DRUGS AND DEMOCRACY IN LATIN AMERICA: The Impact of U.S. Policy

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DRUGS AND DEMOCRACY IN LATIN AMERICA: The Impact of U.S. Policy, Coletta A. Youngers and Eileen Rosin, eds., Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, CO, 2004, 415 pages, $25.00.

Drugs and Democracy in Latin America contains individual essays on U.S. drug policy and its effect on drug-producing and Latin American countries through which drug runners transit. The point of the essays seems to be that U.S. drug policy has a negative effect on Latin American countries and that military involvement is largely inappropriate for the war on drugs.

Well researched, the book brims with information, and each essay provides concrete facts and figures to support the writer's arguments. However, some writers intermix politics to reach unsupported conclusions about military involvement. Statistical facts support the premise that the U.S. drug policy is costly and ineffective, but the authors' tangents, such as discussing the military's involvement (whether from a Latin American nation or from the United States), distract the reader from any serious consideration of otherwise valid arguments. Still, the book accurately exposes numerous problems with the current U. …