cocaine

Colombia: new National Police chief broaches legalization

Posted on May 9th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Colombia Gen. José Roberto León, number-two man in Colombia's militarized National Police force, has been fingered to be the force's new chief starting next week. Upon his appointment, he issued a stern warning to drug traffickers: "The National Police is out there, using all its capacities to capture or neutralize you." But León also stated that he agreed with President Juan Manuel Santos' position on drug legalization: "My position is the same as President Santos. The Colombian government has the moral authority to open the debate and, as indicated by [Santos], it is necessary to review the entire anti-drug strategy to explore new ideas and strategies enabling greater effectiveness in the fight against drug trafficking. Another point is that people who are addicted to drugs, especially marijuana, should receive medical treatment, so the issue becomes a matter of public health." (Colombia Reports, May 7) (Sic: cannabis, of course, is not addictive.)

Coast Guard claims interception of 30th narco-submarine

Posted on April 19th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Central AmericaOn April 18, the US Coast Guard announced the interception of its 30th semi-submersible cocaine-smuggling vessel in less than six years, pointing to the widespread use of "narco-submarines" by traffickrs making their way up the Central American coast from Colombia. The Coast Guard said that two of its cutters, the Decisive and Pea Island, chased down the sub on March 30 in the western Caribbean, crediting collaboration with the Honduran navy. The Coast Guard released a photo of the sub's bow painted with shark's teeth as it disappeared beneath the waves. The crew scuttled the craft before they were taken into custody, sending their load to the bottom of the sea.

Narco-coup in Guinea-Bissau?

Posted on April 14th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

The latest coup d'etat in Guinea-Bissau is being linked by Western diplomats to the international drug trade. Soldiers took control of much of the capital Bissau on April 13 as the military announced that it had arrested interim President Raimundo Pereira, as well as Carlos Gomes Jr., a former prime minister and leading presidential candidate. Press accounts cite speculation that Gomes ran afoul of the military by promising to end a lucrative arrangement with drug traffickers.

Colombia: lawmakers broach decrim of coca, cannabis cultivation

Posted on March 31st, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

ColombiaLawmakers in Colombia have proposed decriminalizing cultivation of the coca leaf and cannabis to undercut the narco mafias. Proponents say the move would reduce prices and give peasants more incentive to grow other crops. The bill will be debated in the coming days by the lower house of Colombia's congress, the Chamber of Representatives. But Colombia's Justice Ministry says the move would violate Colombia's commitments to international narcotics treaties. "We have to be particularly prudent and particularly cautious," said Justice Minister Juan Carlos Esguerra.

US chews out Peru on coca eradication; Bolivia chews back

Posted on March 27th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

The US State Department's 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy report contains harsh words for Peru, lamenting the country's "slow advance" in coca leaf eradication. The report says the country has 53,000 hectares under coca cultivation. Colombia has 100,000 hectares—but Peru's total has increased in recent years, while Colombia's has dropped. (Although Peru has challenged these claims.) The report calls out Peru's Customs Service, Coast Guard, Port Authority and Public Ministry as blocking progress in the anti-narcotics struggle. State Department analyst Pedro Yaranga told Lima's La Republica that "there does not exist a decision to attack the coca source areas [cuencas cocaleras]." He particularly named the Upper Huallaga Valley and Apurímac-Ene River Valley (VRAE).

Mexico busts more Sinaloa kingpins —but still not El Chapo

Posted on February 25th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

MexicoMexican federal police on Feb. 14 announced the arrest in Culiacán, Sinaloa, of Jaime Herrera Herrera AKA "El Viejito" (Little Old Man), said to be top meth manufacturer and distributor for the Sinaloa Cartel. (NYT, Feb. 14) The bust came ten days after the arrest in León, Guanajuato, of José Antonio Torres Marrufo AKA "El Marrufo"—said to be leader of the Gente Nueva gang, armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel. Prosecutors suspect Marrufo of ordering the 2009 attack on a drug treatment clinic in Ciudad Juárez in which 18 people were killed. The cartel's maximum boss, Joaquín Guzmán AKA "El Chapo" (Shorty), still remains at large. (BBC News, Crónica de Hoy, RTT, Feb. 14; El Diario, Ciudad Juárez, Feb. 6; BBC News, Feb. 4)

Mexico: US drug agents aided the Beltrán Leyva cartel

Posted on January 17th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

MexicoAgents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) worked with an informant and with Mexican enforcement agents in 2007 to launder millions of dollars for Mexico's Beltrán Leyva cartel, according to reports in the New York Times and the Mexican magazine emeequis. The information comes from the Mexican government's response to a US request for the extradition of Harold Mauricio Poveda-Ortega, a Colombian trafficker arrested in Mexico in 2010.

Peru: anti-drug chief who suspended coca eradication resigns

Posted on January 11th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

coca leafRicardo Soberón, the anti-drug chief who last year briefly suspended coca eradication in Peru, resigned under pressure from the administration of President Ollanta Humala Jan. 10. The Council of Ministers (cabinet) appointed Carmen Masías Claux, a psychologist who is an advocate of eradication, to replace Soberón as head of the National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (DEVIDA). The Council of Ministers is now led by the man who was interior minister at the time of Soberón's suspension of the program, Oscar Valdes—who publicly disagreed with the suspension, and ordered the program's resumption within a week.

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