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Sri Lanka/Philippinen. ‘Example to the world': Sri Lanka president plans to copy Duterte's war on drugs 

President Maithripala Sirisena praises Philippines over policy that has led to thousands of extrajudicial killings. (The Guardian, UK, 18.01.2019)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/18/example-to-the-world-sri-lanka-president-plans-to-copy-dutertes-war-on-drugs

Mexiko/USA. Former Mexican State Attorney General Pleads Guilty to International Narcotics Distribution Conspiracy

Defendant Used His Position as a Law Enforcement Official to Facilitate International Drug Trafficking into the United States. (The United States Department of Justice, Eastern District of New York, 04.01.2019)

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/former-mexican-state-attorney-general-pleads-guilty-international-narcotics

Brasilien. Drug Policies of the Brazilian Presidential Candidates

(...) Jair Bolsonaro, currently leading the polls, is a polarising figure in the country – known among some as the “Trump of Brazil” because of his right-wing, populist views. He unequivocally favours intensifying the crackdown on people involved with drugs.

Bolsonaro has, on numerous occasions, said that police should kill people suspected of drug trafficking.

He draws his inspiration from President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, whose hard-line approach has led to over 12,000 deaths of people for alleged involvement with drugs. Bolsonaro has said that Duterte “did the right thing for his country”. (Talking Drugs, UK, 27.09.2018)

https://www.talkingdrugs.org/drug-policies-brazil-haddad-bolsonaro

Mexiko. Crece el número de homicidios en Tijuana

En la ciudad se tiene el registro de 2 mil 502 homicidios. (EL MEXICANO, 31.12.2018)

http://www.el-mexicano.com.mx/informacion/noticias/1/28/accidentes/2018/12/31/1061335/crece-el-numero-de-homicidios-en-tijuana

Philippinen. Duterte puts Customs under military control, citing drugs 

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president put the Bureau of Customs temporarily under military control after two large shipments of illegal drugs slipped past the agency through the port of Manila. (AP – Associated Press, 29.10.2018)

https://www.apnews.com/88188daeb0744ea2a7ab4ce02a2d0b21

Schweiz. Unsere Armee im Einsatz: Mit Super Pumas auf Cannabisjagd 

Mit Hubschraubern der Armee suchen Polizei und Grenzwache im Wallis nach Hanfpflanzen. Fragen dazu beantworten die Beteiligten höchst ungern. (WOZ – Wochenzeitung, Schweiz, 13.12.2018)

https://www.woz.ch/1850/unsere-armee-im-einsatz/mit-super-pumas-auf-cannabisjagd

Ecuador/Kolumbien. Drei tote Journalisten und eine Frage 

Mitarbeiter einer ecuadorianischen Tageszeitung recherchieren zum eskalierenden Drogenkrieg - und bezahlen mit ihrem Leben. Was geschah im Dschungel zwischen Ecuador und Kolumbien? (sueddeutsche.de, 24.10.2018)

https://www.sueddeutsche.de/medien/tote-journalisten-ecuador-drogenkrieg-1.4183138

Interactive Map: Global Drug Policy Developments of 2018

2018 has seen support for cannabis reform surge around the world, but many countries - including Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Brazil - have been intensifying their prohibitionist drug policies, or seem intent to do so. Take a look at the map below to see some of the developments that have taken place over the past year. (Talking Drugs, UK, 24.12.2018)

https://www.talkingdrugs.org/interactive-map-global-drug-policy-developments-of-2018

“A Tidal Wave of PTSD” – How the War on Drugs Impacts Cops Ordered to Fight It

(...) More American police die by suicide than in the line of duty (...) when you militarize law enforcement, you also import military illnesses. (Filter, USA, 22.10.2018)

https://filtermag.org/2018/10/22/a-tidal-wave-of-ptsd-how-the-war-on-drugs-impacts-cops-ordered-to-fight-it/

Philippinen. Women Against Women in Duterte’s Drug War

The Philippines is the centre of the world's bloodiest drug war. Only two years after President Rodrigo Duterte launched 'Oplan Double Barrel', the death toll from the anti-drug campaign has reached nearly 4.500. Outside the government agencies, some human rights advocates claim that the civilian death toll is as high as 20,000.

But as with any war, the number of victims far exceeds any official statistics, with women in particular adversely affected. And with the politicisation of the drug wars, argues Bianca  Ysabelle Franco, the war on women also becomes a war among women. (BroadAgenda, Australien, 11.12.2018)

http://www.broadagenda.com.au/home/women-against-women-in-dutertes-drug-war/

Kolumbien. Colombia Is Growing Record Amounts Of Coca, The Key Ingredient In Cocaine

To explain why he grows coca, the raw material for cocaine, rather than food crops on his 5-acre farm in southern Colombia, Luis Tapia does the math. (...) A pound of paste, he says, sells for more than one ton of corn. (...) "That's why everyone grows coca," Tapia says. (NPR – National Public Radio, USA, 22.10.2018)

