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Kolumbien. After Coca: How The Drug War Colonises the Colombian Forest

One of the first and consistent targets of the global War on Drugs has been the coca plant. Even after the Colombian peace agreements, American-sponsored international efforts to control drug supply will always focus on suppressing coca crops in their producing nations, no matter the cost.

While coca is a stable and profitable crop in local campesino (peasant farmer) cultivation, nationally and internationally, it is a target for eradication. While the dogged pursuit to eradicate all cocaine directly contributes to the systematic destruction of tropical forests across the Andean and Amazon region, the subsequent occupation of land by commercial agriculture businesses irrevocably transforms areas of high biodiversity and conservation importance into privatised pastures. (Talking Drugs, UK, 15.11.2022)

https://www.talkingdrugs.org/after-coca-how-the-drug-war-colonises-the-colombian-forest

Belgien. Belgium needs more incinerators to burn seized cocaine

Authorities fear depots used to store drugs could become targets for robberies by gangs. (The Guardian, UK, 21.11.2022)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/21/belgium-needs-more-incinerators-to-burn-seized-cocaine

Philippinen. Philippines Undercounts Recent ‘Drug War’ Deaths

Police Claim of 46 Killed Far Below Independent Monitor’s Figure. (HRW – Human Rights Watch, USA, 17.11.2022)

https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/11/17/philippines-undercounts-recent-drug-war-deaths

Mexiko. Mexico: Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Organizations

Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) significantly influence drug trafficking in the United States and pose the greatest drug trafficking threat, according tothe U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) annual National Drug Threat Assessment. These organizations control the market and movement of a wide range of illicit drugs destined for the United States; for this reason, they are commonly referred to as drug cartels and drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). These poly-criminal organizations also participate in extortion, human smuggling, arms trafficking, and oil theft, among other crimes. Homicide rate increases in Mexico are widely attributed to heightened DTO-related violence, often tied to territorial control over drug routes and criminal influence. (Congressional Research Service, USA, 07.06.2022)

https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R41576

Mexiko. Leaked Emails Show Mexico’s Military Sold Grenades to the Cartels

Members of Mexico’s military also offered tactical equipment, ammunition, and intel on government officials, for the right price. (VICE, 10.10.2022)

https://www.vice.com/en/article/v7vpzx/data-leak-mexico-military-sold-to-cartel

Irak. Crystal meth pours into Iraq across porous borders with Iran

On the road with Iraq’s drug squad as it struggles to keep up with the deluge. (Washington Post, USA, 17.10.2022)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/17/iraq-meth-iraq-drugs/

Kolumbien. Colombia cocaine: UN reports record coca crop

Colombia has increased its cultivation of coca plants - the main ingredient in the illegal drug cocaine - by 43%, a new UN report says. (BBC, UK, 21.10.2022)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-63339203

UK. County Lines: Breaking the Cycle 

Our latest report into county lines calls for a new approach to ensure children who may be involved in county lines drug dealing are kept safe and away from the criminals exploiting them.

The research, funded by the Hadley Trust, found young people trafficked to deal drugs should be returned to their home area for a 'crisis intervention’ and calls for an end to the practice of ‘exile’ - where children are placed in care a long way from where they live.

We used police records, local intelligence, information from support agencies and interviews with staff to analyse the cases of 13 boys suspected of involvement in county lines gangs in England.

The report finds a number of common features in the boys' lives - such as drug misuse, domestic abuse and periods where they went missing - as well as missed opportunities to prevent them from being drawn into gangs. (CREST, UK, 08.09.2022)

https://www.crestadvisory.com/post/county-lines-breaking-the-cycle-final-report

UN/Kolumbien. “Democracy Will Die” If We Don’t End Drug War, Colombian Pres. Tells UN

Colombia’s recently inaugurated president told members of the United Nations on September 20 that “democracy will die” if global powers don’t unite to end the drug war and pursue a different approach, with millions of lives on the line under the current regime. (Filter, USA, 21.09.2022)

https://filtermag.org/end-drug-war-colombia-un

Fidji. Meth Is Turning Fiji From a Tropical Paradise Into a Narco’s Playground

The Pacific island has become collateral damage in the global drug trade, as an influx of meth fuels a rise in sex work, poverty and corruption. (Vice, UK, 15.09.2022)

https://www.vice.com/en/article/pkgze8/meth-fiji-drugs

Balkan. Balkan Cocaine Wars

(…) the first comprehensive picture of the secret war between … two cocaine clans, which have carved a bloody trail across Europe. (OCCRP - Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project 05.05.2020)

https://www.occrp.org/en/balkan-cocaine-wars/

USA/Afghanistan. US-Taliban prisoner swap: Who are Mark Frerichs, Bashir Noorzai?

