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Mexiko. Inside the Mexican towns that produce America’s heroin

MEXICO CITY — Journalists in Mexico, foreign and domestic, tend to keep drug cartels at arm's length. Narco bosses like to stay out of the news. Several Mexican reporters have been killed by drug gangs for trying to expose organized crime. Firsthand reporting from inside the Mexican underworld is rare. (Washington Post, 17.02.2018)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/02/17/inside-the-mexican-towns-that-produce-americas-heroin

Irland. Dublin's dead men walking: 29 on death list in brutal gangland war

In the most violent gangland feud in Irish criminal history they are Dublin’s dead men walking.

As one international crime gang headed up by a Dublin drug smuggler seeks to annihilate its rival in the Irish capital, at least 29 men have been told they are on death lists. (The Guardian, UK, 19.02.2018)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/19/dublins-dead-men-walking-29-on-death-list-in-brutal-gangland-war

USA/Afghanistan. Trump's Afghanistan "Taliban Heroin Lab" Bombing Campaign is Just More Drug War Theater

(Stop the Drug War, Issue 1010, 10.02.2018)

https://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2018/feb/10/trumps_afghanistan_taliban

Philippinen. De Lima dares Duterte: Support UN-led probe into drug war deaths

'If he has nothing to hide, then it’s high time for the President to support the independent investigation into the human rights

MANILA. Detained opposition Senator Leila de Lima challenged President Rodrigo Duterte to support an independent probe led by the United Nations into the deaths and "the rash of extrajudicial killings" in his administration's war against illegal drugs.violations and abuses incessantly happening under his regime,' says Senator Leila de Lima. (rappler, Philippinen, 10.02.2018)

https://www.rappler.com/nation/195705-de-lima-duterte-support-un-probe-drug-war-deaths

USA. Trump Budget Doubles Down on Drug War

Huge Increase in Drug Enforcement and Interdiction Funding Boosts for Treatment and Prevention Overshadowed by Drug War Programs. (DPA – Drug Policy Alliance, 12.02.2018)

http://www.drugpolicy.org/press-release/2018/02/trump-budget-doubles-down-drug-war

USA/Niederlande. DEA, Dutch law enforcement continue attack on dark web drug sales

International day of action includes knock and talks with suspected dark web drug buyers; Information produced from Hansa takedown.

THE HAGUE – The United States Drug Enforcement Administration and Dutch law enforcement officials today announced sustained action against drug trafficking on the dark web, following last summer’s significant market takedowns of AlphaBay and takeover and subsequent takedown of the Hansa market. DEA continued to partner with the National Police of the Netherlands following the July takedown in an ongoing effort to identify individuals who purchase drugs on the dark web and to further disrupt dangerous drug trafficking. Further examination of the Hansa Market data revealed illicit drug purchase information identifying U.S. and Dutch individuals, resulting in numerous face-to-face doorstep visits by police (so-called “knock and talks”) to suspected opioid buyers throughout the U.S. and the Netherlands. Future enforcement action such as search warrants, arrests, and seizures could come as a result of intelligence gathered from the knock and talks. (DEA, 15.02.2018)

https://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2018/hq021518.shtml

Philippinen. Den Haag – Internationaler Gerichtshof. Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, on opening Preliminary Examinations into the situations in the Philippines and in Venezuela. (Video)

(International Criminal Court, Den Haag, Niederlande, 08.02.2018, Video, 04:49)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1ob-fHH2A8

Philippinen. Philippines: Endorse UN Inquiry into ‘Drug War’ Killings. Independent Investigation Needed to Clarify Death Toll, Promote Accountability.

(New York) – The Philippine government should urgently support the creation of a United Nations-led investigation into the thousands of killings linked to its “war on drugs,” Human Rights Watch said today. A UN-led probe would both help clarify the disparity in official and independent estimates of killings in the anti-drug campaign and facilitate accountability for unlawful deaths.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) assert that 3,968 drug suspects died in “legitimate police operations” from July 2016 to January 17, 2018. However, independent estimates of deaths linked to the “drug war” are considerably higher. The nongovernmental groups Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates and the International Drug Policy Consortium, as well as media outlets including the Sydney Morning Herald, estimate the number of drug war deaths at more than 12,000. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines estimates that there have been more than 13,000 killings linked to the anti-drug campaign. By any measure, even the PNP’s estimate of drug war deaths is an alarming number of killings that warrant an independent investigation. (HRW – Human Rights Watch, 01.02.2018)

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/02/01/philippines-endorse-un-inquiry-drug-war-killings

Philippinen. Philippine Police Resume War on Drugs, Killing Dozens

MANILA — Nearly 50 people suspected of using and selling drugs were killed by officers in the past two months, the Philippine National Police said on Friday, contradicting earlier pronouncements that the government’s war on drugs would become less deadly. (New York Times, 02.02.2018)

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/world/asia/philippines-drug-war.html

KOLUMBIEN. Illegal armed groups impeding Colombia’s counter-narcotics strategy: minister

Illegal armed groups are impeding Colombia’s efforts to replace illicit coca crops with legal ones, the country’s post-conflict minister said Sunday.

