Corruption

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Former Head of Bolivia's Drugs Police Is Sent to U.S. to Face Cocaine Trafficking Charges

Location: 
Bolivia
In yet another example of drug prohibition corrupting top officials, the former head of Bolivia's counter-narcotics police, Rene Sanabria, has been arrested in Panama and sent to the U.S. to face charges he ran a cocaine trafficking ring.
Publication/Source: 
Daily Mail (UK)
URL: 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1361384/Bolivias-drugs-police-head-Rene-Sanabria-face-cocaine-trafficking-charge-US.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

WikiLeaks: Mexican President's Guard Leaked Secrets to Drug Trafficking Organizations

Location: 
Mexico
In yet another blow to Mexico's failed drug prohibition war, a Mexican army officer assigned to guard President Felipe Calderon leaked military intelligence to drug trafficking organizations, trained hit men and supplied military weapons to Los Zetas, according to a U.S. Embassy cable recently released by Wikileaks. The cable says the case was the most serious security breach to date during the Calderon presidency and indicates that Mexico's powerful drug traffickers have infiltrated large parts of the security apparatus.
Publication/Source: 
Business Insider (NY)
URL: 
http://www.businessinsider.com/wikileaks-mexican-presidents-guard-leaked-secrets-to-drug-cartels-2011-2

Kenyan Parliament Begins Drug Probe on MPs

Location: 
Kenya
Drug prohibition has been known to corrupt government officials all over the globe. Kenya's Committee of Parliament on Security has embarked on an independent investigation into allegations of drug trafficking leveled against four members of parliament. US ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger disclosed that officials have banned several high profile individuals from visiting the US on the grounds of their involvement in drug trafficking.
Publication/Source: 
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (Kenya)
URL: 
http://www.kbc.co.ke/news.asp?nid=69049

Call for Release of Moroccan Marijuana, Human Rights Activist

Last week, Moroccan human rights activist, denouncer of corruption, and marijuana legalization advocate Chakib El-Khayari began his third year in prison for "offending the Moroccan state." El-Khayari, president of the Human Rights Association of the Rif region in Morocco, has been jailed since February 17, 2009, and now, European drug reform activists and international human rights groups are calling for his release.

Chaikh El-Khayari (encod.org)
El-Khayari, who is also known for defending the rights of the Amazigh (Berber) people and African migrants passing through en route to Europe, aroused the ire of the Moroccan state for declaring to the press that the Moroccan military and police are collaborating in the trafficking of hashish to Europe. In 2008, he also took the path-breaking step of initiating a national debate on the legalization of industrial hemp and medical marijuana.

El-Khayari was arrested on February 17, 2009, and has been jailed ever since. He was convicted of "offending the Moroccan state" for his statements about the involvement of high-ranking officials in the police, the army, and the government in the hash trade. He was also convicted of violating Morocco's foreign exchange laws for depositing in a bank in Madrid a check from a Spanish newspaper for an article he had written.

In an open letter to Mohamed VI, the King of Morocco, the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (ENCOD) is calling for El Khayari's immediate release. It is also calling on activists to print out and sign the letter, sending copies to the king and to the Moroccan embassy in their countries.

"Nothing justifies the heavy sanction that has been applied to Chakib El-Khayari," the letter says. "It is a manifest act of repression that is contrary to the international instruments to protect human rights that were ratified by Morocco and in particular, the international agreement on civil and political rights between Morocco and the European Union. We denounce firmly the detention of Chakib El-Khayari and urge his inmediate and unconditional release."

It's not just drug reformers. Five months ago, Amnesty International called for El-Khayari's release, saying it considers him a prisoner of conscience, "solely detained for his anti-corruption statements and his human rights activities."

The call for El-Khayari's release comes as the Moroccan government teeters under the wave of popular unrest that is sweeping North Africa and the Middle East. Five people were killed during widespread protests seeking constitutional reform Sunday.

Morocco

Iowa Lawmaker Faces Ethics Review Over Faking Symptoms to Get a Doctor's Recommendation for Medical Marijuana in California

Location: 
IA
United States
Rep. Clel Baudler, a Greenfield Republican and former state trooper, who traveled to California and lied to a physician about having painful hemorrhoids in order to obtain a medical marijuana recommendation in California will answer to the Iowa's House Ethics Committee. The Iowa Board of Pharmacy voted unanimously last year to recommend that lawmakers reclassify marijuana so it could be used for medical purposes.
Publication/Source: 
New England Cable News (MA)
URL: 
http://www.necn.com/02/10/11/Lawmaker-faces-ethics-review-over-pot-pr/landing_politics.html?&blockID=3&apID=938d9a68f01d4577bbdd5b8f8cfc6c8c

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Wisconsin narc crosses the line, and cops in Houston and Philadelphia pay for getting too greedy. Let's get to it:

Denise Markham
In Madison, Wisconsin, a Madison Police officer has resigned in a negotiated settlement as she was being investigated for alleged misconduct. Denise Markham, a 22-year veteran of the department, was assigned to the Dane County Narcotics and Gang Task Force, but had been on paid leave since June 2009, when an investigation into her activities commenced. The investigators found no evidence of illegal conduct, but found that she violated departmental policies by filing inaccurate reports, conducting improper searches, conducting improper seizures of private property, improperly handling seized drugs, and engaging in "overbearing, oppressive or tyrannical conduct." In other words, illegal conduct.

