This Week in History 11/14/03

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November 17, 1993: President Clinton signs the North American Free Trade Agreement, resulting in an enormous increase in legitimate trade across the US-Mexican border. The volume of trade makes it more difficult for US Customs officials to find narcotics hidden within legitimate goods. It is unclear, however, what net effect on drug supply and prices NAFTA ultimately has.

November 18, 1986: A US federal grand jury in Miami releases the indictments of the Ochoas, Pablo Escobar, Carlos Lehder, and Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha under the RICO statute. The indictment names the Medellin cartel as the largest cocaine smuggling organization in the world.

November 21, 1987: Jorge Ochoa is arrested in Colombia. Ochoa is held in prison on the bull-smuggling charge for which he was extradited from Spain. Twenty-four hours later a gang of thugs arrive at the house of Juan Gomez Martinez, the editor of Medellin's daily newspaper El Colombiano. They present Martinez with a communique signed by "The Extraditables," which threatens execution of Colombian political leaders if Ochoa is extradited. On December 30, Ochoa is released under dubious legal circumstances. In January 1988, the murder of Colombian Attorney General Carlos Mauro Hoyos is claimed by the Extraditables.

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Issue #311, 11/14/03 DRCNet Interview: Larry Campbell, Mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | South Carolina: High School Drug Raid Sparks Incredulity, Outrage | DRCNet Honchos Challenge DC with CD -- Borden and Guard Refuse to Report for Jury Service in Protest of Drug Laws | Drug Policy Alliance 2003 Conference | BUSTED: Special Video Offer for DRCNet Members | Newsbrief: Canada Decriminalization Bill Dies Quiet Death | Newsbrief: Bolivian Intellectuals Issue Call for Debate on Coca Law | Newsbrief: FAMM Study Show States Embracing "Smart on Crime" Reforms | Newsbrief: Illinois Targets Ecstasy, Speed on Campus | Newsbrief: Texas Drug Task Force Prosecutor Plays "Let's Make a Deal" With Wealthy Defendants | This Week in History | DRCNet Temporarily Suspending Our Web-Based Write-to-Congress Service Due to Funding Shortfalls -- Your Help Can Bring It Back -- Keep Contacting Congress in the Meantime | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | The Reformer's Calendar
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