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Colombia's president warns against Prop 19

Posted on October 26th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

ColombiaColombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos warned Oct 25 that approval of California's Proposition 19 could force nations worldwide to rethink their anti-drug policies. He also said legalized cannabis in California would make the fight against drug cartels tougher throughout Latin America. "Tell me if there is a way to explain to a Colombian peasant that if he produces marijuana we are going to put him in jail and that the same product is legal [in California]," Santos said during a radio interview. "That's going to produce a comprehensive discussion on the approach we have taken on the fight against drug trafficking." (AHN, Oct. 25)

Venezuela seeks extradition of Colombian kingpin

Posted on August 21st, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColombiaVenezuela and the US are both seeking the extradition of Walid Makled, a notorious drug lord known as "The Arab" or "The Turk," who was arrested in a joint operation by Colombian police and the DEA in the city of Cúcuta near the Venezuelan border Aug. 19. A federal court in Manhattan has indicted Makled on charges of drug trafficking—allegedly in cooperation with Colombia's FARC guerillas. Venezuela is meanwhile seeking him on multiple murder counts.

Peru: authorities challenge UN findings on coca leaf boom

Posted on June 25th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

AndesPeru is set to overtake Colombia as the world's top coca producer, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in its World Drug Report 2010 released this week. The agency cited a 6.8% increase in areas of Peru under coca cultivation in 2009 compared with 2008—despite an overall 5% decrease from 167,000 hectares in 2008 to 158,000 hectares in 2009 across the Andean region generally.

Move over Coca-Cola: here comes Bolivia

Posted on May 20th, 2010 by Nikolas Kozloff and tagged , , , , .

Dancing coca leaves at closing rally of the The Andean nation's indigenous people have long resented the U.S. beverage company for usurping the name of their sacred coca leaf. Now, they are aiming to take back their heritage. Recently, the government of Evo Morales announced that it would support a plan to produce a coca-based soft drink which would rival its fizzy American counterpart.

Colombia to go Green in May 30 presidential race?

Posted on May 17th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColombiaColombia's presidential election on May 30 is developing into an unexpectedly tight race between Juan Manuel Santos—incumbent hardliner Alvaro Uribe's former defense minister who pledges to continue the current aggressive military campaign against drugs and guerillas—and Antanas Mockus, reformist, anti-corruption candidate of the Green Party (Partido Verde). In February, President Uribe was constitutionally barred from running for a third term, leaving Santos as his heir-apparent and presumed shoe-in. But polls are showing Mockus' potential as an upset victor.

Colombia: indigenous communities targeted in war

Posted on May 17th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

ColombiaIndigenous communities in Colombia's southwestern department of Cauca issued a statement May 11 calling upon all armed fighters to leave their territory, following the intensification of clashes between FARC guerillas and the army that left many civilians injured, displaced, or dead. "We have been left alone in the midst of the bullets of legal and illegal armed groups," said Miller Correa, indigenous governor of the indigenous community of Tacueyó, Toribío municipality.

Bolivia: six dead, one abducted in presumed narco attack

Posted on May 17th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

AndesAt least six people were killed—three of Serbian nationality and three Bolivians—and one was kidnapped in an assault perpetrated by suspected drug traffickers in Bolivia's eastern department of Santa Cruz on May 15. The victims were stopped at a false police checkpoint and were tied up, tortured and executed, authorities said.

Bolivia cracks down on "Norwegian Cartel"

Posted on May 11th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

In a case sensationalized by the Bolivian press as a crackdown on a "Norwegian Cartel," a Bolivian national was sentenced to 20 years last month, and two Norwegians to 13 years each on charges of attempting to smuggle 22 kilos of cocaine out of the country. The defendants, all in their 20s, were arrested in May 2008 with cocaine hidden in their backpacks. Bolivian authorities say they were recruited by crime bosses in Norway, with promises of luxury vacations as well as payments of $1,500. (World War 4 Report, May 10)

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