Nov 12, 2011

Drug War: Never- ending drug war moves to Central America

Andres Oppenheimer, columnist for the Miami Herald and the McClatchy chain, interviews the president of Costa Rica on her fears of the expanding drug war and draws the conclusion, "Despite Washington’s claims to the contrary, the drug cartels’ move from Mexico to Central America is evidence that despite some successes, the decades-old U.S. anti-drug strategy is not working. First, after the U.S.-backed plan Colombia, the drug cartels fled to Mexico. Now, after the U.S.-backed Plan Merida, they are moving into Central America. Next, if there is a serious offensive against them in Central America, they will move into the Caribbean, or somewhere else. It’s time to start a serious discussion on whether to legalize marijuana"

Never- ending drug war moves to Central America - Andres Oppenheimer - "SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- While Mexico’s bloody war against the drug cartels is making headlines worldwide, there is a little-known fact that is sounding alarm bells among U.S. and Latin American officials: Central America’s drug-related violence is far worse than Mexico’s. Even Costa Rica,... is feeling anxious about the rising tide of drug-related murders.

... In an interview ... , Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla made no effort to hide Costa Rica’s worries. While stressing that her country is still an exception when compared with the rest of Central America’s crime rates, she said that homicide rates have doubled in Costa Rica over the past 10 years. Much of the rise in Costa Rica’s murder rate is due to fights among drug traffickers, she told me. But if what happened in Colombia and Mexico is any indication of what may happen next in Costa Rica, drug traffickers will soon start trying to extort government officials, and murdering those who don’t accept their money, she said.

“Of course I’m concerned,” Chinchilla said. “If I project some of the trends we are seeing in Costa Rica into the future, I can’t help seeing ourselves in the mirror of what has happened in other societies in Central America, and in the rest of Latin America.”" read more

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