In Philadelphia, two former Philadelphia police officers pleaded guilty Monday to plotting to rip-off a suspected heroin dealer. Robert Snyder and James Venziale plotted with another former officer, Mark Williams, to stage a traffic stop as a pretext for stealing heroin from a supplier. Williams has pleaded not guilty. Venziale cooperated with prosecutors and faces a five year mandatory minimum sentence, while Snyder, who did not cooperate with prosecutors, faces a mandatory minimum 10 years on gun and drug charges. Sentencing is in May.

In Houston, a former Harris County Sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty Monday to stopping drug dealers and ripping-off their loads. Richard Bryan Nutt Jr., 43, pleaded to one federal count of extortion after getting caught in a Houston police sting operation. While in uniform, Nutt stopped a vehicle supposedly carrying drugs, and one of his co-conspirators entered the vehicle and retrieved a package containing two pounds of fake cocaine. The sting was set up after Houston police received information that someone was ripping off drug couriers. Nutt is free on bond pending sentencing in June. He's looking at up to 20 years in federal prison.

Former Senior China Anti-Drug Official Gets Death Penalty for Drug Trafficking

Location: 
China
A court handed down the death penalty to the former deputy head of anti-narcotics efforts in China's most populous metropolis, Chongqing. Luo Li had been collaborating with drug dealers in Chongqing since 2005 and took 1.2 million yuan ($233,038) in bribes to turn a blind eye to the activities of two of them, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing a court statement.
Publication/Source: 
TODAY (Singapore)
URL: 
http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC110201-0000211/Former-senior-China-anti-drug-official-gets-death-penalty

Drug Prohibition's Cocaine Traffickers Have Proven Both Vicious and Resilient

Location: 
Since the beginning of the drug prohibition war, the drug trade has ballooned, spreading violence and corruption across large parts of the globe. Despite billions spent on combating them drug traffickers have for decades outwitted the authorities, keeping consumers in North America and Europe supplied at a price and purity that remains remarkably consistent despite law enforcement officials around the world frequently heralding the dismantling of trafficking networks.
Publication/Source: 
The Irish Times (Ireland)
URL: 
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2011/0127/1224288397713.html

Ex-World Leaders Form Global Drug Policy Commission

A group of world political leaders, intellectuals, and businessman Richard Branson have formed a Global Commission on Drug Policies in a bid to boost the effort to achieve more humane and rational drug laws. The commission is headed by former Brazilian President Henrique Cardoso and builds on the work Cardoso and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo and former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria did with the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy.

http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/files/latinamericacommission.jpg
Latin America Commission panel, 2009, President Gaviria on left (courtesy comunidadsegura.org)
The commission's goals include reviewing the basic assumptions, effectiveness and consequences of the 'war on drugs' approach; evaluating the risks and benefits of different national responses to the drug problem; and developing actionable, evidence-based recommendations for constructive legal and drug policy reform. The commission will issue a report in six months.

The commission will examine the current international drug control regime, conduct a global overview of drug policies and laws, examine the drug production and supply chain, address criminal justice challenges, study the lessons learned from harm reduction, treatment, and prevention campaigns, and examine the economic and political ramifications of the massive illicit global drug trade.

In addition to the three Latin American ex-presidents, commission members include former US Secretary of State George Schulz, writers Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa, former European Union official Javier Solana, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees Thorvald Stoltenberg.

"There is a growing perception that the "war on drugs" approach has failed," the commission said in a statement as it announced its existence in Geneva this week. "Eradication of production and criminalization of consumption did not reduce drug traffic and drug use," the commission said.

The harm from corruption and violence resulting from prohibition "largely exceeds the harm caused by drugs," the statement says.

We will be looking forward to seeing the commission's report this summer. The report from the Latin American Commission helped stir debate and advance the cause of reform, and this should, too.

Geneva
Switzerland

Ex World Leaders, Branson Launch Anti-Prohibitionist Drug Campaign

Location: 
Switzerland
"There is a growing perception that the 'war on drugs' approach has failed," the Global Commission on Drug Policies said in a statement, as it began an inaugural two day meeting in Geneva. "Eradication of production and criminalization of consumption did not reduce drug traffic and drug use," the commission said. It concluded that the harm from corruption and violence resulting from prohibition "largely exceeds the harm caused by drugs."
Publication/Source: 
Agence France-Presse (France)
URL: 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jhoa_0M6MQJ1VS-gTQ5vqnWcSyDw?docId=CNG.07485e9b9bae58aea565c435050ae5bf.9d1

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