drug trafficking

December 20, 2017

How Bolivia is re-branding the coca leaf in hopes of reclaiming the crop's cultural and (legal) economic potential.

President Donald Trump congratulated Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on his hard-won peace deal with leftist rebels who terrorized the South American nation for 50 years. But Trump did not explicitly endorse the plan that has divided the Colombia, left gaping questions about future U.S. financial support. [...] During a joint appearance in the East Room, Trump did pledge to continue to work with the Colombian government to target drug trafficking networks and reduce coca cultivation and cocaine production

On 29 April Indonesia executed seven foreigners and one Indonesian for drug offences. The refusal of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to offer clemency despite pleas from foreign leaders has been analysed in a number of ways.(...)But was his decision instead a deliberate act of public diplomacy, designed to send signals to those missing the Sukarno era?

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been leading what officials describe as a "massive" private and public diplomacy campaign to persuade Indonesian leaders to halt the execution of drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, convicted of trafficking heroin.

Indonesia’s foreign ministry told Australia on Wednesday that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s reminder about a $1 billion aid rendered during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami crisis will not change Indonesia’s mind about executing the Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran for drug trafficking. Foreign Ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir told reporters that he understood what Abbott meant with his statement.

Incompatible attitudes towards recreational drugs complicates Australian diplomacy in the region. (...) For Australia’s foreign policy in Indonesia, this causes problems. Canberra has had a tougher than usual relationship with Jakarta in recent years.

It seems an impossible mission to achieve economic, social and cultural growth in a country bled dry by drug trafficking guerrillas such as FARC operating in the most productive regions and retaining violent influence in the main cities. But Colombia has been making it happen.

Information that was routinely released during the Calderón years is now locked away, including some basic information on the cartels. The government instead talks up its political and economic reforms as “Mexico’s Moment,” in what is little more than a public-relations effort to brush the continuing violence under the rug.