• The Northern Triangle’s drugs-violence nexus

    The role of the drugs trade in criminal violence and policy responses in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras
    Liza Ten Velde
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 19
    November 2012

    Mexico has occupied the limelight when it comes to media attention focusing on drug-related violence in Latin America. However, it is actually Central America's Northern Triangle – consisting of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – currently experiencing much higher rates of violence and increasing Drug Trafficking Organization (DTOs) activity, thus providing an illustration of the 'balloon effect' previously experienced by Mexico itself after the implementation of Plan Colombia which was conceived at the end of the 90's. Together the countries of the Northern Triangle now form one of the most violent regions on earth.

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  • Coca Myths

    Anthony Henman Pien Metaal
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 17
    June 2009

    The coca leaf has been used and misused for many ends, each of them suiting different interests and agendas. Even its very name has been appropriated by a soft drinks producer, which still has difficulties in admitting that the plant is used to produce its "black gold". Every day press accounts around the world use the word coca in their headlines, when they refer in fact to cocaine.

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  • Losing Ground

    Drug Control and War in Afghanistan
    Cristian Rivier Martin Jelsma Tom Kramer
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 15
    December 2006

    The worsening armed conflict and the all-time record opium production in Afghanistan have caused a wave of panic. We are losing ground. Calls are being made for robust military action by NATO forces to destroy the opium industry in southern Afghanistan. But intensifying a war on drugs in Afghanistan now would further fuel the conflict, which is the last thing that the country needs.

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  • 'Paco' Under Scrutiny

    The cocaine base paste market in the Southern Cone
    Transnational Institute (TNI)
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 14
    October 2006

    Based on two studies carried out in the cities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, this report examines the origin, characteristics and impact of the explosive increase in cocaine base paste in urban areas. It also highlights the variety of products consumed in these cities and the substance known as crack that is consumed in Brazilian cities. The Brazilian experience with this consumption could serve as an example and a lesson for the Southern Cone.

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  • Coca Yes, Cocaine No?

    Legal options for the coca leaf
    Mario Argandoña, Anthony Henman, Ximena Echeverría Pien Metaal Martin Jelsma Ricardo Soberón
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 13
    May 2006

    A decade-old demand to remove the coca leaf from strict international drugs controls has come to the fore again. Time has come to repair an historical error responsible for including the leaf amongst the most hazardous classified substances, causing severe consequences for the Andean region.

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  • Downward Spiral

    Banning Opium in Afghanistan and Burma
    Martin Jelsma Tom Kramer
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 12
    June 2005

    Opium farmers in Afghanistan and Burma are coming under huge pressure as local authorities implement bans on the cultivation of poppy. Banning opium has an immediate and profound impact on the livelihoods of more than 4 million people. These bans are a response to pressure from the international community. Afghan and Burmese authorities alike are urging the international community to accompany their pressure with substantial aid.

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  • Coca or death?

    Cocalero Movements in Peru and Bolivia
    Allison Spedding Pallet & Hugo Cabieses Cubas
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 10
    April 2004

    Following Bolivia's 2002 parliamentary elections, the success of the political party headed by cocalero leader Evo Morales, rekindled debate regarding cocalero organisations in the Andes and their vindications. Disinformation around these organisations has contributed to a rise in terms like narcoguerrilleros and narcoterroristas, etc. being applied to the various cocalero peasant movements.

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  • Cross Purposes

    Alternative Development and Conflict in Colombia
    Ricardo Vargas
    TNI Drugs and Conflict Debate Paper 7
    June 2003

    The anti-drug strategy in Colombia limits the establishment of the basic political conditions necessary to attain the socio-economic goals of alternative development in the midst of war. President Álvaro Uribe's strategy only serves to make the ground fertile for more violence and instability.

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  • Change of Course

    An Agenda for Vienna
    Martin Jelsma
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Papers 6
    March 2003

    By 1998, when the United Nations convened a special General Assembly on drugs, there was already overwhelming evidence that the current approach to global drugs control had failed miserably, given the continuing rise in consumption and production. However, the evidence was ignored and no evaluation of what was wrong with current drug policy took place. Instead, as a New York Times editorial noted, unrealistic pledges were recycled, this time aiming at eliminating all drug production by the year 2008. In mid-April this year, the mid-term review of the goals and targets set by the special session on drugs is to take place in Vienna.

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  • Breaking the Impasse

    Polarisation & Paralysis in UN Drug Control
    David Bewley-Taylor Martin Jelsma
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 5
    July 2002

    The past decade has seen an increasing polarisation between divergent trends in global drug policies. On the one hand, there has been an escalation in the US driven War on Drugs, which has created a drug gulag domestically and increased and militarised forced eradication abroad. On the other hand, in Europe and several like-minded countries, a more flexible and pragmatic approach has gained ground in domestic drug policy-making, taking distance from indiscriminate repression and the zero-tolerance approach. In these countries, the trend towards greater leniency has become irreversible and rational thinking is gradually replacing the dogmas of the past. Such tolerant approaches have reached their legal limits within the framework of the current UN Drug Conventions.

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