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Asia's prisons are filling up with women. Many are victims of the war on drugs 

It was dark when the plane touched down in Hong Kong from Phnom Penh. Noor Yuni swiftly cleared immigration and collected her luggage. But as she approached the "nothing to declare" lane, a customs officer pulled her aside, she says. 

The 21-year-old Indonesian's bag was put into the security scanner and she remembers agreeing to be searched. 

By the time officers had slashed open the lining of her backpack and dislodged the white crystals concealed inside, Yuni said she knew she'd been tricked. (CNN, 16.08.2020)

Asia's prisons are filling up with women. Many are victims of the war on drugs 

Philippinen. 11 cops face raps for killing two men in fake anti-narcotics ops

Eleven anti-narcotics policemen of the City of San Jose del Monte (CSJDM), Bulacan are facing criminal complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ) for abducting two men and killing them during a fabricated anti-illegal drugs operations last February. (Manila Bulletin, Philippinen, 12.08.2020)

Philippinen. 11 cops face raps for killing two men in fake anti-narcotics ops

Kolumbien. Former Colombian President Uribe Placed on House Arrest

COLOMBIA: In a televised address, President Iván Duque announced that former President Alvaro Uribe will be held in custody as the Supreme Court investigates allegations of witness tampering. Uribe, president of Colombia from 2002 to 2010, has long been accused of criminal activities, including having ties to drug cartels and paramilitary groups. 

The current probe against him comes after a senator accused Uribe of being a founding member of a paramilitary group involved in the decades-long civil conflict between the government and rebel groups. (latindispatch.com, 05.08.2020)

Kolumbien. Former Colombian President Uribe Placed on House Arrest

Belgien/Niederlande. How a Quiet Corner of Northern Europe Became a Theatre of Extreme Drug Warfare

Underworld violence is on the up in the otherwise peaceful countries of Belgium and the Netherlands – and it’s all linked to the international cocaine trade. (Vice, 11.08.2020)

Belgien/Niederlande. How a Quiet Corner of Northern Europe Became a Theatre of Extreme Drug Warfare

Kolumbien. Colombia to restart aerial fumigation of coca crops, defense minister says

(Reuters World News, 13.07.2020)

Kolumbien. Colombia to restart aerial fumigation of coca crops, defense minister says

 

Mexiko. Searching with the Mothers of Mexico’s Disappeared

More than seventy thousand people have disappeared in Mexico, victims of drug-related violence. Their loved ones are grieving, searching, and, now, keeping their distance. (The New Yorker, USA, 05.08.2020)

www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/searching-with-the-mothers-of-mexicos-disappeared

Bolivien. The 2019 UNODC monitoring report shows an increase in coca cultivation in Bolivia

La Paz/Vienna, 29 July  2020  – In 2019, coca cultivation in Bolivia has increased by 10 per cent compared to 2018, according to the latest Coca Cultivation Monitoring Report, developed with funding from the European Union, presented today in La Paz by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. The area under cultivation has effectively increased by 2,400 hectares (ha) from 23,100 ha in 2018 to 25,500 ha in 2019. (UNODC, 29.07.2020)

www.unodc.org/unodc/press/releases/2020/July/the-2019-unodc-monitoring-report-shows-an-increase-in-coca-cultivation-in-bolivia.html

Mexiko/USA. White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Announces Record Reduction in Poppy Cultivation and Potential Heroin Production in Mexico

The annual United States Government estimate of “Mexican Poppy Cultivation and Heroin Production” found poppy cultivation in Mexico decreased by 27 percent, from 41,800 hectares in 2018 to 30,400 hectares in 2019.  Similarly, potential pure heroin production decreased by 27 percent, from 106 metric tons in 2018 to 78 metric tons in 2019.  This 27 percent decrease in the potential production of heroin marks a milestone by meeting a goal set by the Trump Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy two years early. (The White House, Office of National Drug Control Policy, USA, 31.07.2020)

www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/ondcp-announces-record-reduction-poppy-cultivation-potential-heroin-production-mexico/

Peru. Peru rejects US report warning of uptick in cocaine and coca leaf production

LIMA, Aug 1 (.) – Peru on Saturday rejected a report by the US Drug Enforcement Office warning of a 40% increase in cocaine production and a 38% increase in coca leaf crops in the Andean country in 2019 compared to the previous year. 

