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Thread: Drugs & US Law Enforcement (2006-2017)

  1. #61
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    ISN Security Watch, 3 Sep 07: Colombia, Israel and Rogue Mercenaries
    Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos has acknowledged that Bogota had quietly hired a group of former Israeli military officers to advise local defense officials on their counter-insurgency tactics against leftist Fuerza Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) guerrillas...

    ....Israeli advisors - reportedly consisting of three senior generals, a lower ranking officer, an unnamed Argentinean officer and three translators - were hired under a reported US$10 million contract by the Colombian Defense Ministry to advise on how to improve the army's intelligence gathering capabilities. Santos reportedly approached former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami last year about the deal.

    The Israeli group operates from Tolemaida in Cundinamarca Department, 240 kilometers from the capital Bogota, where the Colombian army runs its "Lancero" counterinsurgency training course, with Colombian army instructors being assisted by US military personnel.....

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    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    I was wondering this morning if you were going to post that JB.

  3. #63
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    Default Diary secrets of Dutch woman fighting for FARC

    Diary secrets of Dutch woman fighting for FARC

    COLOMBIAN forces have captured the intimate diary of a Dutch woman who joined the country's Marxist rebels, in which she gives a rare view of life with the guerrillas deep in the jungle.

    In July, elite troops swept into the camp of a commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), known by the alias of Carlos Antonio Lozada.

    He was wounded in the firefight and carried off by bodyguards, while women in the unit, who were bathing at the time, had to flee into the jungle in their underwear.

    As the troops sifted through the camp, they came across two surprises. The first was Lozada's laptop computer, which held a treasure trove of intelligence, including confidential army plans of counter-guerrilla operations, revealing the extent of FARC infiltration into the military.

    The second surprise was two battered notebooks, the journals of a guerrilla, written in Dutch.
    ...
    http://news.scotsman.com/internation...?id=1460942007

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    IHT, 17 Sep 07: Mexican Drug Gang Attacks Government Intelligence Network
    ....Natividad Gonzalez, governor of the northern state of Nuevo Leon, said federal intelligence officers were tipped off that alleged members of Mexico's Gulf drug cartel "wanted to kidnap two or three agents" prior to the attack last Tuesday in the state capital of Monterrey. Two officers were killed and two more wounded in the ensuing shootout.

    Federal police rounded up about a dozen members of a family believed to work for the cartel in connection with the shootout. The clan, dubbed "The Pedraza Dynasty" by Mexican newspapers, may have learned of the agents' identities from local policemen, Gonzalez said.

    Intelligence agents have been targeted for assassination before, but the attack showed that traffickers not only knew who the agents were but also wanted to take the heavily armed officers alive, Gonzalez said....
    It appears their police anti-corruption drive isn't being too sucessful.....
    “You can change the people and not change the institution,” said Ernesto López Portillo Vargas, executive director of the Institute for Security and Democracy, an independent group that studies police corruption issues. “This is the big risk.”

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    USIP, 25 Sep 07: New Hopes for Negotiated Solutions in Colombia
    This working paper analyzes recent peacemaking efforts between the Colombian government and two of the remaining armed guerrilla groups—the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces-Popular Army (FARC-EP) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). It evaluates the demobilization process with the paramilitary umbrella organization known as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), and current efforts to implement the Justice and Peace law that regulates the paramilitary process. The paper analyzes the roles of third-party actors—primarily the church, civil society more broadly, and the international community—in peace initiatives. In Colombia, these roles include pressuring for peace, setting the stage for peace accords, establishing spaces for dialogue and democratic discussion, creating the mechanisms for conflict resolution necessary for a sustainable peace, facilitating or mediating peace processes themselves, and implementing and monitoring peace agreements.

    While in Colombia and elsewhere peace is usually negotiated between the government and one armed group at a time, this paper underscores that where there are multiple armed actors involved, it makes sense to approach peacemaking in a more comprehensive way. The paper underscores the need to be attentive to the ways that the dynamics within and between each set of armed actors impact the prospects for peace with other armed groups. The USIP conferences on which this paper is based for the first time brought together in Washington, D.C. participants in and analysts of current peace efforts with the AUC, FARC-EP, and ELN. This paper underscores the need to continue to put the experiences of each armed group into dialogue with each other and the need to anticipate the impact (and potential impact) that negotiations and agreements with one sector will have on the other groups and on the prospects for a sustainable and comprehensive peace....
    Complete 42 page paper at the link.

