Elections and drug trafficking: Colombians must speak the truth – Politics

(You may be interested: Balance and challenges in the fight against drug trafficking in Colombia)

The profound economic consequences left by these two years of pandemic, which make the social inequalities that the country suffers more burdensome, force to seek fundamental solutions, in order to guarantee the sustainability of democratic institutions and consolidate the social rule of law that it was forged in the 1991 Constitution, which is the only thing that can prevent mafia projects from taking over the Nation or becoming a factor of regional power, as is the case in Mexico.

In our country, in recent years the productive debate on the impact of drug trafficking, which took place at the end of the previous century, has been abandoned; For this reason, I decided to turn to three experts who have continued to reflect on this issue.

“The ‘war on drugs’ led by Washington, and which reflects its perspectives, priorities and practices, has had a decisive, but not exclusive, influence on the adoption of this strategy in Colombia. The ambiguous anti-narcotics crusade must be understood as the simultaneous, contradictory and complex product of external factors that ‘push’ it and internal factors that ‘attract’ it. Colombia embraced a ‘war’ that it wanted to carry out. There is sufficient empirical evidence on the failure of the public policies implemented, noting that there is no socio-political coalition in the country willing to assume an alternative strategy.

In Colombia and Latin America alike, that the advance of drug trafficking, and with it the rise of organized crime, is linked more to internal institutions and external vulnerability

“It is known, in Colombia and Latin America alike, that the advance of drug trafficking, and with it the rise of organized crime, is more closely related to internal institutions and external vulnerability; that is, it would be a governance problem. Such advance is known to undermine democracy, weaken the rule of law, facilitate corruption, increase social injustice, produce direct and indirect costs on the economy, exacerbate a subculture that rewards illegality, degrades the political system, affects national sovereignty. and reduces state autonomy on the international front ”.

Coinciding with Tokatlian, the debate on how to confront and overcome the drug trafficking phenomenon must be unlocked. It seems that the discussion had frozen from the proposal of the cocaine legalization; Without debating whether the way is to legalize or not, at the international level this proposal has not had an echo and in the short and medium term, everything indicates that it has no future. It is necessary to agree on different formulas that guarantee that drug trafficking does not continue to consolidate as an international business or undermine democratic institutions.

On the viability of legalizing cocaine, Professor Eduardo Pizarro opines: “Many analysts argue that the only real solution to face cocaine production is its legalization. It is, however, a proposal without a realistic basis, for two reasons.

“First, at the international level, far from increasing the nations favorable to its legalization, the nations that are radically opposed to this option are increasing. We are not just talking about Muslim countries or China and Russia. In no Western nation is this option even being contemplated. If a president in Colombia made the unilateral decision to legalize cocaine, it would immediately turn our country into a ‘pariah nation’.

(Also: What does the US decision on fumigation in Colombia imply?)

For the experts,
it’s not clear
that percentage
of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) corresponds to the drug trafficking business

“For these reasons, legalization is not only an easy solution, but an unfeasible one. And, therefore, the country must structure a policy based on other measures, the controlled use of glyphosate being the most efficient.

“However, as soon as it was decided in the framework of the peace negotiations in Havana with the FARC to end the threat of the use of aerial fumigation (in addition to the perverse incentive of economic offers in exchange for the destruction of crops) we began to have more than 150,000 hectares planted.

Read more: Dispute over drug trafficking unleashed a wave of homicides in Santa Marta

“For this reason, Colombia should not fall into the debate on legalization as the only real option, but rather seriously discuss more realistic options at least in the short and medium term.”

For experts, it is not clear what percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) corresponds to the drug trafficking business, as Professor Francisco Thoumi has argued: “The available estimates, which try to establish the percentage of GDP attributable to the production of illegal drugs , have enormous measurement difficulties. The sales of the illegal industry require an estimate of the size of the crops, of the productivity in terms of alkaloid content, of the quality of the chemicals used in the manufacture of cocaine, of the proportion of the production that is captured, of the percentage of this that ‘returns’ to the market. It is necessary to estimate the prices of drugs in each market and the proportion that corresponds to Colombian traffickers; how much is spent on consumption in Colombia and how much is invested; the cost of imported inputs for crops and drug refining.

“They are necessary estimates for the value of exports. Today the national market has grown, which requires estimating the profits of drug trafficking in domestic markets.

“This assumes that the illegal drug industry has emerged exogenously as world demand growth and that it is not related to corruption, violence, etc. All the pre-modern characteristics of society that make it vulnerable to changes in external environments have had nothing to do with the development of the illegal drug industry, and in particular with the concentration of the global cocaine industry in Colombia.

“Colombia has followed a consistent drug policy for 45 years: we will not stop producing cocaine as long as there is irresistible global demand. For this reason, the very slow changes in the global treatment of marijuana are emphasized and presented as evidence that the recreational use of cocaine is going to be legalized. In the end, the world will get tired of us putting cocaine into it and it will legitimize what we have done by exporting it ”.

The debate is served: the presidential candidates have the floor.

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