it has decreased, but the production of coca remains the same, and coca production is increasingly dramatically in Peru and Bolivia. Once again, we see the balloon effect at work."

"As the reduction took place in Colombia, it simply moved back to Peru, whence it originally came," concurred COHA's Birns. "Peruvian cocaine production is now half the regional total, so total cocaine production remains essentially the same, even though there has been a reduction in the role Colombia plays."

"One of the best measures to see if the supply of cocaine has decreased is to look at price, but what that tells us is that cocaine was 23% cheaper in 2007 than it was in 1998 when Plan Colombia was launched," said Hidalgo. "It is clear that Plan Colombia has failed in its main goal, which was to reduce the supply of cocaine to the US market."

"We've tried everything," said Hidalgo. "Aggressive aerial spraying of fields, manual eradication, as well as softer measures to entice producers to adopt other crops, and it's all failed. As long as the price of cocaine remains inflated by prohibition, there is big profit and a big incentive for producers and traffickers to grow the plant and export the product to the US and elsewhere. The only way to curtail this is by legalizing cocaine. Other than that, I don't see this as a battle that can be won."

Felbab-Brown called the coca and cocaine production estimates "extraordinarily squishy," but added it was clear that Plan Colombia had failed to achieve its goals there. "The plan was supposed to halve production in six years, and that clearly was not accomplished," she said. "It would be false to deny there has been some progress, but it has not been sufficient. I think it was bound not to work because it was so heavily focused on eradication in the context of violence and underemphasized the need for economic programs to address why people cultivate coca. And the larger reality is even if you succeeded in Colombia, production would have moved elsewhere."

Counternarcotics cannot solve Colombia's problems, said Felbab-Brown, because coca is not at the root of those problems. "There is only so much that counternarcotics programs can do given the basic economic and political situation in Colombia," said Felbab-Brown. "You have a set-up where labor is heavily taxed and capital and land are lightly taxed, so even when you get economic growth, it doesn't generate jobs, it only concentrates money in the hands of the rich. The Colombian government has been unwilling to address these issues, and inequality continues to grow. You can only do so much if you can't generate legal jobs. You have to take on entrenched elites, the bases of political power in Colombia, and Uribe's people are not interested in doing that."

But Uribe will be gone next month, replaced by his elected successor, Juan Manuel Santos. That could mean change, said Isaacson. "He's not as ideologically to the right as Uribe, some of his appointments indicate people who actually have an interest in governance, and he is the principle author of the program they're carrying out in the countryside to get the state and not just the military out there," he said. "He could also be more open to the idea of peace negotiations than Uribe was."

That may or may not be the case, but Plan Colombia under whatever president is not going to solve Colombia's drug problem -- nor America's, said Isaacson. "At home, we need to reduce demand through treatment and other options," he said. "In Colombia, as long as you have parts of the country ungoverned and as long as members of the government have nothing to fear if they abuse the population, there will always be drugs. Colombia needs to build the state and do it without impunity. We built up the Colombian military, but there was no money for teachers, doctors, or any public good besides security."