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    ICG, 11 Oct 07: Columbia: Moving Forward with the ELN?
    ....Due to its reduced military capability, many in Colombia believe the ELN is no longer a threat, will eventually disappear on its own, and hence the government is under no pressure to conclude the negotiations. This reasoning is flawed. While the ELN is more a “party in arms” than an insurgent army, it is not defeated. Insurgent groups rarely just go away. The ELN has shown a capacity to survive and revive after coming close to demise. In addition, a peace agreement would be highly beneficial, not only politically for Uribe but also for the ELN, which, however, must find answers to a number of serious questions.

    Some of its fronts are in a more favourable situation than others. Some interact with other illegal armed groups, in particular the FARC, while others are at loggerheads with them; their financial solidity and grip on local communities differ a great deal. The movement risks implosion or fragmentation as well as the possibility that it could not fully implement a ceasefire, since its internal cohesion is weak. Since the death in 1998 of its leader, Spanish priest Manuel Pérez, Nicolas Rodríguez, alias “Gabino”, is responsible for political and military unity, but there are rifts within the COCE itself. Antonio Garcia is allegedly more hardline than Pablo Beltrán and Ramiro Vargas. The interests of Francisco Galán, who is not a COCE member and has spent a decade in prison, from where he has been working for a peace agreement, are not the same as those of the still active commanders.....

  7. #67
    Council Member Wildcat's Avatar
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    Man, I love the ICG. And how appropriate that I'm sitting here at my desk reading this report while sipping on some fine imported Colombian café. Many thanks, sir. I'm finding it hard to stay abreast of what's happening in Colombia while also devoting most of my attention to OIF (and my job, and LSAT studying, and exercise, and the opposite sex...)

  8. #68
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    CSIS, 12 Nov 07: Back From the Brink: Evaluating Progress in Columbia, 1999-2007
    ....It is no secret that Colombia is beset by difficult problems. Illegal armed groups and powerful drug gangs, often working together, continue to challenge the rule of law in parts of the country. The presence of these violent elements fuels other problems: crime, human rights abuses, poverty, and a weakening of governance. Taken out of the context of Colombia’s history, these challenges might be seen as nearly insurmountable.

    In fact, however, Colombia’s current situation represents a major improvement over what it had been only eight years ago. During the 1990s, a confluence of highly negative factors threatened to drag the country down. By 1999, Colombia’s stability was at stake, with guerrillas and paramilitaries threatening to overwhelm the weakened capabilities of the state, violence spiraling out of control, and the economy in free fall.

    Colombia’s emergence from this grave crisis constitutes a success story. It is, however, a story that is not well known, despite the fact that billions of dollars in military and economic assistance from the United States helped bring Colombia “back from the brink.” Successful foreign policy initiatives normally have no shortage of executive branch or congressional leaders claiming authorship but, curiously, not in the case of Colombia. Despite strong bipartisan support for an emergency supplemental package for “Plan Colombia” approved during the Clinton administration in 2000 and vigorously continued during the Bush administration, assistance to Colombia, as well as approval of a trade promotion agreement with Colombia signed late last year, is now a topic of considerable debate.

    This report by the CSIS Americas Program provides a timely and useful point of reference in understanding the difficult issues at stake in Colombia and the U.S.-Colombia relationship. It analyzes the factors that took Colombia to the verge of unraveling in the late 1990s and how the country began to make its way back from instability. Then the report evaluates the impressive progress made between 1999 and 2007 across a broad spectrum of difficult issues, as well as the thorny problems that persist.....

  9. #69
    Council Member MattC86's Avatar
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    Default Interestingly Enough. . .

    . . .I'm writing a research paper right now (or, perhaps, I should be writing) for my agricultural development class on counter-narcotics and development strategies in Colombia.

    Most of the stuff I've seen from development groups is that they consider Plan Colombia a pretty big failure. The combined approach of alternative development and forcible eradication has alienated a lot of small farmers (whose marginalization over the last sixty years is the cause of the Colombian insurgency) and seriously undermined development. The guerillas are on the run, but coca production is not down, and the development people are even more wary than ever of working with the Colombians, and charge the US with putting too much pressure on Colombia to attain coca crop reduction targets, and too little emphasis on sustainable long term development. Simple eradication is not sustainable, and unsustainable "development" is really just relief. . .

