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May 2006
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Thailand’s drug war

Three years ago

BANGKOK – The death toll in Thailand’s brutal 10-week-old war on drugs has soared to 2 275, or more than 30 killings a day, police said on Wednesday. […]
The three-month campaign against drug barons and traffickers was launched by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who said his forces would “X-ray every square inch” of the country to root out the drug trade. […]
Several local and international human rights groups have condemned the violence, with Amnesty International likening Thaksin’s campaign to a “de facto shoot-to-kill policy” of anyone believed to be involved in the drug trade. […]
Last Saturday, Thaksin said his drugs war would continue beyond April, with possible strategic modifications, until December 2, which he predicted would be Thailand’s day of victory over drugs.
The drug blitz is focusing on methamphetamines, which flood into Thailand from Myanmar.

Today:

Methamphetamine use among teenagers in and around Bangkok is more than seven times higher than it was prior to the ‘war on drugs’ declared by the government three years ago, an ABAC Poll has revealed.
Pollsters calculated that more than 41,000 teenagers took methamphetamine, commonly known as ya ba, in the past 30 days, a 723-percent increase from the 5,060 teenagers estimated to be using the drug following a survey made in May 2003.

One of the bloodiest drug wars in the world, and guess what? It doesn’t work.
This is an important lesson to all those who say “If only we cracked down more, we could win this war.”

[Thanks, Allan]

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