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Living with the U.S.

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Living with the U.S.
LIVING WITH THE U.S.
THE MERIDA INITIATIVE
4/28/2010
Colombia
Colombia: Background

1985: M-19 seizes the Palace of Justice
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Deaths: 33 guerrillas, 11 security forces, 11 justices, 43 civilians
1986: Presidential Directive #221 (Reagan) makes drugs a
U.S. national security threat
1979: M-19 begins kidnappings of the families of drug
lords
1981: MAS forms
1982: Paramilitary groups form, merge with MAS
1989: La Rochela massacre (MAS); revocation of the 1965
law legalizing paramilitary groups
1990’s: FARC gives responsibility for local finances to local
commanders; kidnappings increase
1993: Pablo Escobar killed
What is “Plan Colombia”?


A body of US legislation and policies aimed at
ending drug production in Colombia and at
weakening armed leftist groups
An agreement signed by Pastrana and Clinton in
2000 which established U.S. aid for Colombian
anti-cocaine efforts
 Initially
Plan Colombia focused on ending civil conflict
and on humanitarian and development aid
 The final agreement focused on counternarcotics and on
military aid
What is “Plan Colombia”?
Goals: drug reduction and national security

Counternarcotics
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Crop eradication
Interdiction
Alternative
development

Territorial Control

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Growth and
professionalization of
the military
Military engagement
Expanded police
presence

Aid
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Internally displaced
persons
Demobilization
Judicial reform
Poppy cultivation and heroin production declined about 50%
Coca cultivation increased by about 15%; cocaine production increased
by 4%
FARC combatants decreased by about 50%
What is “Plan Colombia”?
Military as % of Total
80 %
99%
76%
80% 82%
82%
81%
80 %
64%
79%
What is “Plan Colombia”?


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Myth: Planting coca improves the growers’ standard of
living
Myth: More coca means more forest, since other cash
crops require greater area
Myth: Fumigation will make immigrants who produce
illicit crops return to their area of origin
Myth: Illicit crop eradication increases consumer price
thereby reducing demand
Myth: Illicit crop eradication through aerial fumigation is
environmentally neutral and it works
Liliana M. Dávalosa; Adriana C. Bejaranob; H. Leonardo Correac. "Disabusing
Cocaine: Pervasive Myths and Enduring Realities of a Globalised Commodity,"
International Journal of Drug Policy; 20 (2009) pp. 381–386.
Mexico
Calderón’s War
Calderón wins the Presidential election by only 0.5% and
assumes office Dec. 1, 2006
 Targets corruption and the drug cartels
 The cartels respond with increased violence, targeted at
security officers
Since Calderón took office:
 government has extradited more than 200 criminal suspects,
more than double the rate of predecessors
 accusations of human rights abuses by the army have risen
sixfold
 more than 18,000 people have been killed in drug-related
violence; half the murders have been isolated in four cities:
Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Culiacan and Chihuahua.
The U.S. Connection
"Each year an estimated 350 tons of cocaine, together with
other drugs, finds its way to the U.S., while more than $25
billion flows south into the cartels' coffers."

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Mexican production follow US
consumption patterns
90% of the guns used by
Mexican narco-traffickers
come from the U.S.; up to
2,000 weapons a day cross
the border.
Mexican drug cartels have a
presence in some 230 U.S.
cities
The "Merida Initiative"

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$1.4 billion in aid over 3 years to help Mexican
police and military; this represents about 20% of
Mexico's annual anti-narcotics budget
helping disrupt drug gangs through better
equipment, training and technology;
helping create stronger institutions for the rule of
law;
creating a "smart" border that stops drugs, guns
and drug money but allows commerce to continue;
trying to address the underlying problems that fuel
drug violence, such as a lack of job creation.
Questions

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Why do cartels flourish in Mexico and Colombia? Is
the state in question capable of addressing these
weaknesses?
What is the goal of the "war on drugs"? to
dismantle the cartels, reduce their size, end the
violence, and/or disrupt drug shipments?
Is the US response to the Colombian and Mexican
crises adequate? Is it appropriate?
Is Plan Colombia a success? Plan Merida?
Policy Papers


Pick a point of contention between the US and your
country- it does not have to be drugs.
Look at various policies that might resolve this
problem.
 The

existing policy MAY be one of the options.
Recommend one as having the best chance of
success.
 the
existing policy SHOULD NOT be the recommended
option - if the existing policy works fine there would not
be a problem.
Fly UP