Mexico: cover-up claimed in El Chapo escape

Posted on September 18th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , .

MexicoThe Mexican interior ministry, known as Gobernación, was on Sept. 15 accused by a senate committee of covering up evidence pointing to official complicity in the July escape of drug kingpin Joaquin Guzmán Loera AKA "El Chapo"—for more than 10 years the country's most-wanted fugitive. Sen. Alejandro Encinas of the left-opposition PRD, who heads the Senate National Security Committee, said that Gobernación had denied him access to video footage from Guzmán's cell—which is now revealed to incude "drilling sounds" in the background, incdicating that prison authorities ignored construction work on the tunnel through which Chapo escaped. "The video exists and it is crucial in order to identify the extent of complicity in Chapo’s escape," Encinas told the EFE news agency. "Just the fact that the sound of a drill can be heard [on the recording] implies complicity on several levels."

Peru: 10,000 cannabis plants burned in village raid

Posted on September 15th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

PeruA detachment of troops from the Anti-Drug Department (DEPANDRO) of Peru's National Police force  on Sept. 13 raided the remote hamlet of Huayup, high in the mountains of Aija province, Áncash region, incinerating more than 10,000 cannabis plants. A report in Áncash al Día used the word plantónes (seedlings) to describe the uprooted plants, but also said they were over a meter high. The plantation was found on a predio (private collective land holding) covering about a single hectare. The plants were burned on the scene, and there was no report of any arrests. But fingerprints were taken from farm implements at the predio, and investigations are underway.

China moves to restrict death penalty —but not for drugs

Posted on September 15th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

ChinaUnited Nations human rights experts on Sept. 11 welcomed a recommendation to abolish the death penalty by India, as well as a decision to reduce the number of crimes subject to the death penalty in the world's top executioner by far: China.  The better news was that concerning India—which has thousands on death row, but has only carried out four executions so far this century (AP, July 29).

California legislature passes medical cannabis regulation package

Posted on September 14th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

CaliforniaOn Sept. 11, the California State Legislature approved a series of bills to establish comprehensive regulation and licensing of medical cannabis. Assembly Bills 243 and 266 and Senate Bill 643 were all passed, and will delegate regulation of commercial medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, transportation, and distribution to various state agencies as well as create a state-level licensing system. Gov. Jerry Brown is widely expected to sign all three pieces of legislation. "We're glad the legislature has finally been able to move forward on regulations," said Don Duncan, California direcotr of Americans for Safe Access (ASA). "History has shown that regulation can improve community outcomes while still preserving patient access. Passing medical cannabis regulation before the state moves forward with a potential adult-use recreational system next year is extremely important for the preservation of the medical cannabis program.”

Expert report casts doubt on official version of Mexican massacre

Posted on September 11th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , .

MexicoA group of experts appointed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has just issued a new report on the Mexican government's own investigation of the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero state nearly one year ago—and finds that the official conclusions are improbable. The Sept. 5 presentation of the IACHR findings drew such a huge audeince that organizers had to set up a TV screen for the overflow crowd on the patio of the Mexico City Human Rights Commission offices. Back in January, Mexico's then-Prosecutor General Jesús Murillo Karam announced the results of his investigation: all the students had been killed by members of a narco-gang called the Guerreros Unidos, who incinerated the bodies in a trash dump at the bottom of a canyon, then shoveled what remained into plastic bags and threw them in a river. That theory was largely based on confessions from detainees—who have since claimed to have "confessed" under torture. IACHR investigators who visited the dump site concluded that the incineration of that many bodies would have required an inordinate amount of fuel, and caused a massive forest fire. 

Hashish mega-haul in Pakistan points to new production zone

Posted on September 11th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

South AsiaPakistan's Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) on Sept. 7 announced the seizure of a huge shipment of hashish, weighing 3.37 metric tons, and said to be destined for international markets. An ANF unit carried out the raid in a remote area of Balochistan province, apparently acting on a tip. The raid targeted what was called a "desolate site" in Qilla Abduallah district, along the border with Afghanistan. The stash was reportedly stuffed in plastic bags at a hidden location.

Narco-Imperialism Deconstructed

Posted on September 6th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

PaleyDawn Paley is one courageous journalist. Her travels through Mexico, Colombia and Central America have brought her to the frontlines of "drug war" danger and militarization, producing first-hand reportage from communities terrorized by narco-gangs, paramilitaries and "official" security forces alike. In Drug War Capitalism (AK Press, Oakland, 2015) Paley portrays these forces as constituting a single nexus of terror, thoroughly integrated into the structures of the "legal" economy.

Peru: protests as US military forces arrive

Posted on September 2nd, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , .

PeruWithout fanfare in either country, some 3,000 US troops are now arriving in Peru for an anti-drug "training mission." The troops embarked, along with several cargo planes, on the USS George Washington Sept. 1—sparking street protests in Lima. Thousands filled downtown Lima chanting slogans against the "Yankee terrorists," and several US flags were burned. Ex-congressman Gustavo Espinoza decried what he called a "military invasion."  He suggested that the US had ulterior motives behind the mobilization: "What is looming is a sort of 'sting operation'...designed to enhance the North American presence not only in Peru but in the Americas... The Empire seeks to change the correlation of forces now in place in the region." (HispanTV, Sept. 2; TeleSUR, Sept. 1)

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