The US hails the release of navy veteran Mark Frerichs by Afghanistan, exchanged for convicted drug trafficker Bashir Noorzai. (Al Jazeera, Katar, 19.09.2022)

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/19/us-taliban-prisoner-swap-who-are-mark-frerichs-bashir-noorzai

Honduras. Honduras: A mother searches for justice in a 'narco-state' (Video)

Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez now sits in a US prison, but those left behind are still searching for justice from his brutal regime. 

One of them - the mother of a student suspected to have been murdered by corrupt police - shared her story with the BBC's Will Grant. (BBC, UK, 21.09.2022, Video, 03:14)

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-62960969

Ekuador. Ecuador city declares state of emergency amid dramatic rise in gang bombings

Gangs in Guayaquil use increasingly violent tactics in battle for dominance of cocaine trafficking routes to Europe and the US. (Guardian, UK, 15.08.2022)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/15/ecuador-state-emergency-guayaquil-rise-bombings-gangs-cocaine

Mexiko. Verschwundene Studenten - Polizei nimmt Mexikos ehemaligen Generalstaatsanwalt fest 

Vor fast acht Jahren verschwanden 43 Studenten in Mexiko. Sie sollen von korrupten Polizisten verschleppt und an ein Drogenkartell übergeben worden sein. Nun wurde der Mann verhaftet, der damals für die Ermittlungen zuständig war. (Spiegel online, 20.08.2022)

https://www.spiegel.de/panorama/verschwundene-studenten-in-mexiko-ehemaliger-generalstaatsanwalt-festgenommen-a-d3844390-9daa-4118-a096-9ed8ba462fea

Kolumbien. Cartel steps up police attacks as Colombia power transfer nears

A dozen police officers have been killed, and dozens more injured in recent weeks by Colombia's most powerful drug gang, the Gulf Clan. 

The group has been sowing terror in the country since May, when its boss Dario Antonio Usuga, known as "Otoniel," was extradited to the United States to face trafficking charges. 

But those attacks have intensified even more recently as Colombia approaches the transfer of power on August 7 from conservative President Ivan Duque to leftist former guerrilla Gustavo Petro, who has vowed to negotiate with criminal gangs in a bid to end a decades-long conflict in exchange for more lenient sanctions. (rfi – Radion France International, Frankreich, 28.07.2022)

https://www.rfi.fr/en/international-news/20220728-cartel-steps-up-police-attacks-as-colombia-power-transfer-nears

U.S. Drug Policy Disconnect: Starting Harm Reduction at Home, Deep Into ‘Drug War’ Abroad

U.S. President Joe Biden’s national drug strategy, which includes a focus on harm reduction to respond to an overdose crisis at home, is at odds with the country’s ongoing “Drug War” in Latin America, which has perennially failed to curb drug supplies, at a huge cost in human lives.

A new report by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) argues that the global drug prohibition regime and the 50-year-long U.S.-led “war on drugs” has not only had disastrous results across the world but are increasingly exacerbating other serious problems. These include violence, corruption, organized crime, forced displacement and migration as well as forest loss and climate change. (WOLA - Washington Office on Latin America, Juli 2022)

https://www.wola.org/analysis/us-drug-policy-disconnect-starting-harm-reduction-home-drug-war-abroad/

Brasilien. 18 Menschen bei Polizeieinsatz in Rio getötet 

Fast 400 Beamte waren in einem Armenviertel der brasilianischen Millionenstadt Rio de Janeiro im Einsatz, um gegen eine kriminelle Diebesbande vorzugehen. Dabei starben mindestens 18 Menschen. (Spiegel online, 22-07.2022)

https://www.spiegel.de/ausland/rio-de-janeiro-18-menschen-bei-polizeieinsatz-getoetet-a-f6fe7189-06e2-4d81-8e08-3d22992ffa48

Peru. Drug Traffickers in Fresh Round of Violence Against Peru's Indigenous Communities

Following multiple killings, Indigenous leaders in the Peruvian Amazon are again facing threats of violence after coca eradication operations in their area, in a stark warning of the risks faced by those opposing drug trafficking in the Amazon. (Insight Crime, USA, 11.07.2022)

https://insightcrime.org/news/drug-traffickers-fresh-round-violence-peru-indigenous-communities/

Spanien. Drug smuggling: Underwater drones seized by Spanish police

Spanish police have seized three underwater drones built to smuggle drugs across the sea from Morocco.

