drug wars

A Step Towards Fascism in the Philippines?

Cindy Domingo

Duterte won the Philippine elections last May in a field of five candidates. Running on a platform of implementing law and order and ridding the country of drugs, Duterte has made good on his promise. However, human rights activists and lawyers and sectors of the international community, including President Barack Obama and UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon, have raised concerns over the extrajudicial killings, numbering over 3,500 as of September 22.

Why Decriminalizing Marijuana Will Help the Failing War on Drugs

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

A frank admission that the laws are biased and unfair, and have not done much to combat the drug plague, would be an admission of failure. It could ignite a real soul-searching over whether all the billions of dollars that have been squandered in the failed and flawed drug war -- the lives ruined by it, and the families torn apart by the rigid and unequal enforcement of the laws -- has really accomplished anything. This might call into question why people use and abuse drugs in the first place. 

As Violence Rages on in Mexico, a Cultural Renaissance Emerges

Louis E.V. Nevaer

In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s deadliest city, where the drug war has been exacerbated by a well-documented (and still unsolved) wave of violence directed against women, a growing number of young people are using music as a platform to raise their voice against the culture of violence, fear and apparent impunity enjoyed by the drug cartels and those shadowy criminals responsible for the wave of femicides.

What Will President Obama Do About Marijuana Laws?

Edward Wyckoff Williams

This past week might very well mark the beginning of the end of the war on drugs as we know it, with recreational use of marijuana becoming legal in the state of Washington as a result of its citizens' vote. Coloradoans approved a similar measure and established an exchange in which citizens can grow and purchase the drug for medicinal use. A recent Quinnipiac poll shows that 54 percent of Americans support legalizing the drug, while 44 percent oppose it. As states slowly begin to decriminalize marijuana, it remains to be seen whether President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will continue to enforce federal oversight to arrest and prosecute offenders, no matter a state's laws. 

Ongoing Drug Wars Overshadow New Mexican President’s Arrival in Office

Kent Paterson

As outgoing Mexican president Felipe Calderon prepares to enter the Ivory Tower of Harvard, skeletons are rattling the walls of Mexico during the last few days of his administration. Within the past week, Mexican authorities have recovered the remains of scores of murder victims from mass grave sites situated in different regions of  the country. At the same time, relatives of victims of gender, state and other forms of violence have been staging demonstrations in Mexico City, Chihuahua City, Acapulco and other places in demand of justice for murder victims and thousands of disappeared persons, some missing for decades.

Brutal Murders Near U.S.-Mexican Border Raise Suspicions About Drug Cartels

Manuel Rueda

On Sunday, May 13, Mexican police found 49 mutilated bodies, believed by some to be migrants, on a road that connects the industrial city of Monterrey with the United States border. The corpses had their hands, heads, and feet chopped off, making them difficult to identify. Drug cartels have increasingly used the public display of corpses as warning to other cartels or criminal organizations. 

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