cocaine

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.

Venezuela, Bolivia: protecting or fighting the cartels?

Posted on December 19th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Even as the White House has censured Venezuelan officials for "narco-terrorist" ties, AP reported Dec. 15 that Venezuela handed a top Colombian drug trafficking suspect to US authorities. The US had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco AKA "Valenciano." InsightCrime informs us that "Valenciano" led the "Oficina de Envigado" criminal organization, seen as a successor to the Medellín Cartel. He was arrested last month in Maracay, west of Caracas.

Bolivia agrees to restore US diplomatic ties —but just says no to DEA

Posted on November 11th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Bolivia and the US agreed to restore diplomatic relations on Nov. 7, three years after President Evo Morales expelled the US ambassador and then, weeks later, the DEA force in the Andean country. This was the first of several times since then that Morales has accused the US of plotting against him. In announcing the move to restore ties, Morales emphasized that the DEA would not be allowed back in his country. Morales said that he himself had been a "victim" of the DEA as a coca grower. He called the DEA's exclusion from Bolivia a question of "dignity and sovereignty."

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