Peru’s anti-drug office, Devida, said in a statement that the report contains « a series of errors » in its preparation because it does not consider the volume of coca leaf crops eradicated that year and the traditional consumption of the plant and its licit industry, which never becomes cocaine. (explica.co, Peru, 01.08.2020)

Peru. Peru rejects US report warning of uptick in cocaine and coca leaf production

Bangla Desh. The Death Toll Mounts in Bangladesh's Drug War 

Bangladesh has a methamphetamine problem, and the government is turning to drastic measures in the search for a solution. Human rights organizations say that the authorities are resorting to extrajudicial killings. (Spiegel international, 06.08.2020)

www.spiegel.de/international/world/fighting-the-yaba-pill-the-death-toll-mounts-in-bangladesh-s-drug-war-a-4ebfe7b8-aa24-4957-a0e4-054088b42fa4

The war on drugs is built on racism. It’s time to decolonise drug policies.

Ann Fordham

(…) The acute racial injustices of drug control efforts around the world cannot be overstated and are the subject of growing attention. Last year, a group of UN experts on people of African descent noted that “the war on drugs has operated more effectively as a system of racial control than as a mechanism for combating the use and trafficking of narcotics”. Drug law enforcement has led to mass incarceration, arbitrary arrests and detention and devastating police brutality, the burden of which has fallen disproportionately on people of colour across the globe. All of this repression has sought to eliminate the illegal drug trade, yet year on year the UN’s own data shows an ever growing, diversifying and robust global market and this year’s World Drug Report released today, once again confirms the trend. (IDPC – International Drug Policy Consortium, UK, 26.06.2020)

https://idpc.net/blog/2020/06/the-war-on-drugs-is-built-on-racism-it-s-time-to-decolonise-drug-policies

Philippinen. Philippines: New report reveals deliberate killings of children during “war on drugs”

Geneva (OMCT) – A new report, published today, documents 122 killings of children, from 1 to 17 years old, throughout the Philippines, between July 2016 and December 2019. The report, titled “How could they do this to my child?”, jointly published by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRDC, Philippines), shows that the majority of the killings were carried out by police forces or affiliates. (World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRDC, Philippines), 29.06.2020)

https://www.omct.org/rights-of-the-child/reports-and-publications/philippines/2020/06/d25937/

Mexiko. Freeing El Chapo’s son prevented cartel slaughter that would have left 200 people dead, Mexican president says 

Ovidio Guzman Lopez’s arrest last October prompted cartels to lay siege to the streets of Culiacan, leaving military and police outgunned

Lopez was released, in an embarrassing climbdown for authorities described by one journalist as ‘the capitulation of the state’. (South China Morning Post, HongKong, 20.06.2020)

https://www.scmp.com/news/world/americas/article/3089914/freeing-el-chapos-son-prevented-cartel-slaughter-would-have

Philippinen. UN report decries human rights violations in Philippines' war on drugs

The UN said that President Duterte's war on drugs in the Philippines has sparked widespread killing with "near impunity" for offenders. The report called for an independent probe into human rights abuses in the country. (Deutsche Welle, 04.06.2020)

https://www.dw.com/en/un-report-decries-human-rights-violations-in-philippines-war-on-drugs/a-53681998

Kolumbien. US Forces Deployed to Colombia to Help Wage Futile War on Cocaine

Diplomatic officials announced May 27 that the US is sending an armed forces unit to Colombia. From June, the Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) begins a four-month operation, training Colombian military forces in fighting that country’s drug war. (Filter, USA, 01.06.2020)

https://filtermag.org/us-military-colombia-cocaine/

Kolumbien. Violence Rages On in Colombia’s Cauca Department

A wave of violence has struck Colombia’s southwestern Cauca department, in the form of targeted killings and armed groups battling for control of coca crops and trafficking routes — a deadly mix. (InSight Crime, USA, 10.06.2020)

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/colombia-southern-cauca-violence/

Myanmar. Huge fentanyl haul seized in Myanmar in Asia's biggest drug bust

JAKARTA • Myanmar police said they have seized a huge haul of liquid fentanyl, the first time one of the dangerous synthetic opioids that have ravaged North America has been found in Asia's Golden Triangle drug-producing region. (Straits Times, Singapur, 19.05.2020)

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/huge-fentanyl-haul-seized-in-myanmar-in-asias-biggest-drug-bust

Kambodscha. Cambodia: Abusive “war on drugs”, rife with torture and corruption, must be overhauled 

The Cambodian government’s three-year long “war on drugs” campaign has fuelled a rising tide of human rights abuses, dangerously overfilled detention facilities and led to an alarming public health situation – even more so as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds – while failing in its stated objective of curbing drug use, a new investigative report by Amnesty International published today reveals. (Amnesty International, UK, Index number: ASA 23/2220/2020, 12.05.2020)

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/05/cambodia-abusive-war-drugs-torture-corruption-must-overhauled/

