drug war violence

“I was personally involved in taking down the planet’s most notorious drug trafficker, Pablo Escobar, in 1993. While we managed to make Colombia a bit safer, it came at a tremendous price.” —César Gaviria, former president of Colombia

former president césar gaviria wrote a new york times op-ed decrying the violent anti-drug campaign in the philippines led by president rodrigo duterte

President Duterte Is Repeating My Mistakes | New York Times

Illegal drugs are a matter of national security, but the war against them cannot be won by armed forces and law enforcement agencies alone. Throwing more soldiers and police at the drug users is not just a waste of money but also can actually make the problem worse. Locking up nonviolent offenders and drug users almost always backfires, instead strengthening organized crime.

That is the message I would like to send to the world and, especially, to President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

We Colombians know a thing or two about fighting drugs. Our country has long been one of the world’s primary suppliers of cocaine. With support from North American and Western European governments, we have poured billions of dollars into a relentless campaign to eradicate drugs and destroy cartels.

full article


It’s 230 am, if you know where this alley is in downtown phoenix and want to bear witness to the spectacle that is the savage wrath of Chaos Vortex and fully understand why Im known in over 30 countries as The Dragon Of Devastation in the streets and in both official and underground martial arts fight circuits worldwide, then get here by 3 cuz shit is about to go the fuck down. 2 squads are bringing their 10 strongest warriors to finally settle a decade long rivalry with no weapons… And i set it all up by going to the enemy stronghold by myself to put an end to the fued through one final battle. Why did i approach both sides with this plan? Because unifying warriors, expanding my network of underworld connections, and restoring peace on the streets through the use of honorable combat is what i have always done everywhere I’ve been to in the world. Your either born a fuckin leader like myself or a follower. If you’re a leader, that’s what you should do. But If you decide to lead and others choose follow, then it’s your responsibility to use your clout to enrich their lives regardless of whether it puts you in danger or not because it’s the right thing to do. I exist to empower and assist my fellow humans. That is why i do things like this. On the surface, it may seem to many like im just a crazy adrenaline junkie and do so much dangerous shit cuz i have a reckless disregard for my own life, and to an extent they’re right, but really drives me is my passion to hone my talents. We all have our own unique talents for many reasons, but to me, the main reason we have them is because there are so many way that they can be used to help others. Tonight is another example of how i utilize my inborn talent for hurting people to help them. Open your third eye and im sure you can you feel the energy of my bloodlust emanating through the screen when you look at my pix. As the time for war draws closer my soul grows colder and the ability to grant mercy is now devoid within me. Mother nature always thirsts for blood in her soil, and Tonight we will give it to her.

raaberg  asked:

What do you guys see as the driving factors/elements behind mass incarceration? Both for the present but also in the past. And also, pros and cons of the prison industrial complex?

The story we’ve been told is that mass incarceration decreases crime. If that were true, less crime should mean fewer people to arrest. But the opposite is true. Crime has plummeted over the last 2 decades, but mass incarceration has exploded anyway. Over 11 million people cycle through jails every year and 2.2 million people are currently incarcerated.

The true drivers of incarceration - profit, racism, and politicized fear-mongering which lead to aggressive sentencing policies that influence police, judges, and prosecutors - shape a disturbing narrative about our country’s incarceration obsession. Both the public and private prison systems are big business for investors and corporations, and has historical roots in slavery and the social control of the poor (read Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow” or watch “13th” for more analysis). The war on drugs, racial profiling, an inability to make bail, and many other factors have resulted in African Americans being incarcerated at a rate more than 5 times that of White Americans.

The consequences of mass incarceration are severe, multi-generational, and self-perpetuating for entire communities. Justice-involvement decreases lifetime earnings by about 40%, and drives people to break the law to address their economic needs. For the 2.7 million children with incarcerated parents, not only are their core needs for stability being neglected, but they are also at increased risk for future justice system involvement.

Our system is utterly broken.