    Matt
    Last edited by MattC86; 12-06-2007 at 06:05 AM. Reason: moronic typos, etc.
    "Give a good leader very little and he will succeed. Give a mediocrity a great deal and he will fail." - General George C. Marshall

  10. #70
    Council Member Sergeant T's Avatar
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    Default How America Lost The War On Drugs

    Very long article in Rolling Stone. They definitely went for quantity over quality, but an interesting read nonetheless. From the end of the article:

    The drug war, in the end, has been undone in no small part by the sweeping and inflexible nature of its own metaphor. At the beginning, in the days of Escobar, the campaign was a war as seen from the situation room, a complicated assault that spanned multiple fronts, but one which had identifiable enemies and a goal. Today, the government's anti-drug effort resembles a war as seen from the trenches, an eternal slog, where victory seems not only unattainable but somehow beside the point. For the drug agents and veterans who busted Escobar, the last decade and a half have been a slow, agonizing history of defeat after defeat, the enemy shifting but never retreating. "You get frustrated," Joe Toft, a former DEA country attache in Colombia, tells me. "We've never had a true effort where the U.S. as a whole says, 'We're never going to crack this problem without a real demand-reduction program.' That's something that's just never happened."

  11. #71
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    Default Traffic control

    A long read and of course focussed on just the USA. Lots to learn and beware of "special interests", lobbyists and easy solution salesmen. Are there lessons to be learnt beyond the USA and places like Colombia & Mexico? Afghanistan has been a thread on SWJ before.

    The film 'Traffic' is a very graphic, if slightly dated similar account.

    I'd also recommned (again) the book 'From Pablo to Osama: Trafficking and Terrorist Networks, Government Bureaucracies and Competitive Adaptation' by Michael Kenny, Pub. Penn State Univ Press 2007.

    davidbfpo

  12. #72
    Council Member Tom OC's Avatar
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    Default Abstinence Regimes

    I think the best criminological exposition of Prof. David Kennedy's "pulling levers" approach is in this law review article at Harvard. The rolling stone article makes mention of Kennedy's ideas being the lastest, greatest thing in the war on drugs strategy, and I have seen the way law enforcement embraces it, although in my opinion, an i2 approach would be better than the GIS approach in pulling levers. However, what's probably most interesting is the poor way criminologists conceive of outcomes. Prof. Kennedy actually thinks that in a properly-advertised abstinence regime, offenders will not only get arrested less often, but will start turning themselves in.

  13. #73
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Interesting intersection. Valparaiso University is next door.
    Sam Liles
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  14. #74
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    Default LA Times - Little-known mafia is cocaine 'king'

    GIOIA TAURO, ITALY -- Europe is fast overtaking the U.S. as the leading destination for the world's cocaine, and a single Italian mafia is largely responsible.

    The 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate, a ruthless and mysterious network of 155 families born in the rough hills here in southern Italy's Calabria region, now dominates the European drug trade. By establishing direct ties with Colombian producers and building a multibillion-dollar empire that spans five continents, the syndicate has metamorphosed into one of the craftiest criminal gangs in the world, authorities say.

    " 'Ndrangheta is king," said Sabas Pretelt de la Vega, a former Colombian interior minister who is his country's ambassador to Rome.

    The 'Ndrangheta (pronounced en-DRAHN-geh-tah) peculiarly combines the modern skills of multinational-corporation high finance with a stubborn grip on archaic rural traditions. Some members live in garishly opulent villas outside Madrid and invest in bustling restaurants and hotels in Germany, whereas others, including key bosses, remain in the dreary, closed Calabrian mountain villages of their birth. It is a mafia of businessmen in Dolce & Gabbana, of sheepherders in scruffy woolens.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/printedi...ck=1&cset=true
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  15. #75
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    From the Jan-Feb 08 Military Review:

