Us Releases Drug War Certifications for South America as Counter-Reports Show Lack of Focus on Domestic Demand

NotiSur - South American Political and Economic Affairs, March 19, 2004 | Go to article overview

Us Releases Drug War Certifications for South America as Counter-Reports Show Lack of Focus on Domestic Demand


The US government has released its annual drug certifications for 2003, once again without decertifying any South American countries. The "balloon effect" was evident in the State Department report, as successful eradication efforts in certain regions or countries led to greater cultivation in other places. Almost simultaneously, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), a UN organ, released reports and testimony showing that developed nations receive the most profits from the drug trade and are doing insufficient work to reduce demand for narcotics.

Over the years, many Latin American leaders have expressed dissatisfaction with the certification process as an arbitrary and demeaning one for their countries. The certification process has often been used to deny aid to countries judged soft on drug trafficking.

Developed nations profit most from drug traffic

The day after the State Department released its certification report, the INCB denounced that it is the economies of developed nations of the global north that benefit most from the illicit drug trade. INCB representative Alfredo Pemjean said that studies of narcotics trafficking done by his organization showed that producing countries "are those that are benefited the least economically," while the principal consumers and economic profits remain in the most-developed countries. He pointed out, however, that producer nations are "the most visualized by the entire world [in relation to the drug war] and probably the most repressed by the international community."

Distribution is the way illicit profit benefits the richest countries, says Pemjean. He indicated that repressive or "sanctions-based" policies against narcotics consumption would not have the intended effect and recommended prevention measures and adequate community attention to addicts and participation in rehabilitation programs.

Martin Hopenhayn, the head of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), also spoke out on the relation between drugs and poverty. "The type of conditions of social life, campesino poverty, lack of opportunity for the young, and informal labor are conditions which are a recipe for cultivation, on which drug trafficking seizes."

The INCB annual report for 2003 also pointed out that it is important to fight against the demand for drugs and not just focus on production. The reports' authors criticized various "Western European countries" without specifically naming them for "an ambiguous attitude toward drug abuse" by their populations.

Local anti-drug activists in Brazil like Janaina Conceicao Pascoal, president of the Council on Drugs in the southern state of Sao Paulo, praised parts of the INCB report. The report's emphasis on social aspects "is a step forward, but the police approach oversimplifies the question, it is reductionism," said Pascoal, who is also a professor of criminal law at the Universidade de Sao Paulo. "Also taking into account the various social and economic aspects of the problem would be more effective."

Pascoal says that in Brazil the penal approach to the drug question has fueled the extensive violence, causing tens of thousands of murders in her country per year. "Total criminalization pushes many people into marginality and crime," she said.

Nation-by-nation statistics

The State Department report for 2003 said Venezuela had continued with confiscations of cocaine and heroin even though it spent a great part of the year "distracted" by political instability. It led South America in the amount of drugs seized for the fourth year in a row, beating out even Colombia. It almost doubled the amount of cocaine seized in the previous year, taking 32 tons, plus a half-ton of heroin, about the same amount of heroin it seized in 2002. In December, the government of President Hugo Chavez carried out massive operations to eradicate coca cultivation in the Sierrania de Perija on the Colombian border. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Us Releases Drug War Certifications for South America as Counter-Reports Show Lack of Focus on Domestic Demand
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.