US admits DEA lied about Honduras 'massacre' that killed four villagers
The US Drug Enforcement Administration lied about its role in a bungled anti-narcotics operation in Honduras that left four innocent villagers dead, then misled Congress, the justice department and the public as it tried to cover its tracks
By Nina Lakhani

Honduran officers under the command of DEA agents fired at unarmed passengers traveling by taxi boat in May 2012, killing four people – including two pregnant women and a schoolboy – and seriously injuring three others. The operation, which left several children orphaned, was part of a militarized DEA programme that led to a series of deadly confrontations and has now been abandoned.

The shooting took place after a passenger boat with 16 people on board collided with a disabled vessel carrying American and Honduran agents and large quantities of cocaine that had been seized. The ground troops were escorted by four state department helicopters equipped with mounted door guns.

The DEA said two Honduran officers on the disabled boat had fired at the river taxi in self-defense after they came under gun attack. There is no evidence to suggest any shots were fired from the taxi boat, or that the passengers were involved in drug trafficking

In fact, the officers – who included a DEA agent – shot first, and even aimed at passengers who had jumped or fallen into the river. Then at least one DEA agent in a circling helicopter ordered a Honduran door gunner to fire his machine gun at the passengers from above.

The self-defense motive claimed by the DEA was based, at least in part, on fabricated testimony from a confidential DEA informant who later admitted she had lied.

A quieter drug war in Mexico, but no less deadly

By Nick Miroff, Washington Post, February 1, 2013
MEXICO CITY–As a tactical matter, the gangsters and government security forces fighting Mexico’s drug war have typically opted for the spectacular over the subtle.

Massacres, beheadings and other unspeakable cruelties became cartels’ preferred form of violence. In response, the government sent masked troops with machine guns to patrol Mexico’s streets and paraded its captured drug suspects on television like hunting trophies.

But in the past few months, that has changed. Mexico’s drug war has gone quiet. Not less lethal. Just less loud.

The country’s drug-related homicide numbers remain essentially undiminished. More than 12,000 people were murdered last year in gangland violence, according to the latest Mexican media tallies, roughly the same number that were slain in 2010 and 2011.

Yet polls show public perceptions of security improving. Nearly six months have gone by since gangsters have staged one of the large-scale massacres seemingly devised for maximum shock and terror, like the slaughter of 72 kidnapped migrants near the U.S. border in August 2010 or the time killers dumped 49 human torsos along a highway last May.

Grenade attacks, car bombs and wild urban gun battles have also become more rare. In one especially telling shift, Mexico’s military says the number of attacks on its soldiers dropped more than 50 percent last year, a sign that traffickers were looking to avoid–not ambush–army patrols.

“They’re still fighting each other, but the last thing the criminals want to do right now is confront the military,” said Martin Barron Cruz, an analyst at Mexico’s National Institute of Criminal Sciences. “They have learned that spectacular acts of violence only bring more pressure to bear on them.”

The change appears to be a tactical decision, Barron and other security experts say, as cartel bosses increasingly eschew the kind of open warfare and extravagant barbarity that defined the drug war in 2010 and 2011.

The gore, it seems, was bad for business. A sickened Mexican public has backed the deployment of more and more troops and federal police, bringing new highway checkpoints and additional pressures on the gangsters that drive up the costs of smuggling drugs, most of which are bound for the United States.

Another mass killing or elaborate ambush could happen at any moment, of course. Violence has flared in recent weeks in the gritty cement-block barrios that ring Mexico City. And in northern Mexico last week, gunmen barged into a private party and kidnapped 18 musicians and crew members from the band Kombo Kolombia. One band member escaped; the other 17 were shot and thrown down a well.

But in general, while the cartels are still killing each other at almost the same clip, they’re doing it more quietly and in areas of the country where they’re drawing less attention.

It is a strategy that the Mexican government appears to have adopted as well, in its own way.

Just as the traffickers have lowered the visibility of the violence, so has the administration of Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto.

His predecessor, Felipe Calderon, made the drug fight the central focus of his presidency and his public statements. But since taking office on Dec. 1, Peña Nieto has looked to change the conversation–by talking about trade, poverty reduction, and education and energy reform.