Post-Conflict Minister Rafael Pardo told local media that the problem is greatest in the southwestern Cauca province where multiple armed groups “have prevented in some cases the verification of families who have registered for the program.”

“The substitution program affects the income of illegal groups,” said Pardo. (COLOMBIA REPORTS, 05.02.2018)

https://colombiareports.com/illegal-armed-groups-impeding-colombias-counter-narcotics-strategy-minister/

USA/Afghanistan. Doubts rise over effectiveness of bombing Afghan drug labs

The Defense Department’s drug lab bombing campaign against the Taliban financial network this winter has come under scrutiny from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. (Air Force Times,  USA, 05.02.2018)

https://www.airforcetimes.com/flashpoints/2018/02/05/doubts-rise-over-effectiveness-of-bombing-afghan-drug-labs/

Afghanistan. Bombing heroin labs in Afghanistan: the latest act in the theatre of counternarcotics

The US Department of Defence (DoD) has relented. After 16 years of refusing to bend to the pressure of those driving the counternarcotics effort in Afghanistan and destroy the 'labs' where opium is processed, DoD finally issued the authorities that allowed these buildings to be destroyed. On the first night of the campaign on 19 November 2017, 10 buildings were levelled. It was claimed that each was a drugs lab funding the Taliban. With the onset of this campaign, those working or residing in these labs were no longer viewed as civilians involved in a criminal activity but as enemy combatants and subject to lethal force. These labs and those operating them now represent in the words of General Nicholson, Commander of both US Forces in Afghanistan (USFOR-A) and the North Atlantic Council Organization (NATO) Resolute Support Mission, the 'Taliban’s narcotics financing'. (IDCP, UK, 25.01.2018)

http://idpc.net/publications/2018/01/bombing-heroin-labs-in-afghanistan-the-latest-act-in-the-theatre-of-counternarcotics

Philippinen. Amnesty International: Philippines: Hold police to account for unlawful killings in “war on drugs”

Responding to the news that police have resumed their role in implementing the so-called “war on drugs” declared by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, Amnesty International’s Director of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, James Gomez said: "The Philippines neither can nor should try to solve its drug problems at gunpoint." (amnesty international, 30.01.2018)

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/01/philippines-hold-police-to-account-for-unlawful-killings-in-war-on-drugs/

The War on Drugs in Southeast Asia

While most of the world’s attention has been focused on the carnage of the Philippine Drug War, which under President Rodrigo Duterte has resulted in an estimated 13,000 deaths from anti-narcotics operations and extrajudicial killings since June 2016, Duterte’s extreme solution to the country’s drug problem may only be the most conspicuous and controversial in a region with a history of draconian drug laws and anti-drug campaigns. (New Naratif, UK, 29.01.2018)

https://newnaratif.com/journalism/the-war-on-drugs-in-southeast-asia/

USA. ‘El Chapo’ Promises Not to Kill Any Jurors From Upcoming Federal Trial, Lawyer Says

Notorious drug cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has promised not to have any jurors from his upcoming New York trial murdered, his lawyer has said. (Newsweek, 26.01.2018)

http://www.newsweek.com/el-chapo-promises-not-kill-any-jurors-upcoming-federal-trial-lawyer-says-791716

USA. Fentanyl is lethal and almost impossible to keep out of the country

Finding a needle in a haystack would be a lot easier. (The Economist, 25.01.2018)

https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21735642-finding-needle-haystack-would-be-lot-easier-fentanyl-lethal-and-almost

Race & the Drug War (Video)

(7. International Drug Policy Reform Conference - Drug Policy Alliance October 11-14, 2017, USA, Video, Drugreporter, 16.01.2018, 10:13)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NInn9WLt_ew

The Failed War on Drugs

By GEORGE P. SHULTZ and PEDRO ASPE

(New York Times, OPED, 31.12.2017)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/31/opinion/failed-war-on-drugs.html

On The Hunt For Poppies In Mexico — America's Biggest Heroin Supplier

The mountains looming ahead are legendary in Mexico.

"Whether it was Morelos or Zapata, any figure in Mexican history who needed to escape authorities came here to the mountains of Guerrero," says Lt. Col. Juan Jose Orzua Padilla, the Mexican army spokesman in this region.

