Colombia and Mexico: The Wrong Lessons from the War on Drugs

Colombia and Mexico: The Wrong Lessons from the War on Drugs

Sustainable Security

As activists around the world participate in a Global Day of Action against criminalisation of drug use, evidence from the multi-billion dollar War on Drugs in Colombia suggests that militarized suppression of production and supply has displaced millions of people as well as the problem, not least to Mexico. The wrong lessons are being exported to Central America and beyond, but a groundswell of expert and popular opinion internationally is calling for alternative approaches to regulating the use and trade in drugs.

The arrest of the Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman on 22 February was cheered by US and Mexican officials as the most important success against narco-trafficking since the killing of Pablo Escobar two decades earlier. Designated in 2013 by the Chicago Crime Commission as the ‘public enemy number one’ and featured among the ‘most powerful’ by Forbes, he was the leader of the Sinaloa Federation. This…

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