Peña Nieto has also instructed Mexican security forces to curb the practice of dragging handcuffed criminal suspects and alleged traffickers in front of the television cameras before they’ve been charged, a custom known as “presentation” that was a near-daily feature under the previous administration.

These perp-walks often exhibited suspects with fat lips, facial bruises and other signs of rough treatment by authorities.

But if the spectacle was used by Calderon and his predecessors to show the public they were winning the war, Peña Nieto’s decision to end it is meant to signal a new approach.

Officials in his administration say the sight of suspects smirking defiantly as authorities read aloud their criminal aliases–monikers like “Tweety Bird,” “Barbie” and “The Moustache”–sent the wrong message, especially since many later go free for lack of evidence.

Peña Nieto’s government says it wants to focus on securing criminal convictions and protecting judicial integrity, not making Mexico’s bad guys into TV personalities.

Still, the government’s effort to shift the public conversation away from drug violence is a risky one, analysts say, given the lingering perception that Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was corrupt and soft on the cartels when it ran Mexico for much of the 20th century.

Peña Nieto assures U.S. officials he will press on with the drug fight and forge ahead with implementation of the $2 billion security assistance package from Washington known as the Merida Initiative.

But he has also sent the message that his administration wants its relationship with the United States to be about more than drugs, said Eric Olson, a Mexico scholar at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

“The question is: In doing that, does the urgency of dealing with security issues fall off the agenda?” Olson said. “Or the urgency of judicial reform, modernizing the police and reforming the prison system?”

“He’s walking a fine line,” he said.

And if the cartels commit another huge massacre or deadly ambush on federal forces, Peña Nieto may be forced to turn his attention back toward the fight.

“There’s more availability of drugs and more availability of guns, and if that doesn’t change, we’ll continue to see the same trends,” said Alberto Islas, a security expert at the consulting firm Risk Evaluation.

For now though, the new president seems to have some breathing room, partly the result of quieter times in the big border cities that have long been red zones, such as Tijuana and shell-shocked Ciudad Juarez, where the murder rate has dropped nearly 80 percent since 2010, when more than 3,100 were killed.

Local authorities in those cities say their police reforms are paying off and that they have purged their ranks of corrupt officers. Federal forces say they’ve weakened the cartels by taking out many of their top leaders.

But analysts say the violence has simply moved elsewhere, to new flash points in central-northern Mexican cities, like Torreon, that are hundreds of miles south of the border but strategic for control over lucrative smuggling routes.

The Dangers of Calling the Police on the Mentally Ill

After any mass killing comes the wave of stories that ask why no one saw the tragedy coming. Those who knew Elliot Rodger—who killed six people on May 23 in Santa Barbara, California—were likely aware he was disturbed. The 22-year-old had been under psychiatric care since the age of eight, according to the New York Times; Rodger suffered from anxiety, depression, and likely high-functioning autism, and he became progressively more and more isolated as he went through adolescence.

From what I’ve read, his parents tried to help him as best they could: His mother even called the cops when she found his distressing YouTube videos. On April 30, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies questioned Rodger—who managed to talk them out of searching his apartment—but they apparently never actually watched the videos before deciding he wasn’t a threat to anyone else, nor did they check the relevant databases to see if he was a gun owner. It’s easy to criticize the authorities for not divining that this reclusive loner was more violent than other reclusive loners, or to tut-tut at Rodger’s parents for not persuading the police to respond more aggressively, but doing so ignores the serious consequences of calling the cops on a mentally ill relative, and how limited law enforcement’s responses are.

On May 28, the Washington Post published an article on Bill and Tricia Lammers, who in 2012 turned in their 20-year-old mentally ill son Blaec for planning to shoot up a Walmart. Was it a good decision? Sure—except Blaec is now serving a 15-year prison sentence, and it’s not as if his psychiatric problems will have been healed when he gets out. That just underscores the inflexibility of the criminal justice system: All the cops can do, in cases like that of the Lammers, is charge someone for a crime, which in many cases means they’ll spend a long time behind bars.