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/22/658547337/colombia-is-growing-record-amounts-of-coca-the-key-ingredient-in-cocaine

Seven Ways (Just for a Start) the War on Drugs Violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Global leaders celebrate Human Rights Day each December 10—often touting their own violent anti-drug policies as part of their state’s purported goal to observe the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

On inspection, of course, punitive drug policies do not support human rights, but rather glaringly violate them. Although all 30 rights listed in the UN Declaration are surely assaulted in some way by prohibition, the first seven rights listed on the 70-year-old document are strikingly disregarded by governments that strive to engineer a “drug-free” world. (Filter, USA, 10.12.2018)

https://filtermag.org/2018/12/10/seven-ways-just-for-a-start-the-war-on-drugs-violates-the-universal-declaration-of-human-rights/

Ekuador/Kolumbien. Death On The Border

Seven months ago, three employees of the Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio were abducted in the Mataje River region on the border between Ecuador and Colombia. After almost three weeks in captivity, reporter Javier Ortega, photographer Paul Rivas, and their driver, Efrain Segarra, were executed by the Oliver Sinisterra Front, a group of former FARC guerillas and drug traffickers who operate in this lawless jungle. The murders punctuated a season of escalating violence, the likes of which Ecuador hasn’t seen in decades.

The official version of events remains full of inconsistencies, and the victims’ families are still waiting for answers. Why was a government representative dispatched to the border to await the journalists’ release, only to return empty handed? Why was the El Comercio staff permitted in the area after El Guacho, the guerilla leader, had openly threatened civilians? The police could hardly feign ignorance: They had a secret communications channel with the rebels, and the transcripts clearly show their intentions.

An international team of more than 20 reporters, photojournalists, and videographers worked for four months to investigate the abduction and murder of their Ecuadorian colleagues, as well as to continue their reporting. Six organizations collaborated with OCCRP on the project: Fundacion para la Libertad de la Prensa (FLIP, Colombia), La Liga contra El Silencio (Colombia), Periodistas sin Cadenas (Ecuador), Fundamedios (Ecuador), Verdad Abierta (Colombia), and Forbidden Stories (France). (The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), 24.10.2018)

https://www.occrp.org/en/deathontheborder/

Südost-Asien/Indonesien. Can Indonesia and Southeast Asia afford to lose another decade to war on drugs?

Southeast Asia is characterised by some of the harshest and most repressive approaches to drugs in the world. Have these draconian measures resulted in the desired effect of a reduced drug market? Can ASEAN claim that progress is being made towards the goal of a ‘drug-free’ region? (Ann Fordham, Executive Director, IDCP - International Drug Policy Consortium, Jakarta Post, 23.10.2018)

https://idpc.net/blog/2018/11/can-indonesia-and-south-east-asia-afford-to-lose-another-decade-to-the-war-on-drugs

Mexiko. Mexico Murder: One Journalist’s Fearless Investigation Into a Massacre That Still Grips the Country

On September 26, 2014, police in the Mexican town of Iguala intercepted a group of students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College, located in the Guerrero state, a region rife with drug-related violence. The students—also called normalistas—had been stopped for hijacking two buses to travel to Mexico City, where they intended to join the annual march that commemorates the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre, a national scandal in which hundreds of students and civilians were killed by the military. In the subsequent clash, six students, all in their 20s, were killed and another 25 wounded. Forty-three simply vanished. (Newsweek, USA, 18.10.2018)

https://www.newsweek.com/2018/10/26/mexico-murder-one-journalists-fearless-investigation-massacre-still-grips-1174702.html

Kolumbien. Behind the Scenes with Colombia's Cocaine Farmers

Deep in the Colombian jungle, photographer Mads Nissen documented the day-to-day lives of people involved in the production and trade of coke and cannabis. (vice.com, UK, 29.10.2018)

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/59adnn/behind-the-scenes-with-colombias-cocaine-farmers

Mexiko. Entire Acapulco police force disarmed due to links to drug gangs

The state government said it took the step "because of suspicion that the force had probably been infiltrated by criminal groups." (nbcnews, USA, 26.09.2018)

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/entire-acapulco-police-force-disarmed-due-links-drug-gangs-n913231

Can Mexico defeat the drug cartels? (Video)

Mexico's new president is promising to renew efforts to tackle the country's drug cartels. (BBC Reality Check, 01.12.2018, Video, 02.47)

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-46378685/mexico-s-drug-war-has-the-tide-been-turned

Philippinen. Statement: Philippine Court Fails Crucial Test

The Philippine court system failed a crucial test today, and human rights may be the gravest casualty. Last night (mid-afternoon Philippines time) a court ordered the arrest of Senator Antonio Trillanes, a fierce critic of President Rodrigo Duterte and his drug war which has claimed tens of thousands of lives. Trillanes is free on bail, but believes he is likely to be jailed in an upcoming court hearing in a related case. (stopthedrugwar.org, USA, 25.09.2018)

https://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2018/sep/25/statement_philippine_court_fails

Indien. Punjab's drug menace: 'I wanted my son to die'

The northern Indian state of Punjab has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of drug-related deaths this year. (BBC, 23.11.2018)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-46218646

Moving back in policy banning glyphosate use in Colombia

Idrovo, Alvaro Javier et al.

