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Peru claims new blow against Sendero Luminoso, assails Bolivia for narco-baiting

Posted on December 13th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

PeruPeru's President Ollanta Humala on Dec. 9 announced the capture of the new commander of the remnant Sendero Luminoso column in the Upper Huallaga Valley—one of two remaining pockets of coca-producing jungle where the scattered Maoist guerilla movement is still keeping alive a local insurgency. The commander was named as Alexander Fabián Huamán AKA "Héctor"—said to have assumed leadership of the guerillas' "Huallaga Regional Committee" after the capture last year of "Comrade Artemio," the last "historic" Sendero leader (that is, dating back to the insurgency's heyday 20 years ago). Gen. Víctor Romero Fernández, commander of the National Police Anti-Drug Directorate (DIRANDRO), called the arrest a "hard blow" against the guerillas, and predicted that "Sendero Luminoso is disappearing in this zone." (InfoBAE, Andina, Dec. 9)

Peru: 'narco-terrorist' busted; narco-politician exposed

Posted on November 8th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

AndesOn Oct. 23, National Police in Peru apprehended in Lima an accused commander of one of the two surviving remnant factions of the Sendero Luminoso guerilla movement. The Interior Ministry named the detained man as Rolando Pantoja Quispe, and said he was under the orders of Florindo Eleuterio Flores Hala AKA "Comrade Artemio"—the notorious Sendero commander who was captured last year and condemned to life in prison. The ministry said Pantoja Quispe controlled cocaine trafficking in the Yanajanca Valley of Huanuco region, and hailed the arrest as a further blow against Artemio's crippled network. (BBC Mundo, Oct. 23)

Sendero Luminoso in Bolivia?

Posted on November 5th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

AndesOn Oct. 19, a patrol of Bolivia's Joint Task Force, coordinating National Police and army troops in coca-eradication missions, was ambushed by unknown gunmen at  Miraflores pueblo, Apolo municipality, in the coca-growing Yungas region, sparking a gun-battle that left four dead—three troops and a medic. Up to 30 were injured, but all the assailants seem to have escaped. Government vice-minister Jorge Pérez said the attack was "planned by people related to the narco-traffic," adding that the partially buried remains of a cocaine lab had been found nearby. Days later, Leopoldo Ramos, the public prosecutor appointed to investigate the case, said that "by the form of execution, for the Public Ministry it is probable that those who attacked in Miraflores are persons trained by Sendero Luminoso."

Brazil-Bolivia tensions over narco-diplomatic scandal

Posted on September 8th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

AndesBrazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota resigned Aug. 25 in the midst of a diplomatic scandal concerning a Bolivian opposition figure who accused the Evo Morales government of narco-corruption. Bolivian senator Roger Pinto had been holed up in the Brazilian embassy in La Paz for more than a year after he was charged with corruption-related crimes. He claimed the charges agaist him were retaliation for blowing the whistle on a Bolivian cabinet minister's meetings with a Brazilian drug lord. Pinto on Aug. 25 turned up in Brasília, having secretly fled Bolivia in a Brazilian diplomatic car, protected by a detachment of Brazilian soldiers.  According to Brazilian media, President Dilma Rousseff's government did not know of the operation and considered it a "disaster." Pinto on Sept. 3 said that he would decline requests to testify before Brazil's congress on the affair. (EFE, Sept. 3; BBC News, Aug. 26; WSJ, Aug. 25)

Police seize three tons of cannabis in southwest Colombia

Posted on July 29th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

ColombiaColombia’s National Police announced the seizure of three tons of marijuana in the southwest of the country on July 28. Units of the traffic and transport police discovered the packets of herb in a truck that was stopped at a checkpoint on a road between the towns of Villarrica and Candelaria, respectively in the departments of Cauca and Valle del Cauca. The bust took place on the same route where police this year have carried out operations resulting in major seizures. When inspecting the vehicle the police discovered 47 packages of plastic fiber, all containing marijuana with a total weight of three tons.

Mixed signals from UN on Drug War

Posted on March 17th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

earthHelen Clark, head of the UN Development Program, speaking ahead of a March 14 presentation of the UNDP's 2013 Human Development Report, offered a surprise critique of the global war on drugs, saying Latin American leaders should develop new policies. "I've been a health minister in my past and there's no doubt that the health position would be to treat the issue of drugs as primarily a health and social issue rather than a criminalized issue," Clark told Reuters. "Once you criminalize, you put very big stakes around. Of course, our world has proceeded on the basis that criminalization is the approach."

Bolivia: progress seen in coca policy

Posted on January 2nd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

coca leafTotal area planted with coca in Bolivia dropped by up to 13% last year, according to separate reports by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Bolivia stepped up efforts to eradicate unauthorized coca plantings, and reported an increase in seizures of cocaine and cocaine base—even as the Evo Morales government expanded areas where coca can be grown legally. "It's fascinating to look at a country that kicked out the United States ambassador and the DEA, and the expectation on the part of the United States is that drug war efforts would fall apart," Kathryn Ledebur, director of the Andean Information Network, told the New York Times. Instead, she said, Bolivia's approach is "showing results." 

Colorado and Washington: will the ripples reach Mexico and Colombia?

Posted on November 24th, 2012 by Peter Gorman and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

leafWell, the dust has hardly settled but the boots are at the door; they might come storming through, riling up that dust some more.

But we hope not. The boots belong to the Justice Department and the door belongs to the states of Washington and Colorado. The dust is the election that saw those two states make the biggest moves toward cannabis legalization any state has made in a long long time. No, neither law is perfect, and it is going to be a cold day in hell probably before state stores are up and running. But still, the fact that the voters got out there and said enough is enough and let's get something on legalization out there is very freaking refreshing. Ask anyone who works in any capacity to end the drug war: Wins are few and far between. It took more than 10 years of effort to rein in law enforcement's forfeiture spree; it took a lot longer than that to get New York's racist Rockefeller sentencing laws even semi-tossed. So what happened in Washington and Colorado is in the win column, though we cannot be at all sure that the feds are not going to come in and try to muck things up like they have with California's and Oregon’s medical marijuana laws.

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