Thursday, January 18, 2007

Drug Traffficking

On 17 January 2007, BBC Two Television broadcast ‘The 12-Year-Old Drug Smuggler’. This was a documentary of a 12-year-old girl in Bolivia tried as an adult and sentenced to one year in prison for attempting to smuggle cocaine. She was caught with several soap-cake-sized bars of cocaine paste strapped to her body with masking tape after the bus she was on was searched at a police checkpoint.

The girl was carrying the drug at the request of her mother who needed the money her daughter would receive when she delivered the drugs to the next level dealer. If the delivery had been successful, the drug would have continued up the chain until it reached the streets of Los Angeles, London and Dublin. There the cocaine would have been sold to addicts who might themselves end-up in jail for purchasing it or for stealing the funds to make the buy, thus, the cycle of cocaine trafficking that started with the destitute would have ended up with the destitute.

Over centuries in Bolivia the coca leaf has served as a component of traditional ritual and for use in medical treatment. Chewing the leaf also provides energy and relieves perpetual hunger fueled by the lack of income-producing work for a large segment of the population. Thus, the promise by agents of the drug cartels to subsistence-living individuals that processing cocoa leaves to produce cocaine would provide an end to their plight, fell on eager ears. However, urged on by diplomats of the U.S. government, this processing was made illegal under Bolivian Law. Thus, today Bolivian prisons house generation after generation of women because of the minimal part they play in the cocaine trade. Furthermore, because so many of these women have children, the prisons also house their youngsters whose formative years are now spent in this environment. Meanwhile, the profits from cocaine production, transportation and sale end up in the hands of the profiteers.

In addition to the drug cartels, an internal CIA investigation has confirmed they covered up covert crack cocaine trafficking by the Nicaraguan Contras that helped finance the US Government’s secret military assistance to Iran during the Ronald Reagan presidency that was overseen by Oliver L. North. See:,, and

When an intoxicating substance is made illegal, covert and criminal drug profiteers enter full-force as they need to ensure customer demand to enhance profits. Therefore, a major part of their operation at street level is to entice others to escape reality by ingesting their product with the most vulnerable target being disenfranchised and disillusioned young people. Therefore, it is my firmly held belief that until governments abolish laws that make drug-use illegal we will continue to have this vicious cycle repeated ad infinitum. Certainly, the U.S. government should have learned this lesson during Prohibition when the 18th Amendment made alcohol use illegal, thereby, providing a means for organized crime to increase its wealth and influence.

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