The Lancet , Volume 392 , Issue 10154 , 1194 

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31883-X/fulltext

Mexiko. Mexican president-elect's party presents national guard plan

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Lawmakers from Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) on Tuesday submitted a bill for a new national guard that aims to replace the armed forces in the fight against organized crime. (Reuters, 21.11.2018)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-politics/mexican-president-elects-party-presents-national-guard-plan-idUSKCN1NP2MZ

Kolumbien. Coca Crops in Colombia at all-time high, UNODC Report finds

The area under coca cultivation in Colombia reached the highest ever recorded figure of 171,000 hectares (ha) in 2017, according to UNODC's Coca Cultivation Survey Report for Colombia, launched in Bogota today. This represents an increase of 25,000 hectares, or 17 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016. (UNODC, September 2018)

http://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/Colombia/Colombia_Survey_territories_affected_illicit_crops_2017_Summary.pdf

Afghanistan. Sharp drops in opium poppy cultivation, price of dry opium in Afghanistan, latest UNODC survey reveals

The total area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan remains at very high levels despite a decrease by 20 per cent compared to 2017. The potential production of opium decreased by 29 per cent in 2018 compared to last year, while farm-gate prices hit an all-time low, according to the 2018 Afghanistan Opium Survey released today.

However, the decreases, in particular in the Northern and Western regions, were mainly attributed to the severe drought that has hit Afghanistan. (UNODC, Wien, 19.11.2018)

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2018/November/sharp-drops-in-opium-poppy-cultivation--price-of-dry-opium-in-afghanistan--latest-unodc-survey-reveals.html

Philippinen. Philippines’ Duterte Confesses to ‘Drug War’ Slaughter - Public Admission to ‘Sin’ of Extrajudicial Killings Evidence for ICC Inquiry

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte did something extraordinary this week: He confessed.

During a speech on September 27, Duterte admitted culpability for extrajudicial killings: “What is my sin? Did I steal even one peso? Did I prosecute somebody who I ordered jailed? My sin is extrajudicial killings.”

That statement is a boon to the prosecutor's office of the International Criminal Court, which is conducting a preliminary examination into possible crimes against humanity linked to Duterte’s murderous “war on drugs.” Conservative estimates indicate more than 12,000 men, women, and children have been killed in the anti-drug campaign since Duterte took office in June 2016. Duterte’s admission could also boost efforts by United Nations member states seeking a UN probe into the killings. (HRW – Human Rights Watch, USA, 28.09.2018)

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/09/28/philippines-duterte-confesses-drug-war-slaughter

Afghanistan. Afghanistan Opium Survey 2018 - Cultivation and Production

UNODC und MCN/NSD – Narcotics Survey Directorate 8Kabul), November 2018) 

https://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/Afghanistan/Afghanistan_opium_survey_2018.pdf

Kolumbien. ‘Without drug traffickers, we’d have peace’: Colombian villagers flee new killings 

Two years after the end of the guerrilla war that killed 220,000, other players have moved in on the drugs trade, with poor local children now being bribed to take up arms. (BBC, UK, 22.09.2018)

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/sep/22/colombia-cocaine-farc

Drug cartels test Central America for cocaine production

GUATEMALA CITY/TEGUCIGALPA - Cocaine production is beginning to creep into Central America, a development which could bring the supply of the drug closer to the United States and create a new security risk for an already troubled region. (Reuters, 01.11.2018)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-centralamerica-drugs/drug-cartels-test-central-america-for-cocaine-production-idUSKCN1N64GA

Afghanistan. U.S. Bombing of Drug Labs in Afghanistan Is Counterproductive to Fighting the Taliban

(...) The bombing campaign, however, is an ineffective counter-narcotics approach and won’t advance a counterterrorism strategy. Not only is it based on misguided notions of how much the Taliban benefits from or depends on poppy cultivation to fund its insurgency, the operations also do not address the underlying problems that fuel the opium trade. Instead, the U.S. is likely to undermine the fight against the Taliban. The strikes against drug labs eliminate the only source of income for many local residents without providing a replacement, and they foster even greater resentment of the foreign military presence and the already unpopular central government. (justsecurity.org, USA, 06.09.2018)

https://www.justsecurity.org/60598/u-s-bombing-drug-labs-afghanistan-counterproductive-fighting-taliban/

Mexiko. Despite El Chapo Arrest, Sinaloa Cartel Still Reigns 

Days before the trial against drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman begins, a new analysis shows the crime group he used to lead, the Sinaloa cartel, still dominates Mexican crime. (The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), 01.11.2018)

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/8836-despite-el-chapo-arrest-sinaloa-cartel-still-reigns