Indian cops arrested with contraband drugs in Nepal

Indian cops arrested with contraband drugs in Nepal Nepalnews.com Monday, 31 May 2010 15:09 Nepal Police arrested two Indian policemen with significant amount of hashish in Krishnanagar of Kapilvastu district on Monday. The Indian cops have been identified as Indraman Raya and Umesh Yadav, both constables at Badhani Police station in Siddhanagar, India. Police found 700 gms of the contraband drug in their possession while they were heading towards India in a motorcycle registered in India. The duo are currently being held at the Area Police Office in Krishnagar, a Nepali town bordering India. Meanwhile, a report in today's edition of the Kathmandu Post said that presence of large number of Indian ambulances on highways and city areas in the Terai region has led many to doubt if these vehicles are actually ferrying sick to hospitals as meant. The report quoted a source as saying that the Indian ambulances are being used by criminals to smuggle contrabands as they are allowed to ply freely without being checked or probed by authorities * http://www.nepalnews.com/main/index.php/news-archive/19-general/6455-ind... --------------------------------------------------------------------- Who is the criminal? Dear Nepal. This is Your greatest cultural heritage and the root of Your culture. A precious gift presented from Your very own highly beloved God Shivaji thousands of years ago, but by the Narcotic Drugs (Control) Act of 1976 and by an undemocratic elected government, who was promised a new world with development aid/loan,- alcohol on licence and a soon future with wealth, no illiteracy, sickness and a life in peace and harmony by UN, to make a non-democratic elected referendum decision to criminalize an essential and a thousand of years daily wide used marijuana plant. Nepal, You lost Your entity and the possibility of a huge exportable income to benefit Your people and the rest of the world. * the Narcotic Drugs (Control) Act of 1976: https://www.imolin.org/amlid/showLaw.do?law=6023&language=ENG&country=NEP --------------------------------------------------------------------- Police destroy marijuana in Nepal Post Report 2000 MAHOTTARI, Dec 11 - Police engaged in wiping out marijuana crops across this district have been working for the last 15 days with no extra incentives or allowances. ASI Padam Lama said that the effort of continuously cutting down marijuana has made many of them ill, but they cannot take respite from their work. The local people do not extend their cooperation at all, he added. Police staff stationed outside the district headquarters are all under instruction to go to farmers field and destroy their marijuana crop, although many of them are suffering as a result. In contact with the marijuana plant all day long, police personnel complain of headaches and colds, chapped skin and loss of appetite. Despite this they are accused of being biased. Farmers have alleged that members of the police staff destroy certain marijuana crops, while they overlook crops belonging to wealthy farmers on receipt of bribes. Police admit that this charge is partially true. Some kind farmers provide them with refreshments as they work in the fields and request them to save their crop. On condition of anonymity, one police official said "It is during these moments that we are moved more by human compassion than our duty and we cannot destroy their marijuana plants." Police claim that marijuana crop grown on 140 bighas out of the total one thousand bighas has been destroyed so far in this district. They claim that it is impossible for them to wipe out the entire marijuana crop in the district even over a six-month period. Regarding the charge levelled against the police that they overlook marijuana crops of farmers in many villages, police admitted that they have yet to destroy the crop in many VDCs but they rejected the charge that they had received bribes. "Our first target was Laxminiya VDC in this area. After we finish our work here we will continue our work in other VDCs," Police Inspector in Gaushala Ilaka Police Office Dinesh Chapagain said. However, police personnel engaged in destroying the marijuana crop in the district admit that work had slackened to a great extent and that the campaign will be unable to completely eradicate marijuana from this area if other methods are not employed. SP Hari Bahadur Thapa said this was only a police reformatory programme aimed at eradicating marijuana. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Nepal thrives as regional drug hub Extract from article of: NARESH NEWAR 05/31/04 According to Nepal law, the penalty for those caught with over 100g of heroin is 15-20 years of imprisonment including a fine of up to Rs 2.5 million. Those with over 10kg of hashish face a maximum of 10 years in prison with a Rs 100,000 fine. “Most of the time, smugglers with powerful connections and money are in prison for shorter periods, if at all,” a police officer told us. The only foreigners serving longterm sentences in Nepal’s Central Jail are those without international drug syndicate connections. In the last 12 years, about 105 foreign nationals from Romania, France, Germany, Russia, Israel, Poland, Burma, Nigeria, Austria, China, India, Japan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Sweden, the Czech Republic, the UK, Malawi and Canada were arrested. The most notorious among them are already free or serving light sentences. As of now, only 58 are languishing at different jails in the Valley. Nepal may not be as important a hub for drug traffickers as Indonesia, Thailand, India, Pakistan or Burma, but it is an up-and-coming conduit. Anti-narcotics agents say Nepal is still primarily a channel for drug flow out of India, Pakistan and Burma to Southeast Asia. But Nepal is also the source for high grade Nepali hashish which is reportedly in great demand in Europe. Hashish was legal here until the Nepal government was forced by the United States to pass the Narcotic Drugs (Control) Act of 1976. The law just deprived poor farmers of a cash crop, and drove the trade into the hands of the drug mafia. * Nepal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepal * Shiva: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiva * The Narcotic Drugs (Control) Act of 1976: https://www.imolin.org/amlid/showLaw.do?law=6023&language=ENG&country=NEP

