Thursday, February 12, 2009

Shocking Headline of the Day

Panel Calls U.S. Drug War A Failure:

As drug violence spirals out of control in Mexico, a commission led by three former Latin American heads of state blasted the U.S.-led drug war as a failure that is pushing Latin American societies to the breaking point.

The report, by the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, is the latest to question the U.S.'s emphasis on punitive measures to deal with illegal drug use and the criminal violence that accompanies it. A recent Brookings Institution study concluded that despite interdiction and eradication efforts, the world's governments haven't been able to significantly decrease the supply of drugs, while punitive methods haven't succeeded in lowering drug use.

The report warned that the U.S.-style antidrug strategy was putting the region's fragile democratic institutions at risk and corrupting "judicial systems, governments, the political system and especially the police forces."
But the War on Drugs faithful still cling to their guns (so to speak).

U.S. law-enforcement officials -- as well as some of their counterparts in Mexico -- say the explosion in violence indicates progress in the war on drugs as organizations under pressure are clashing.

"If the drug effort were failing there would be no violence," a senior U.S. official said Wednesday. There is violence "because these guys are flailing. We're taking these guys out. The worst thing you could do is stop now."

So just to clarify: escalating violence and body counts means we're winning the war?

The violence sweeping Latin American countries is, not surprisingly, getting very little play here in the U.S. As with most global issues, until the issue comes knocking on our door, as the violence most likely will via Mexico and the carnage going on there, don't expect a major re-thinking of the 25 year old U.S. Drug War anytime soon.

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