Jan 7, 2013

Against the war on drugs affected countries are on their own

From a paper by Jean Daudelin: 
Canada has little at stake, directly or indirectly, in the current security predicament of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean . . .  
If the history of Canada’s past security involvement in the Americas—particularly in Haiti—is any guide, action will likely involve a hodge-podge of initiatives, mostly training or support for human rights organizations and multilateral projects focusing on long-term institutional reforms essentially irrelevant to the current epidemics of drug violence.
The abstract of the paper:
Current crime and drug-related violence in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America does not represent a major national security preoccupation for the United States or for Canada; it is not strongly related to Canada’s own crime and drug-related public safety problems, which anyway are very well managed under current arrangements; finally, Canadian economic interests are limited in the region and most are not under threat in any significant way. However, and while one should be careful not to exaggerate their relevance, there are good political and diplomatic reasons, in the end, to do “something.”
It adds: 
The most effect could probably be obtained in countries such as Jamaica, where the problem is serious, or Costa Rica, where it may become so, where real local capabilities and still functional polities offer a sound ground on which to build. Haiti, however, already cursed with “a cacophony of aid” (Zanotti, 2010), is unlikely to be responsive. Central America is also a challenging terrain, especially those countries, like Honduras and Guatemala, that are plagued with corrupt political systems and violent and largely autonomous security apparatus.
Basically, Latin American countries are on their own to promote a regional legalization of major drugs to reduce the violence. 

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