The unmanned submersibles are apparently capable of carrying up to 200kg (441lbs) of cargo. (BBC, UK, 04.07.2022)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62040790

Drogen im Wert von rund 100 Millionen Euro Drei Männer nach größtem Kokain-Einzelfund in Bayern festgenommen 

Ein Ermittler sprach von einem »Krimi«: Nach einem Rekord-Drogenfund in Bayern sitzen drei Tatverdächtige in Untersuchungshaft – doch die Hinterleute sind noch nicht gefasst. (Spiegel online, 11.07.2022)

https://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/aschaffenburg-drei-festnahmen-nach-groesstem-kokain-einzelfund-in-bayern-a-53aa5ddf-60ab-4e6b-850f-ac985862c74f

Spanien. Spain Dismantles Gang Making Underwater “Drug Drones” 

Spanish police said they arrested eight suspects and seized for the first time three underwater drones especially designed to carry up to two hundred kilos of drugs. (OCCRP - Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, 11.07.2022

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16555-spain-dismantles-gang-making-underwater-drug-drones

End ‘war on drugs’ and promote policies rooted in human rights: UN experts

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, 26 June 2022

GENEVA (24 June 2022) – UN human rights experts* have called on the international community to bring an end to the so-called “war on drugs” and promote drug policies that are firmly anchored in human rights. Ahead of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26 June 2022, the experts issued the following statement. (United Nations, Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner, 24.06.2022)

https://www.ohchr.org/en/statements/2022/06/end-war-drugs-and-promote-policies-rooted-human-rights-un-experts

Kolumbien. War on drugs prolonged Colombia’s decades-long civil war, landmark report finds

Truth commission’s report, touted as a chance to heal after half a century of bloodshed, called for a ‘substantial change in drug policy’. (The Guardian, UK, 29.06.2022)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/29/war-on-drugs-prolonged-colombias-decades-long-civil-war-landmark-report-finds

Irland. Petrol bombs and death threats: Families of drug addicts describe the daily fear they experience

Cocaine has overtaken heroin as the main problem drug in Ireland. (The Journal, Irland, 14.06.20229

https://www.thejournal.ie/drug-addiction-report-fasn-oireachtas-5789534-Jun2022/

Philippinen. Ronda Girls: How Filipino Mothers Took on the War on Drugs

A group of impacted mothers showed how an alternative to the violent drug war in the Philippines could be better at community care than killings. The self-named ronda girls hope that the recent national elections in represent will be a chance to shift away from the violence of Duterte’s regime. (Talkoing Drugs, UK, 14.06.2022)

https://www.talkingdrugs.org/ronda-girls-how-filipino-mothers-took-on-the-war-on-drugs

Philippinen. From the Bones of Victims, a Doctor Unearths a Drug War’s True Toll

Raquel Fortun, one of only two forensic pathologists in the Philippines, is using her skills to show how other doctors falsely claimed some victims of the country’s drug war had died natural deaths. (New York Times, USA, 03.06.2022)

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/03/world/asia/philippines-drug-war-raquel-fortun.html

Philippinen. Lack of accountability paves way for more killings in Duterte drug war – Amnesty

MANILA, Philippines – The still elusive justice continues to pave the way for more killings under President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent anti-drug campaign, Amnesty International said in its latest report released on Tuesday, March 29. (Rappler, Philippinen, 29.03.2022)

https://www.rappler.com/nation/lack-accountability-paves-way-more-killings-duterte-drug-war-amnesty-international-report-2021-2022/

Mexiko. Mexico's number of 'disappeared' people rises above 100,000

There are now over 100,000 people in Mexico's national register of the "disappeared." The UN says organized crime is among the leading causes of missing people in the country. (DW, Deutschland, 17.05.2022)

https://www.dw.com/en/mexicos-number-of-disappeared-people-rises-above-100000/a-61820055

Kolumbien/USA. Otoniel: Colombia drug kingpin extradited to US

Colombia has extradited the drug baron leader of the country's biggest crime gang to the US, Colombia's president has announced. (BBC, UK, 05.05.2022)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-61329507