At Colombia Reports: The biggest loser in the presidential campaign is the war on drugs
The article discusses the problems with the war on drugs in Colombia and Mexico, and then talk about the close race for replacing Uribe as President.
Colombiaâ€™s presidential candidates need to have a good, long think about what a post-Uribe drugs policy will look like. […]
So, from Santos to Mockus to Sanin, all would do well to answer the following questions – if elected, how would their government work on purging the judicial system and building the rule of law, so that people arrested for drug trafficking would be successfully prosecuted and successfully contained in prison? How would they better root out corruption in police and intelligence forces? How would they crack down on money laundering and arms trafficking? […]
True, as long as North Americans and Europeans want to put white powder up their noses, the drug war is never going to end. But what can be done, is to reduce the amount of power and control that the cartels exert over Colombian (and Mexican) society. How do Santos, Mockus and company exactly aim to do this? I hope it becomes a more profoundly discussed topic in the next few weeks. [emphasis added]
Well, I’d like to answer that question.
I’m assuming that Colombia has some kind of residency requirement to become a Presidential candidate, so it might be difficult for me to actually throw my Chicago Cubs hat in the ring. But if I could…
On my first day in office, I would announce that the cartels in Colombia were free to grow all the coca they wish, process it, and sell it as cocaine outside the country, as long as they didn’t destroy rainforest for cultivation, use violence or terror against Colombian citizens, or interfere with Colombian government activities.
We would also ignore any violent conflicts over territory as long as the violence was kept away from innocents.
Any cartel that used violence would be fair game for government retaliation, but as long as they played along with the new rules, they’d be able to rake in the black market cash and be free of hassle. I’d also encourage them to spend that foreign money locally to infuse the economy.
Yes, I would be a cartel-enabler.
And then I’d say to the U.S. “OK, the ball’s in your court.”
The United States would get really pissed at me, and threaten sanctions, cuts in foreign aid, etc., but I’d throw it right back at them, and make moving speeches about how Colombia was no longer going to be the cesspool for failed United States drug policy.
I’d make it clear that the United States can’t continue to bury its head in the sand regarding real alternatives to failed policy, while forcing us to draft our citizens into cannon fodder to fuel its war.
I think the citizens might back me.
… and there’s be one real sh*t-storm in Washington that I’d love to see.