Around a quarter of people in the US suffer from some type of mental illness, and about 6 percent are dealing with a serious disorder. If a disturbed person’s family thinks he is planning to do something horrific, it can be very difficult to convince medical professionals to help him against his will. That means that the cops are summoned to deal with situations where a psychiatric expert is needed “The mental-health system is totally broken,” Bill Lammers told the Post. “Calling the police is the only option.”

Deploying the cops against anyone in your family is not a decision to be taken lightly. Any time the authorities intervene there’s a chance of someone getting seriously injured or killed, but cops and the mentally ill are a particularly deadly combination. Police in Fullerton, California, famously beat and killed Kelly Thomas, a homeless man with schizophrenia, in 2011; this March officers in Albuquerque, New Mexico, shot a mentally ill homeless man in the back. And it’s not just wandering indigents who are killed this way. In too many incidents to list herementally illindividuals have ended SWAT standoffs by provoking cops into shooting them. By some estimates, half of of the 500-some victims of police shootings in America each year suffer from mental illness. Shootings like the one that Elliot Rodger perpetrated in California are relatively rare compared to incidents that end with a police bullet in the body of a mentally ill person—shouldn’t we be talking about policies that solve the latter problem as well as the former?


Latin American leaders assail U.S. drug ‘market’ | The Washington Post

Latin American leaders have joined together to condemn the U.S. government for soaring drug violence in their countries, blaming the United States for the transnational cartels that have grown rich and powerful smuggling dope north and guns south.

Alongside official declarations, Latin American governments have expressed growing disgust for U.S. drug consumers — both the addict and the weekend recreational user heedless of the misery and destruction stemming from their pleasures. +

The world learned of her decapitation on the Internet.

Early Oct. 16, the Twitter account @Miut3 started posting disturbing images of a young woman, beheaded in the desert sand. Headphones and a keyboard were placed next to her decapitated body, a warning to observers.

The woman in the photo turned out to be @Miut3 herself. “My life has come to an end today. Don’t put your families at risk like I did,” the tweet read. “I’m sorry. I died for nothing. They are closer on our trail than you think.”

This gruesome slaying was not the latest Islamic State beheading of a Westerner. The body and Twitter account belonged to María del Rosario Fuentes Rubio, the first documented case of a citizen journalist being killed for work published on social media. Rubio actively reported on alleged government collusion with criminal and drug cartels prior to her death. She posted her reports on social media and relayed information to other journalists.

Given how she died, it’s easy to assume Rubio was killed documenting the atrocities of the Islamic State (IS), which has cut a bloody swath across northern Iraq, arousing fear and indignation around the world. On June 10, the group seized Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, overnight, then captured Tikrit on the following day. On Aug. 8, the U.S. military launched its first series of airstrikes in northern Iraq and Syria, and efforts to train a proxy army to fight IS characterize the American counterstrategy.

But beheadings, massacres and wholesale killings are not limited to IS brutality, and these militants have overshadowed a crisis taking place in a country that can be seen from U.S. backyards. Americans remain largely unaware of the thousands killed by cartels every year in Mexico, and the violence doesn’t end at the border: According to Narcosphere, a website tracking drug-war violence in the U.S., as many as 5,700 Americans were killed on U.S. soil from 2006 to 2010.

T.I. releases ‘Us or Else’ EP and makes every lyric count

T.I. released Us or Else, his most socially conscious EP, in the wake of continued police brutality and burgeoning racial tensions across the nation. The six tracks include several nods to the Black Lives Matter movement, the failed war on drugs, gun violence within and without the black community and the need for reparations. It’s on Tidal — but there’s good news.

follow @the-movemnt

Mike Brown Autopsy Results: Marijuana Found In Ferguson Teen's Body; Does Pot Increase Violent Behavior?

The disclosure that Ferguson teen Michael Brown had cannabis in his system raises questions about the drug’s alleged links to crime.

“The short answer is no.” - David Sirota

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