Feature: Jamaica Rocked As Kingston Drug Gangs Fight Police and Army -- At Least 73 Dead

The capital of Jamaica, Kingston, is still smoldering -- literally -- after four days of violent conflict between Jamaican security forces and a fugitive drug "don" (as the heads of gangs are called there) and his supporters left at least 73 people dead by official count. The fighting took on much of the form of an urban insurrection, with gunmen attacking police and soldiers and assaulting at least 18 police stations, one of which burned to the ground. Three policemen were killed in the first day of fighting.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/brucegolding.jpg
Prime Minister Bruce Golding
The fighting pitted followers of Christopher "Dudus" Coke, an alleged major gang leader and drug and weapons trafficker wanted by the US, against a government they felt had betrayed him -- and them. Last week, after months of trying to block an American extradition request, the government of Prime Minister Bruce Golding gave in to mounting political pressure and ordered him sent to the US, setting off mass demonstrations by his followers centered in the tough Kingston neighborhood of Tivoli Gardens.

Dudus' supporters put up street barricades of wrecked vehicles and other debris and armed young men strolled the streets amid reports that members of other Jamaican drug gangs, or posses, were streaming into to Kingston to join the fight. Golding announced a state of emergency Sunday night after the first attacks on police stations, but it took until Thursday for the police and the army to exert control over Tivoli.

Although the violence has died down, many issues remain unresolved. Dudus is still a free man, having eluded the authorities' assault on his stronghold in Tivoli Gardens, the prime minister's relationship with Dudus is being closely scrutinized, and now, complaints about unjustified killings by security forces this week are once again raising serious concerns about Jamaica's human rights record.

And while the violence has died down, it hasn't ended. Police stormed a house in the middle class community of Kirkland Heights Thursday after hearing that Dudus may have holed up there, setting off a two-hour firefight. Among the casualties there was the brother of former Minister of Industry and Commerce Claude Clark, who was killed by security personnel in the crossfire.

The confrontation in Kingston is shining the spotlight on long-acknowledged but usually quietly ignored connections between Jamaica's two main political parties, the ruling Labor Party and the opposition People's National Party, and tough Kingston slum gangs. Ever since violent election campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s, when leaders of both parties recruited neighborhood toughs, the "rude boys" of reggae lyrics, in Kingston slums like Tivoli or Trenchtown to act as their deniable armed wings, the parties have relied on these neighborhood gangs not only for fighting when necessary, but also to deliver the vote. In return, they turn a blind eye to some of the gang's more nefarious activities.

Dudus, as leader of the Tivoli Gardens posse, which was affiliated with Labor, had long been an ally of Prime Minister Golden. The neighborhood is even part of Golden's constituency -- thus the anger against the government by residents who had benefited from Dudus' largesse amid poverty and neglect from the government.

Like Pablo Escobar in Colombia, who gained popular support by building schools and soccer stadiums, or the contemporary Mexican drug cartels, who do the same sort of public-minded philanthropy for the same mix of genuine and public relations purposes, Dudus provides services -- as well as security -- for Tivoli Gardens and its residents. In doing so, he came to be viewed by many as a sort of Robin Hood figure.

"Coke was the standard 'Teflon don,'" said Larry Birns, head of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, whose associate, Katherine Haas, this week published in a most timely fashion, Jamaica: Different Drug War, Different Strategy, a critique of US drug policy on the island. "For a relatively small percentage of the swag, he saw to it that there was a tremendous amount of goodwill in the neighborhood for his candidates. For Coke, it was always Labor, the Republicans of Jamaica."

