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Stratfor Bungles Central American Drug Trade Analysis

April 6th, 2009
Northward bound (DOJ)

Northward-bound cocaine flows. (DOJ)

The Austin-based geopolitical analysis firm Stratfor recently published an article entitled, “Central America: An Emerging Role in the Drug Trade.” We were on the road and thus unable to post when it came out, but wanted to share a few errors we found.

First, Central America was a transit corridor back to the 1960’s. This was clearly documented by the 1970’s. For proof, look no further than the charges and counter-charges between the Sandinistas and the Contras over which had dirtier hands when it came to drug money. (The answer, not surprisingly, was both.)

Recipient of the Medal of Freedom

Recipient of the Medal of Freedom

Second, Mexican influencing replacing Colombian influence owes more to Uribe’s successes than anything the Mexicans did or even wished they could do. They are having to go further upstream to keep the supply flowing.

Third, if the Central American route is ever choked off it will just open someplace else. The real problem is US drug demand, not who supplies it.

Fourth, our schizophrenic attitude on drugs (make them illegal but treat users as victims) is a national security menace (see Afghanistan) that we refuse to connect the dots on.

Fifth, Central America is more destabilized by blow-back from the criminal deportations that unlimited immigration to the US has created than anything with the drug war. The huge chaos is uneducated bangers returning to a country they barely remember and running wild (MS-13, etc.).  Open borders has major costs.

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  1. Tony B
    April 7th, 2009 at 11:24 | #1

    I do not find any substantive relevance to the criticisms of the Stratfor article in the commentary. STRATFOR never addressed the issue of the US aschizophrenia on drug use, correctly pointed up in the commentary as one of our greatest national security threats. However, the premise put forth by the very misleading map showing “0% cocaine flow” through Central America is absolutely wrong. In the last year in just one country, Honduras, nearly 3,000 kilos were confiscated, a very small percentage of what went through. Trafficking through Central America is a proven, and growing, menace - STRATFOR’s main premise.

  2. April 7th, 2009 at 14:46 | #2

    If DOJ’s map is wrong, please do get in touch with us and we’d be happy to post your critique.

  3. Tony B
    April 7th, 2009 at 17:14 | #3

    It depends on interpretation, possibly. Does the 0% Central America trafficking refer to overland and air trafficking only, although there is also much coastal trafficking that may appear in the map as Pacific and Caribbean? I will check with DOJ myself, but still insist the “0%” figure cannot be correct.

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