cocaine

More Sinaloa Cartel bigwigs busted —but still not El Chapo

Posted on September 19th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

MexicoThree men allegedly linked to Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, accused of conspiring to distribute a thousand kilograms of cocaine in the US and Europe, face trial in a federal court in Concord, New Hampshire, after being extradited from Spain. According to network Univisión, the accused were apprehended in the Spanish port of Algeciras in August 2012. One defendant, Manuel Jesús Gutiérrez Guzmán, has been identified as a cousin of Joaquin Guzman AKA "El Chapo"—the Sinaloa Cartel's notorious fugitive kingpin. Another, Rafael Humberto Celaya Valenzuela, was a candidate for public office in San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora, with Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). (Latino Post, Proceso, Proceso, Sept. 4)

Surinam strongman's son popped in Panama

Posted on September 9th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaribbeanOpposition legislators in Surinam are calling on President Desi Bouterse to resign following the arrest of his son by DEA agents in Panama Aug. 29. Dino Bouterse was was apparently travelling on a diplomatic passport when he was busted on charges of operating a cocaine trafficking ring. The US federal indictment, filed in Manhattan, also charges him with violating firearms laws by wielding an anti-tank weapon during a drug offense.

Anti-cocaine vaccine approaches human trials

Posted on June 21st, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , .

cocaineRaw Story reported May 12 that researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have successfully used a vaccine to produce a long-lasting anti-cocaine immunity in non-human primates. "The vaccine eats up the cocaine in the blood like a little Pac-man before it can reach the brain," the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, said in a press release. "We believe this strategy is a win-win for those individuals, among the estimated 1.4 million cocaine users in the United States, who are committed to breaking their addiction to the drug. Even if a person who receives the anti-cocaine vaccine falls off the wagon, cocaine will have no effect." Human clinical trials for the vaccine are expected soon.

Seeing patterns, from Colombia to Cape Town

Africa and the War on DrugsFor those who have been wondering what the truth is behind the media sensationalism about global cartels establishing Africa as their new theater of operations, Africa and the War on Drugs  by Neil Carrier and Gernot Klantschnig (Zed Books, London, 2012) clears the air in a welcome way.

The authors, a pair of British academics, portray a strategy by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to hype the threat and replicate the hardline policies pursued in Latin America and elsewhere on the African continent. Drug trafficking has definitely been growing in Africa in recent years—ironically, the authors argue, as a result of "successes" in Latin America. As the old cartels and their smuggling routes were broken up, new more fragmented networks have sought new routes and markets. This conveniently coincided with South Africa's reintegration to the world economy after the end of apartheid, and more generally with Africa's globalization.

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."

Political economy of Mexico's narco-nightmare

Posted on January 21st, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

As nightmarish violence continues in Mexico, with horrific massacres and chaotic urban warfare right on the USA's southern border, a couple of academics at England’s University of Sheffield provide a readable 250-page primer on why this is happening now, and take a stab at what can be done to address the crisis—other than escalating it with militarization.

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." 

Blood Ganja

The most enlightened cannabis connoisseurs—those who still have a link back to the values that defined the hippie culture—tend to be conscious consumers when it comes to food or computers or whatnot. They may buy organic tomatoes, boycott Taco Bell to support exploited farm workers in Florida, and petition Apple about the brutal conditions in their Chinese assembly plants. But do they pay as much attention to the source of their preferred smoking herb? 

Is there blood on your ganja?

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