Since the U. S. election, several things have happened that are already reverberating loudly across Latin America. For decades, the U.S. has been the primary sponsor of the “War on Drugs.” The primary focus of this war has been the disruption and interdiction of illegal drugs produced in Latin American countries and smuggled into the United States’ vast market.
In the past year, many South American countries have discussed the idea of decriminalizing certain classes of currently illegal drugs, but the U.S. has steadfastly held to its position that the war on drugs must continue.
Now, two states, Washington and Colorado have legalized possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use. The Obama administration is sending signals that it will continue to enforce the federal prohibition against marijuana. Yet marijuana producing countries are questioning the possibility of continuing the fight, when two U.S states have legalized pot.
You can bet the tide is changing when even a Wall Street Journal opinion piece claims that “If the U.S. Constitution means anything, the federal government was never granted the power to regulate intrastate drug use. That prerogative belongs to the states…”
A news report that came out just before the election may call into question the administration’s motive for the drug war. An article by the Chilean news organization, Panoramos News, alleged that DEA and CIA stations in Chile, with the full knowledge of Chilean authorities and police, were running a drug trafficking network. I encourage you readers to click on the preceding link to read the story yourself.
An anonymous source with the Chilean Intelligence agency, ANI, told the Panoramos News that the money raised in the sale of 300 kilos of cocaine would be funneled into an attempt to defeat Ecuador’s President Correa in his 2013 bid for re-election. A kilo of cocaine has a street value of nearly $100,000 in some markets.
If this report has any credence, it will certainly lend fuel to Latin American governments’ argument that the war on drugs is a failure and new solutions must be found.
This article by Reuters describes the revolution in the making between the Obama administration and Latin American leaders as they tackle the drug problem.
It’s hard to imagine how we could believe that we are even close to winning a war that has already killed more than 60,000 people in Mexico alone. The fact is, there are a lot of people making making a lot of money in the drug trade. And not all of them are Mexican or Colombian gangsters.
Here again, the banksters raise their ugly heads. A July, 2012 report by a senate sub-committee called out HSBC bank for laundering billions of dollars in drug money. In the same month a federal probe claimed that the Zetas, a Mexican drug cartel, were laundering money through Bank of America.
Of course allegations of CIA drug smuggling to finance illegal and/or covert operations are not a rare thing. Many accusations have surfaced over the years. Click here for a background article on various reports of CIA drug smuggling.
From my perspective, the CIA would have to do heavy-duty work to defeat Ecuador President Correa in an election. He is one of the most popular presidents based on approval ratings in Latin America, perhaps in the world. Of course, the CIA has many other possible scenarios in its play book to choose from. Anybody heard of the NDAA?
And that’s today’s “View From the Roof.”
UPDATE: I just read an amazing interview with the former deputy director of the Los Angeles Police force, and a former high ranking member of Homeland Security, both retired. They belong to an organization called LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). They describe the incredible failure of the War on Drugs. Check it out.