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Drugs & Crime

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Colombian President Gustavo Petro pose for a photo after a meeting at Casa de Nariño in Bogotá on Oct. 3.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Colombian President Gustavo Petro pose for a photo after a meeting at Casa de Nariño in Bogotá on Oct. 3.

Why Colombia Should Fully Legalize Cocaine

Both Gustavo Petro and Joe Biden misunderstand how supply and demand work. A more radical approach is needed to reduce drug-related crime.

A farmer fumigates fields of coca in Colombia.
A farmer fumigates fields of coca in Colombia.

Inside the Drug Trade in the Americas

From Colombia’s coca fields to the United States’ courts.

Journalists and students protest the murder of Mexican journalist Regina Martínez in 2012.
Journalists and students protest the murder of Mexican journalist Regina Martínez in 2012.

The Journalist and the Murderer

A new book investigates the death of veteran Mexican crime reporter Regina Martínez Pérez—with a surprising conclusion.

Taliban soldiers stand guard as men imprisoned for using drugs sit in a courtyard prior to being released from Kandahar Central Jail.
Taliban soldiers stand guard as men imprisoned for using drugs sit in a courtyard prior to being released from Kandahar Central Jail.

Despite ‘Ban’ on Opium, Afghanistan’s Poppy Crop Is Growing

More drugs and higher prices a year after the Taliban takeover.

A worker carries a bag of coca leaves.
A worker carries a bag of coca leaves.

Colombia’s Radical New Approach to Cocaine

The Petro administration plans to pour money into rural communities to stop the drug trade at its source.

Demonstrators protest against acting Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, calling for his resignation, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 10.
Demonstrators protest against acting Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, calling for his resignation, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 10.

Haiti’s Crisis Escalates

The country’s unelected leader has approved a call for a foreign military intervention. Such incursions have a fraught history.

U.S. President Joe Biden hosts Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the White House in Washington on July 12.
U.S. President Joe Biden hosts Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the White House in Washington on July 12.

Hegemony in the Americas Has Been Turned on Its Head

Once-dominant Washington is now beholden to the whims of its smaller neighbors.

A woman looks down at her phone on a sidewalk near a banner showing Assad's and Putin's faces with the caption “Justice Prevails" on it in Arabic.
A woman looks down at her phone on a sidewalk near a banner showing Assad's and Putin's faces with the caption “Justice Prevails" on it in Arabic.

The Folly of Reengaging Assad

Jordan tried to reestablish ties with the Syrian dictator’s regime. It was a disaster.

An Italian Guardia di Finanza patrol boat is seen in front of the multimillion-dollar megayacht Scheherazade, docked at the Tuscan port of Marina di Carrara, on May 6.
An Italian Guardia di Finanza patrol boat is seen in front of the multimillion-dollar megayacht Scheherazade, docked at the Tuscan port of Marina di Carrara, on May 6.

Italy Is Leading the World in Seizing Oligarchs’ Assets

The Guardia di Finanza acted quickly to confiscate Russian-owned property on Italian territory. Other nations should learn from the force.

Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout
Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout

We Cannot Risk Another Bout With Viktor Bout

I oversaw the U.S. effort to capture the Russian arms dealer. Here’s what Joe Biden should know before trading him away.

Police and soldiers stand outside a bar in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, minutes after an execution occurred inside on April 18, 2009.
Police and soldiers stand outside a bar in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, minutes after an execution occurred inside on April 18, 2009.

In the Americas, Homicide Is the Other Killer Epidemic

The good news: Lockdowns reduced crime almost everywhere else, and we know how to stop lethal violence.

Salvadoran national civilian police prepare to go out on patrol, in conjunction with the armed forces, following the government’s declaration of state of emergency in San Salvador on March 27.
Salvadoran national civilian police prepare to go out on patrol, in conjunction with the armed forces, following the government’s declaration of state of emergency in San Salvador on March 27.

The Open Secret of Government-Gang Talks

El Salvador’s lull in homicides was likely the result of such negotiations. They’d be far from Latin America’s first.

Men gather around bags containing heroin and hashish as they negotiate and check quality at a drug market on the outskirts of Kandahar on September 24, 2021.
Men gather around bags containing heroin and hashish as they negotiate and check quality at a drug market on the outskirts of Kandahar on September 24, 2021.

The New Geopolitics of the Taliban’s Opium Economy

Afghanistan’s narcotics trade is booming under fresh leadership.

The Godfather 50th anniversary screening event in Los Angeles
The Godfather 50th anniversary screening event in Los Angeles

Michael Corleone and the Economics of ‘The Godfather’

The Mafia family heir had a college education. Did it pay off?

Members of the Honduran police special forces stand outside the home of former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández in Tegucigalpa on Feb. 15.
Members of the Honduran police special forces stand outside the home of former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández in Tegucigalpa on Feb. 15.

Hernández’s Arrest Won’t Stop the Drug War

Washington continues to empower repressive and corrupt Latin American governments through flawed security initiatives.

A large white mansion is shown behind a security gate.
A large white mansion is shown behind a security gate.

Can London Cleanse Itself of Dirty Russian Money?

Bill Browder on why the U.K.’s new Economic Crime Bill isn’t enough to kick out Russian oligarchs.

Honduran President Xiomara Castro holds up her fist as she wears a blue and white sash at her inauguration. She is standing beside a person in a military uniform.
Honduran President Xiomara Castro holds up her fist as she wears a blue and white sash at her inauguration. She is standing beside a person in a military uniform.

How Honduras’s Congress Split in Two

A country euphoric about its first woman president is plunged back into political turmoil.

A billboard depicting late Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar and late Afghan leader of the Haqqani network Jalaluddin Haqqani is seen along a road in Kabul.
A billboard depicting late Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar and late Afghan leader of the Haqqani network Jalaluddin Haqqani is seen along a road in Kabul.

Taliban Pressing for Prisoner Swap With U.S.

The group wants to trade an American engineer abducted two years ago for an Afghan drug lord imprisoned in the U.S.

A Hezbollah flag flutters as tankers carrying Iranian fuel arrive at al-Ain in Hermel, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, on Sept. 16.
A Hezbollah flag flutters as tankers carrying Iranian fuel arrive at al-Ain in Hermel, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, on Sept. 16.

Cutting Off Lebanon Won’t Stem the Captagon Trade

Instead of pushing Beirut to the economic brink, Saudi Arabia should address its own amphetamine addiction.

KKK protesters in Charlottesville
KKK protesters in Charlottesville

America Drops the Ball on White Supremacist Terrorist Groups

Other countries are taking the lead in cracking down on U.S.-based groups.

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