Prime Minister Golding did his part by stalling for nine months the extradition order against Dudus after he was indicted on drug trafficking and weapons smuggling charges by a federal grand jury in New York. He even went as far as hiring a Washington, DC, public relations firm to attempt to lobby the indictment away, but when that became public knowledge, Golding's support for Dudus was not longer politically tenable.

"Coke was working for the JLP and Golding stalled as long as he possibly could to get the extradition going, but his ability to sustain his position vanished, so they had to go after Coke," Birns said. "But Coke had developed a cordon sanitiare of affection and appreciation because of what he has done for his neighborhood."

"They do have popular support because of the numbers of beneficiaries, and the financial support they provide to the communities," agreed Jamaican marijuana legalization activist Paul Chang.

US drug policy toward Jamaica hasn't helped, said Birns, whose organization has become increasingly critical of drug prohibition in recent years. American efforts to ameliorate some of the negative results of that policy are too little, too late, he said.

"US drug policy plays a role in this because the administration has announced a new program that will emphasize institution-building all the drug-infected countries in the region and emphasize the demand side, but we've heard all that before," he said. "Administration after administration has hurled rhetoric at the problem, but the existence of the drug cartels shines a laser-light like on the results of these policies. Anyway, although none of these islands has a viable economy, they want to give the paltry sum of $100 million to the Caribbean and Central America under Plan Merida. Guatemala alone could consume all that," he said.

"When it comes to Jamaica, you have the confluence of inadequate Latin America policy-making fused to a misconceived drug policy, and that becomes a very explosive mixture, and the ensuing violence we see in Jamaica is just the result," Birns summed up.

As of this writing, Dudus is still on the lam, Tivoli Gardens is still smoldering, Amnesty International is calling for an investigation of alleged street executions by security forces, and Prime Minister Golding is still holding on to power. But the violent challenge to the state's monopoly on the use of force has rocked Jamaica and revealed the dark webs of power linking politics and the underworld. The reverberations from this week will be felt in Jamaica for a long time to come.

Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debussman, Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed over 20,000 people, with a death toll of nearly 8,000 in 2009 and over 4,000 so far in 2010. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest of dozens of high-profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war:

Wednesday, May 19

In Chihuahua, police discovered five mummified bodies in the bed of a truck. The five, two women and three women, were left in a pickup truck alongside a desert highway south of Ciudad Juarez, and were mummified by the desert conditions. In Ciudad Juarez itself, a local university student was discovered murdered and wrapped in a blanket at the fairgrounds.

Thursday, May 20

In Tamaulipas, four gunmen were killed and four arrested after a raid by elements of the Mexican Navy. Three of the detainees were Guatemalan nationals. In Torreon, Coahuila, two police officers and three gunmen were killed in a firefight.

Outside Culiacan, Sinaloa, police announced the capture of the Sinaloa Cartel's operations chief for the greater Mexico City area. Jose Manuel Garcia is also being accused of coordinating cartel operations with local officials.

Sunday, May 23

In Tijuana, soldiers discovered $729,000 dollars during a raid in La Libertad neighborhood of northwest Tijuana. No arrests were made during the operation.

In Jalisco and Zacatecas, the army and gunmen fought six gun battles in 12 hours. No casualties were reported in the fighting, which was nonetheless described as "intense." According to the army, the gunmen used large caliber Barrett sniper rifles and fragmentation grenades and the engagement. At least 50 gunmen fled into nearby mountains on vehicle and on foot.

In Sinaloa, a federal police agent and his drug-sniffing dog are missing after being kidnapped alongside four other men and a woman near the town of Los Mochis. Three of them, including the woman, were later found dead. Afterwards, police searched for men traveling in three vehicles in relation to the incident. The area around Los Mochis is a known drug trafficking area.

Nine people were murdered in the city of Chihuahua, and a man was killed in the city of Durango. Three young women who were traveling in his car were wounded after being ambushed by gunmen wielding high-powered weapons. In Tampico, two gunmen were killed after a shootout with the army. In Morelos, gunmen forced a man out of a bar and shot him just outside. One person was killed in Tabasco.