    Threat Analysis: Organized Crime and Narco-Terrorism in Northern Mexico
    Organized crime syndicates are modern enemies of democracy that relentlessly engage in kidnapping and assassination of political figures, and traffic not only in addictive and lethal substances, but also increasingly in human beings. To create an environment conducive to success in their criminal interests, they engage in heinous acts intended to instill fear, promote corruption, and undermine democratic governance by undercutting confidence in government. They assassinate or intimidate political figures and pollute democratic processes through bribes and graft in cities along both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. In the long term, such actions erode individual civil liberties in America and Mexico by undermining both governments’ abilities to maintain societies in which the full exercise of civil liberties is possible. This danger is ominously evident on the Mexican side of the border, where 86 percent of those responding to a poll in Mexico City in 2004 said they would support government restrictions of their civil rights in order to dismantle organized crime, and another 67 percent said militarizing the police force would be the only way to accomplish this. These views suggest that an extremely unhealthy sociopolitical environment is evolving at America’s very doorstep. We should see this not as a collateral issue associated with the War on Terrorism, but as a national security issue deserving of the same level of interest, concern, and resourcing as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    This article provides an ethnographic analysis of narco-terrorism, narcocorruption, and human trafficking in the northern states of Mexico, and an overview of Mexican organized crime and its destabilizing effect on Mexico’s attempts to create a functioning, uncorrupt democracy.....

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    NYT, 22 Jan 08: Mexico Hits Drug Gangs With Full Fury of War
    These days, it is easy to form the impression that a war is going on in Mexico. Thousands of elite troops in battle gear stream toward border towns and snake through the streets in jeeps with .50-caliber machine guns mounted on top while fighter jets from the Mexican Navy fly reconnaissance missions overhead.

    Gun battles between federal forces and drug-cartel members carrying rocket-propelled-grenade launchers have taken place over the past two weeks in border towns like Río Bravo and Tijuana, with deadly results.

    Yet what is happening is less a war than a sustained federal intervention in states where for decades corrupt municipal police officers and drug gangs have worked together in relative peace, officials say. The federal forces are not only hunting cartel leaders, but also going after their crews of gunslingers, like Gulf Cartel guards known as the Zetas, who terrorize the towns they control.....

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    BBC, 23 Jan 08: Colombia's Campaign to Win Rebel Minds
    As the hostage crisis continues in Colombia, the government is stepping up its efforts to bring another group of people back from the country's jungles: the guerrillas themselves.

    New figures show that a record number of illegal fighters - nearly 3,200 - demobilised last year under a government scheme which offers immunity and benefits.

    In the words of Colombia's deputy defence minister, Sergio Jaramillo, "Some countries have had amnesties for a few months, but Colombia is perhaps the only one with a permanently open hand."....

  18. #78
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    ISN Security Watch, 29 Jan 08: Violence on the US-Mexico Border
    Dozens of murders have resulted from battles between the Mexican security forces and armed criminals along the US-Mexico border since the beginning of this year. It is a spike in violence that has many in the US worried that gun fights may spill across the border, carrying all the reprisals that left a string of Mexican border towns without journalists, mayors, police chiefs and musicians in 2007.

    In another bloody encounter for what has already been a violent year, on 7 January, a van full of gunmen ran a roadblock outside the border town of Reynosa, Mexico. Mexican soldiers and federal police chased the van to a small house across the street from the Reynosa police station. The gun battle began soon after. In the aftermath, 10 suspects were arrested and five policemen were dead. Along with the suspects, Mexican police seized three automatic rifles, an Uzi submachine gun, grenades and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

    The US Border Patrol has not taken any extra precautions, but is keeping its agents in the field "abreast of the situation," according to Border Patrol spokesman Oscar Saldana.....

  19. #79
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    2008 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 29 Feb 08

    The 2008 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) is an annual report by the Department of State to Congress prepared in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act. It describes the efforts of key countries to attack all aspects of the international drug trade in Calendar Year 2007.

    Volume I: Drug and Chemical Control

    Volume 2: Money Laundering and Financial Crimes

  20. #80
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Interesting show on Showtime this month. Called American Drug War. Check local listings for local times. I watched it last night,it's 2 hours long....Tom Odom you should watch this....I think the producer must be related to you...he was very pro legalization. link to website http://www.americandrugwar.com/
    Last edited by slapout9; 03-18-2008 at 06:32 PM. Reason: fix link

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