Today, it's not revolutionaries skulking through this formidable southern section of the Sierra Madre mountains — it's heroin traffickers. (NPR – National Public Radio, 14.01.2018)

https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2018/01/14/571184153/on-the-hunt-for-poppies-in-mexico-americas-biggest-heroin-supplier

Cannabis: Der neue Krieg gegen das Gras

US-Justizminister Sessions hat der Marihuana-Industrie den Kampf angesagt. Doch mit seinem Versuch, das Geschäft einzudämmen, hat er auch die Befürworter mobilisiert. (Zeit online, 11.01.2018)

http://www.zeit.de/wirtschaft/2018-01/cannabis-industrie-verbot-jeff-sessions-kampf-marihuana/komplettansicht

Türkei. Turkey minister Soylu tells police to break drug dealers' legs

Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has been criticised for saying police should break the legs of drug dealers who are seen outside schools. (BBC, 04.01.2018)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42563865

Kolumbien. Colombia sends 2000 soldiers to port town to curb post-conflict violence

Colombia on Monday sent 2,000 soldiers to Tumaco, the port town that has seen violence skyrocket following a peace deal with the FARC, until last year the country’s largest guerrilla group. (...)

According to the UNODC, the town produces more than 23,000 hectares of the native plant that is the base ingredient for cocaine. This is more than 15% of all the coca grown in Colombia.

Local gangs, regional drug traffickers and at least four illegal armed groups are vying for control over the drug trade after the demobilization of the FARC.

Local coca farmers who want to take part in a crop substitution program have been attacked by the groups that benefit from the drug trade. (colombiareports.com, 08.01.2018)

https://colombiareports.com/how-to-contribute-to-p/

Iran. Iran's easing of drug laws could halt execution of 5,000 prisoners

Lifting of capital punishment for some drug-trafficking offences set to be applied retrospectively to convicts on death row. (The Guardian, UK, 10.01.2018)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/10/iran-ease-drug-laws-could-halt-execution-5000-prisoners-death-row

Gewalt in Mexiko: Vertrieben im eigenen Land
Mexikos Regierung ist schwach, und das nutzen Drogenbanden und Paramilitärs. Immer wieder werden Menschen regelrecht aus ihren Dörfern vertrieben. Im Süden des Landes sind derzeit Tausende bei bitterer Kälte auf der Flucht. (tagesschau.de, 04.01.2018) 
http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/mexiko-vertreibung-101.html

Bangladesh. Bangladesh minister says drug addicts should be ‘shot at sight’

Primary and Mass Education Minister Mostafizur Rahman said if he were the home minister, he would set an example by rooting out the problem of drug addiction by “shooting the addicts at sight (sic) “.

“Some people say that drug abuse may be far worse a problem than militancy. They are right – drug abuse is more menacing than militancy, because militancy can be eradicated one day. If I were the home minister, I would have eliminated drug addiction, and the only way to do it is to adopt the ‘shoot at sight’ policy against drug addicts,” he said while addressing the 28th founding anniversary program of the Department of Narcotics Control at Tejgaon area in Dhaka on Tuesday. (Dhaka Tribune, 03.01.2018)

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/law-rights/2018/01/03/bangladesh-minister-drug-addicts-shot-at-sight/

Peru. Perú – Monitoreo de Cotivos de Coca 2016

(UNODC, November 2017)

http://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/Peru/Peru_Monitoreo_de_coca_2016_web.pdf

Peru. UNODC Survey: Peru coca crop increases but still at lowest rate in the Andean region

The surface used to grow coca leaf crops in Peru in 2016 increased by 9 per cent, which is the lowest increase in the region, according to the latest Peru Coca Survey, launched in Lima today. The area under cultivation grew by more than 3,500 hectares (ha) in 2016, compared to 2015. The report, jointly produced by UNODC and the country's Government, indicates that the area used for cultivating the raw material for cocaine production increased from 40,300 hectares to 43,900 hectares. (UNODC, 05.12.2017)

http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2017/December/unodc-survey_-peru-coca-crop-increases-but-still-at-lowest-rate-in-the-andean-region.html

Myanmar opium cultivation declines sharply, except in some conflict areas: UN report

The total area of opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar has decreased significantly in 2017 to 41,000 hectares, down 25% from the 55,500 recorded in 2015, according to the Myanmar Opium Survey 2017 released today by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). (UNODC, 06.12.2017)

http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2017/December/myanmar-opium-cultivation-declines-sharply--except-in-some-conflict-areas_-un-report.html

UNODC Chief: Afghanistan faces opium crisis, response must be urgent, swift, decisive

In recent years attention has shifted away from the threat posed by illicit drugs, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov, told the UN Security Council today. (UNODC, 21.12.2017)

http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2017/December/unodc-chief_-afghanistan-faces-opium-crisis--response-must-be-urgent--swift--decisive.html

Mexiko. Drogenkrieg: Zahl der Morde in Mexiko so hoch wie noch nie

Die Gewalt der Drogenkartelle hat die Zahl der Morde in Mexiko auf einen neuen Höchststand getrieben: 23.101 Menschen wurden alleine in den ersten elf Monaten 2017 getötet, wie die mexikanischen Behörden am Freitag mitteilten.

Dies ist der höchste Wert seit Beginn der Aufzeichnungen vor 20 Jahren. (faz.net, 24,12,2017)

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/gesellschaft/kriminalitaet/drogenkrieg-zahl-der-morde-in-mexiko-so-hoch-wie-noch-nie-15357199.html