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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)


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)


Afghanistan. Afghanistan Opium Survey 2018 - Cultivation and Production

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


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


“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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


Moving back in policy banning glyphosate use in Colombia

Idrovo, Alvaro Javier et al.

The Lancet , Volume 392 , Issue 10154 , 1194 


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)


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)


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)


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)


Philippinen. Philippines Solidarity

While much of the world moves toward compassionate drug policy reform, a populist would-be dictator has led one country cruelly backwards.

Since taking office, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has orchestrated a brutal campaign of extrajudicial killings, mainly as part of his "drug war." Credible estimates for the number of dead range from at least 12,000 to well over 20,000 and rising since mid-2016.

Ominously, a "Duterte effect" in the region has led to extrajudicial drug war killings in Indonesia and Bangladesh, and high-level officials in Malaysia and Turkey have also called for killings or other extrajudicial violence. In a move that has comforted human rights violators everywhere, President Trump has praised Duterte's drug war, twice. (stopthedrugwar.org, 04.09.2018)


West-Afrika. UNODC organizes workshop to address opioid problem in West Africa

Non-medical use and trafficking of tramadol is becoming the main drug threat in West Africa. One sign of this is the rise in seizures of pharmaceutical opioids on the continent, driven by the worldwide popularity of tramadol, an opioid used to treat moderate and moderate-to-severe pain that is widely trafficked in the region. To find ways to address "The Crisis of Tramadol and Other Prescription Medicines in West Africa", UNODC organized a workshop last week in Abuja, Nigeria. (UNODC, 27.08.2018)


Bolivien. UNODC Monitoring Survey reports a slight increase of coca bush cultivation in Bolivia during 2017

La Paz/Vienna, August 22, 2018 (United Nations) - In 2017, coca cultivation in Bolivia increased by six per cent compared to 2016, according to the latest Coca Cultivation Survey presented today in La Paz by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the government of Bolivia. In this period, the area under cultivation increased by 1,400 hectares (ha), from 23,100 ha in 2016 to 24,500 ha. (UNODC, 22.08.2018)


Philippinen. Message of Philippines Senator Risa Hontiveros on Extrajudicial Drug War Killings (Video)

This video was first aired at "Human Rights Challenge: Judicial and Extrajudicial Drug War Killings in a Time of Authoritarianism," a side event held in association with the UN High Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals in New York, July 16, 2018. The event was the third in a series, the first two of which took place at the 2016 and 2017 Commission on Narcotic Drugs meetings at the UN in Vienna. (Stop the Drug War Net, USA, 07.08.2018, Video, 02:18)


Kolumbien. Drones hunt cocaine farms in Colombia

The Colombian government has started to use drones to destroy the plants that produce cocaine. 

Small aircraft loaded with herbicide are being sent to search for illegal fields of coca. (BBC, 21.08.2018)


Tansania. UK aid minister hails ‘double win’ of heroin crackdown in Tanzania 

Combating drug trade benefits developing nations and UK, says Penny Mordaunt. (The Guardian, UK, 19.08.2018)


Philippinen. The people left behind by Philippines' brutal war on drugs - photo essay 

One year after visiting the Philippines to document the impact of President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on drugs, photographerJames Whitlow Delanoreturns to the city of Navotas, Metro Manila, to assess the impact of a campaign that has now claimed up to 20,000 lives. (The Guardian, UK, 14.08.2018)


The War on Drugs Is Inseparable from US Imperialism

Much of the world used to treat drug addiction as a health issue, not a criminal one. And then America got its way. (Vice, UK, 13.08.2018)


Philippinen. Rodrigo Duterte threatens to kill corrupt police officers 

Philippine president tells dozens of policemen that they will be ‘watched for mistakes’. (The Guardian, UK, 07.08.2018)


Kolumbien. Colombia's top sniffer dog gets police protection after gangs put £50,000 price on its head 

Apolice sniffer dog who has found record amounts of illegal drugs has been moved from her post after one of Colombia's biggest drug gangs put a bounty on her head. (The Telegraph, UK, 26.07.2018)


Philippinen. Duterte Vows More Bloodshed in Philippine ‘Drug War’

In State of the Nation Address, President Attacks Rights Defenders. (HRW – Human Rights Watch, 23.07.2018)