Monday, May 24

In Zapopan, Jalisco, the operations chief of the municipal police was shot and killed. Witnesses told police that Jose Nicolas Araujo Baldenegro ran out of his house after hearing a truck smash into his car, only to be gunned down when he stepped onto the street. The truck used in the attack was later found abandoned.

Tuesday, May 25

In a suburb of Monterrey, an ex-police officer from an elite unit of the municipal police was killed in a shootout between gunmen and soldiers. The incident, which took place in the affluent suburb of San Pedro Garza Garcia, took place in the early morning after the army received reports of armed men at a party. After a brief firefight, soldiers discovered the body of ex-municipal police officer Pedro Valezquez Amador. It was later reported that he is a high-ranking member of the Beltran-Leyva organization, although the organization has been split in recent months.

Wednesday, May 26

In Cancun, the mayor was arrested on suspicion of protecting the Beltran-Leyva and Zetas organizations. Gregorio Sanchez now faces charges of drug trafficking and money laundering, a year after a Cancun police chief and several deputies were taken into custody. High-level corruption is rampant in many parts of Mexico.

In Chihuahua, a large group of armed men took over a small village near Ciudad Juarez. Reports indicate that a group of at least 60 men traveling in 16 vehicles took over the small town of El Porvenir and executed two people before withdrawing. The local headquarters of a police intelligence unit was also burned. Several police were reported to have fled into nearby forests.

In Culiacan, three people were executed, including a woman who was thrown into a canal after being shot. Two murders occurred in Ciudad Juarez.

Thursday, May 27

In Ciudad Juarez, two policemen were shot dead in the parking lot of a shopping center. Five people were shot in different incidents across the city of Chihuahua, and two people each were killed in Sonora, Sinaloa, and Durango.

In the Durango incident, two suspected drug traffickers were killed after being stopped at a fake checkpoint. A four year old child was left alive in the backseat.

Total Body Count for the Week: 405

Total Body Count for the Year: 4,357

[Editor's note: We have decided to no longer include the overall death toll since Calderon began his drug war. There are too many problems of definition to be confident of any exact tally. We will, however, note when the official tally clicks over another thousand dead. Currently, it's at 23,000.]

Read the last Mexico Drug War Update here.

Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debusmann, Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed over 19,000 people, with a death toll of nearly 8,000 in 2009 and over 2,000 so far in 2010. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest of several high-profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war:

Saturday, April 3

In Tamaulipas, at least 17 people were killed in several incidents in the cities of Reynosa and Tampico. In Reynosa, five gunmen were killed after a gun battle with the army. Another gunman was killed several hours later after shooting at an army patrol in a nearby part of the city. In Tampico, a shootout between rival groups of suspected drug traffickers in a night club left five men and two women dead. Tamaulipas has seen a drastic increase in violence in the last few weeks at the Zetas Organization battles their former employers, the Gulf Cartel.

In Sinaloa, at least nine people were killed in Navolato, Culiacan, Guasave and Mazatlan. One of the dead was a 19-year old prison inmate who was killed in his cell, where he was serving a sentence for murder. At least five young men were killed in drug-related violence in Guerrero, three in Mexico City, and three in Tijuana. In Chihuahua, police found three men shot dead execution style near the town of La Junta. In Ciudad Juarez, five young men were shot dead and the decapitated head of a woman was discovered. Additionally, three people were murdered in Michoacán, and gunmen stormed a house and killed a man in Durango.

In Torreon, Coahuila, gunmen shot six men dead in the Moderna neighborhood. A seventh man was seriously wounded and remains in intensive care. The men were discovered dead after police received reports of bodies lying in the street.

Sunday, April 4

In Reynosa, Tamaulipas, armed men stormed a prison and freed 13 inmates. This is the second major jailbreak in the state of Tamaulipas in less than two weeks. Three prisoners were also killed in the incident, although the circumstances are unclear. At least 31 prison guards and employees were detained for questioning. According to the Tamaulipas state government, the gunmen arrived in a ten-vehicle convoy and exchanged fire with the guards before freeing the prisoners.