Kolumbien. Colombia Steps Up Coca Eradication During Lockdown. (Video)

Despite ordering a full lockdown of the country, the Colombian government is doubling down on the manual eradication of coca plants in remote parts of the country. Coca growers' representatives and human rights groups are demanding the government cease eradication during the lockdown for health reasons. (Al Jazeera, Katar, 08.05.2020, Video, 02:40)

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/colombia-steps-coca-eradication-operations-lockdown-200508105228331.html

Cambodian official says human rights 'need to be put aside' in drug war 

A Cambodian official on Wednesday defended an anti-drug campaign that has been decried as rife with abuses, saying human rights “need to be put aside” to fight drugs that destroy families and fuel violent crime. (Reuters, USA, 13.05.2020)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cambodia-rights-idUSKBN22P1L8

Philippinen. Duterte presses on with 'drug war' despite coronavirus lockdown

Rights groups call for immediate stop to police operations and warn against more abuses during national health crisis. (Al Jazeera, 01.04.2020)

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/duterte-presses-drug-war-coronavirus-lockdown-200325073658942.html

 

Kolumbien. Colombia’s cocaine production reaches all-time high

Cocaine production in Colombia went up 8% in 2019 and reached an all-time high, according to the US government. (Colombia News, 07.03.2020)

https://colombiareports.com/colombias-cocaine-production-reaches-all-time-high-us/

Mexiko. Mexico Opium Poppy Cultivation Survey 2017-2018

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Mexican government, 2020

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/press/releases/2020/March/mexico-and-unodc-release-third-opium-poppy-crop-monitoring-report-with-new-key-findings.html

Mexiko. Mexico murder rate reaches new high as violence rages amid Covid-19 spread 

March sees 2,585 homicides – highest monthly figure on record. Mexico tries to pour resources into containing coronavirus. (Guardian, UK, 03.04.2020)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/03/mexico-murder-rate-homicide-coronavirus-covid-19

Guinea-Bissau: Political chaos could boost cocaine trade

(…) Guinea-Bissau has for many years been used as a staging post in the trafficking of cocaine from Latin America to Europe. (BBC, 12.03.2020)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-51833073

Kolumbien. From drugs to flowers: Colombia's Valentine's Day rose boom

Flowers were supposed to be substitution crops for coca. The flower industry is booming but so is coca production. (Al Jazeera, 14.02.2020)

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/drugs-flowers-colombia-valentine-day-rose-boom-200213222918966.html

USA/Philippinen. US Finally Condemns and Sanctions Philippines Drug Warriors

Philippines officials involved in the country’s bloody drug war and a subsequent crackdown on opposition are finally facing official condemnation and repercussions from the United States. The drug war—including extrajudicial killings of people suspected to use or sell drugs by both law enforcement and vigilantes—was estimated by the country’s Human Rights Commission to have caused as many as 27,000 deaths by December 2018. It began in 2016. (Filter, USA, 24.01.2020)

https://filtermag.org/philippines-sanctions-extrajudicial-killings/

USA. National Drug Threatment Assessment 2019

Annual report outlines strategic review of threats posed by drugs and drug traffickers. (DEA – Drug Enforcement Administration, USA, 30.01.2020)

https://dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-01/2019-NDTA-final-01-14-2020_Low_Web-DIR-007-20_2019.pdf

USA. Longest cross-border tunnel discovered in San Diego

SAN DIEGO – After a challenging multi-year, inter-agency investigation, utilizing technology capabilities, intelligence gathering, and community outreach, law enforcement partners on the San Diego Tunnel Task Force have exposed the longest illicit cross-border tunnel ever discovered along the Southwest border. (DEA – Drug Enforcement Administration, USA, 29.01.2020)

https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2020/01/29/longest-cross-border-tunnel-discovered-san-diego

Kolumbien. Colombia’s new cocaine war (Audio)

Colombia produced a record 1.5 million kilograms of cocaine last year - about 70% of the world’s supply. In the regions where coca is grown, gangs fight for control of territory and smuggling routes, killing anyone who stands in their way. These are some of the most dangerous places in South America. 
A peace deal signed in 2016 with the FARC rebel group was meant to reduce coca growing by offering farmers alternatives. But instead, cocaine production has rocketed, flooding markets in the US and Europe.
In this Assignment, Michael Buchanan investigates what’s behind Colombia’s booming cocaine trade. He gains rare access to smugglers and producers, as well as meeting the indigenous people who are standing up to the traffickers, and often paying with their lives. (BBC, 30.01.2020, Audio, 27:00)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csy5ds