11 Stories

Ex-Blackwater Firm Makes Millions in Futile Fight on Afghan Drugs

Guardian: Academi pulled in $569M to kill Afghan narcotics industry, which is thriving

(Newser) - The company formerly known as Blackwater has pulled in a pretty penny from US taxpayers in its Pentagon-supported drive to flush out the Afghan narcotics industry: Nearly $570 million from fiscal 2002 to September 2013 was funneled to the firm now known as Academi—about 32% of the $1.8... More »

US Takes Drug War to Africa

Critics say United States just playing 'Whac-A-Mole,' risks blowback

(Newser) - Latin America has long been the United States' focus on the war on drugs. But increasingly that war is reaching Africa, too, as US forces are training counternarcotic squads in Ghana and are looking to start similar programs in Nigeria and Kenya, reports the New York Times . In addition, the... More »

Congress: US Wasting Billions in War on Drugs

Pair of reports blast counter-narcotics spending in Latin America

(Newser) - The Obama administration has essentially no evidence that the billions spent combating the drug trade in Latin America have done anything to stem the flow of narcotics into the US, according to a pair of scathing new congressional reports. “We are wasting tax dollars and throwing money at a... More »

Video Reveals How CIA Sicced Bombers on US Missionary, Baby

CIA accused of covering up involvement in deaths

(Newser) - Video footage just obtained by ABC News shows how CIA errors caused the deaths of an American missionary and her 7-month-old daughter when their plane was shot down over Peru in 2001. CIA spotters wrongly identified the missionary family's Cessna as a drug traffickers' plane and alerted the Peruvian air... More »

US War on Drugs Has Failed: Report

Americans urged to focus on treatment, prevention, gun sales

(Newser) - America is treating the symptoms rather than the disease of drug use, and its war on drugs will continue to fail unless it changes course, a new report by an influential Washington think tank finds. The report urges the US to develop stronger ties in the Caribbean and Latin America,... More »

Mexico Busts Former Drug Czar

Former head of elite 'corruption-proof' unit accused of passing info to drug cartels

(Newser) - The former chief of Mexico's anti-drug operations has been arrested on suspicion of taking massive bribes from drug cartels, the Wall Street Journal reports. Noe Ramirez, accused of  pocketing $450,000 for passing information on investigations to drug kingpins, is the highest-ranking official arrested so far in "Operation Cleanup,... More »

Drug Kingpins Corrupt Elite Mexican Unit

Top anti-drug agents accused of passing information to traffickers

(Newser) - Two senior officials from an elite Mexican anti-drug unit have been arrested and charged with spying for drug cartels, the Los Angeles Times reports, and dozens of agents have been fired following a tip-off from a captured informant. Prosecutors say the officials leaked information to the gangs they were supposed... More »

Afghan Leader's Brother Tied to Drug Trade: US

Karzai denies claims, but Washington believes 'he's dirty'

(Newser) - The White House believes that the brother of Afghanistan’s US-backed president has ties to the country’s heroin trade, the New York Times reports. Hamid Karzai insists there is no firm proof against his brother, who calls himself a “victim of vicious politics.” But numerous reports from... More »

Mexico's Secret Drug Museum

Museum for the military tells the story of Mexico's drug war

(Newser) - Mexico City's least-known museum may be one of its most interesting, Newsweek reports. The city's Narcotics Museum chronicles drug use in Mexico from the days of the Aztecs to the ruthless heroin-smuggling narcotraficantes of today. Exhibits include bling and heavy weaponry confiscated from drug lords. A visit is essential training... More »

Afghan Cops Blow Up Huge Hashish Stash

260 tons of narcotics destroyed after history's biggest drugs bust

(Newser) - Afghanistan police have made what is believed to be the biggest narcotics bust in history, the Guardian reports. Some 260 tons of hashish—worth $400 million—was found buried in trenches near the Pakistan border. The narcotics haul, which would have made as much as $14 million in profits for... More »

US Targets Afghan Opium Crop

Karzai reluctant to allow spraying of heroin producing crop

(Newser) - The US is pressing the Afghan government to stem its booming poppy crop with mass spraying following the biggest opium harvests in its history—which accounts for 91% of the world's production. Therein lies much of the resurgent Taliban's revenue, the New York Times reports, but Karzai fears a Taliban-inspired... More »

11 Stories