Monday, April 5

In Monterrey, Nuevo Leon 105 police officers were fired for misconduct. The charges against the officers included extortion, robbery, and mistreating civilians. Several were also fired for disobeying superiors. The firings are part of a new "zero-tolerance" policy being instituted in Nuevo Leon, where local police are widely thought to be corrupt and, in many cases, in league with drug trafficking organizations.

In Nuevo Laredo two children were killed and five of their relatives were wounded after the vehicle in which they were traveling came under fire during a gun battle between gunmen and soldiers. At least two gunmen were also killed in the incident.

Tuesday, April 6

The Mexican newspaper Proceso published an extremely rare interview with one of Mexico's most notorious drug lords. In the interview, Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, one of the heads of the Sinaloa Cartel, said that Mexico's drug war was bound to fail. Notably, Zambada told his interviewer, Mexican journalist Julio Scherer, that the capture of high-ranking cartel bosses would have little long term effect. "For all the bosses jailed, dead, or extradited, their replacements are already there," he said. He added that "at the end of the day we will all know that nothing has changed."

Wednesday, April 7

In the state of Nayarit, police discovered the bodies of 12 people who had been murdered. At least eight of the victims were partially burned. The eight burned bodies were discovered in the bed of a pickup truck, and the other four were found nearby. Police also discovered at least 10 abandoned vehicles with weapons inside. The bodies were found near the town of Xalisco, which is well known to Mexican and US law enforcement as being a center for the production of black tar heroin.

In the town of Frontera Comalapa, on the Guatemalan-Mexican border, an innocent bystander was killed during a firefight between gunmen and federal police after the gunmen attacked a building owned by the federal government.

Total Body Count for the Week: 275

Total Body Count for the Year: 2,721

Total Body Count for 2009: 7,724

Total Body Count since Calderon took office: 19,032

Read the last Mexico Drug War Update here.

Boycott Idaho Over Thuggish Marijuana Law Enforcement? Well, We Have to Start Somewhere

