. “The Drug War Devolves in Honduras
[N]ot until the 16th paragraph in the AP story [on Honduras] do we learn that “International crackdowns in Mexico and the Caribbean have pushed drug trafficking to Central America, which is now the crossing point for 84 percent of all U.S-bound cocaine.” According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, America is still the “world’s largest consumer of cocaine (shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean), Colombian heroin, and Mexican heroin and marijuana.”
First it was Colombia. The drug trade has supposedly diminished there now, though questions remain about how much it has declined, how long this will last, and whether farmers will be able to grow anything else there, since the country has been dusted-over with Roundup for years. Then it was Mexico’s problem. But now that Mexico’s government is boasting that its military crackdown on drug cartels is beginning to bear fruit, we must shift our resources ($1 trillion has been spent over 40 years on the drug war) to Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, where the trade has supposedly arrived with a vengeance. Is the next stop Peru? Because, according to The Los Angeles Times, that country is once again the world’s top cocaine producer.
“We can never really win the so-called war on drugs. It’s a demand-driven enterprise,” Chuck Pena, senior fellow at the Independent Institute, told TAC. ”And the profit margins are so high that it will always attract criminal elements. Even if we could eliminate the supply-side in a place like Honduras, production is just likely to shift to another location.”
Neither the military nor the DEA will suggest that their efforts are futile or even consider pulling back from the region. They are institutionally committed to the notion that brute force will in fact, prevail over the illicit drug market. Ditto for the State Department and the Office of Drug Control Policy, which sets the intensity level for fighting the drug war under each administration.
Chasing the trade won’t destroy it, but it will continue to have horrific unintended consequences — like strengthening corrupt governments that hurt their people and keeping the black market alive, feeding gangs and endless violence. Just this week, the Associated Press reported an “unprecedented surge” of unaccompanied children jumping our southern border to get into the U.S from Central America, and Honduras in particular. Many of them don’t make it, and are sent back to lives made untenable by brutal poverty, gangs, and neglect.
These are our drug war orphans, made in part by failed policies that ignore the historic folly of prohibition.”