Idaho has some great scenery and some great skiing, it has the Snake River Canyon, and it has a huge knot of mountains in the middle of the state that are very appealing to those who like rugged, isolated beauty. I had intended to explore them this summer, but I've changed my mind. And this story is the reason why:
Medical Marijuana Defense Falls Flat REXBURG — The Fremont County prosecutor says a drug bust in Island Park illustrates that claiming a medical use of marijuana with a certificate from another state won't help you in Idaho. Aurora M. Hathor-Rainmenti, 35 , of Garberville, Calif., was arrested Friday after she was stopped for speeding near Mack's Inn. Fremont County deputies found a baggy containing marijuana in her car with the help of a drug dog. Hathor-Rainmenti was charged with one count of possession of marijuana and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, all misdemeanors. Fremont County Prosecutor Joette Lookabaugh said Hathor-Rainmenti said she had a certificate from the state of California allowing for medical use of marijuana. "We want the public to know that medical marijuana certificates, even if they're from surrounding states, are not honored in Idaho," Lookabaugh said.
Okay, I understand this. Idaho is under no obligation to honor a medical marijuana card from a different state. Medical marijuana users be forewarned: If you're headed for benighted redneck country, don't expect your card to protect you. There is, however, no suggestion that Hathor-Rainmenti is anything other than a legitimate medical marijuana patient. Still, the local prosecutor takes the opportunity to pile on the charges: Not only does she get a pot possession charge, she also gets two paraphernalia charges (did she have two rolling papers, or what?). Absolutely typical, of course, and absolutely disgusting. Just another way for prosecutors to stack the deck. And not limited to Idaho. Similarly, a judge in Idaho, if he had an ounce of compassion in his body, could take her medical marijuana patient status into account during sentencing. There is no sign he did that:
On Monday Hathor-Rainmenti pleaded guilty to the possession charge and one of the possession of paraphernalia charges. The other paraphernalia charge was dropped. She was sentenced to five days in jail, with 115 days at the discretion of the court along with an $800 fine.
Nice. Throwing a patient in jail for a victimless crime—and rip her off for $800. Remember, she was not charged with drugged driving—and you better believe she would have been had there been the least suggestion she was impaired. Okay, the sentence was ugly and reprehensible, but still nothing unusual in the fascistoid heartland. But here's the kicker; here's what's got me thinking boycott:
In addition, there is a civil forfeiture under way on the borrowed car Hathor-Rainmenti was driving, as well as on the $514 in cash that was confiscated during the arrest.
Say what?!?! Asset forfeiture laws are supposed to be directed at people getting rich from selling drugs. They're problematic enough in that regard, since they create an incentive for cops to trawl for cash, distorting law enforcement priorities in the constant search for the next big score—with the loot typically used to pay for more cops and more drug dogs to find more cash to seize to pay for more cops and more drug dogs and…In short, they are little more than a form of institutionalized, legalized corruption. But Hathor-Rainmenti only had a bag of weed. She was not charged with drug distribution. And the state of Idaho is going to steal her car and every penny she had on her? This is nothing but robbery under color of law. This is the criminal justice system as organized thuggery. The thieving state of Idaho can go to hell. I am sick to death of this sort of crap. It happens all the time, and not just in Idaho. But we have to start somewhere, and that's why I'm suggesting that perhaps a boycott is in order. Idaho is a relatively small state in terms of population, and it is highly dependent on tourism. In other words, it's vulnerable. I am aware that boycotts are a blunt instrument that may not directly harm the people they are aimed at—the cops who make the busts, the prosecutors who try to hammer good people down, the judges who routinely impose such obscene sentences, the politicians who write the laws. But if the ski resorts in Sun Valley or the river guides and hotel owners along the Snake River Valley start seeing cancellations, perhaps they will be motivated to start putting some money into campaigns to end this evil. To be honest, I'm getting frustrated with playing games with state legislatures and I'm thinking it's time for some creative direct actions. We can spend years at the statehouse only to win a piddling decriminalization bill. Whoopee! Now you can only steal my stash and a few hundred of my hard-earned dollars instead of stealing my stash and my money and giving me a criminal record and some jail time. That is progress of a sort, but not nearly enough. Ditto with medical marijuana. Why is it that it seems like every new medical marijuana law is more restrictive than the last? Pretty soon we're going to end up with a medical marijuana law somewhere where you have to be dead already to qualify. So…what about an organized boycott of Idaho, for starters? Would medical marijuana defense groups like Americans for Safe Access get on board with that? Why or why not? What about NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project? Or the Drug Policy Alliance? Just the announcement of a boycott ought to start a real ruckus among the good burghers of Boise. There are 20 million or so pot smokers in the US, and they have friends and families. We are talking about tens of millions of people who could potentially participate. It could even have a real economic impact, and if that's what it takes to beat some sense into these yahoos, so be it. Individuals could do their part by writing letters to the state and local chambers of commerce, to the state tourism bureau, and to state newspapers explaining why they are going elsewhere this year. Reservations could be made and then canceled. Let 'em feel the pain. As I've said, I'm getting really tired of progress by the millimeter. I'm open to some creative tactics. A directed boycott is one of them. Here's another one: The drug defense bar grows rich defending pot people. How about after charging us $5,000 to show up in court and cop a guilty plea and $15,000 to pursue an appeal on constitutional grounds a few hundred times, you give back to the community you grow rich off of? How about a group of you picking a particular egregious locality and pro bono defending every drug case like you meant it? I mean filing motions, going to trial, no plea bargains, demanding jury trials, the works. You could probably freeze the system in a few weeks. Yeah, I know there are issues, but we could work them out. Sure, things like boycotts and forcing the criminal justice system are messy and difficult. But in the meantime, the wheels of injustice keep grinding away, chewing up our people in the process. Anybody got any better ideas? Do we begin with boycotting Idaho? Count me in.
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