Texas Observer on the Drug War in Latin America.
See their fine cover story on "The Untouchable Narco-State" and the DEA's near-futile efforts to combat drug trafficking in Guatemala.
Latin American Drug War Reaches Texas.
Now that it's more difficult for addicts in Texas to make meth at home, the McAllen Monitor reports on the rise of meth smugglers crossing the Mexican border, while according to the Dallas News, border-area law enforcement says that
Rifles and handguns have been replaced by rocket-propelled grenades, or RPGs, and high-caliber machine guns.
"Now the bad guys have more sophisticated training and better equipment," [Val Verde County] Sheriff [D'Wayne] Jernigan said. "They're better armed and willing to shoot."
Same Old Song and Dance from Walker County Drug Warriors.
Meanwhile, in Walker County (Huntsville), District Attorney David Weeks contributed greatly to the shrill tone of a hype-filled four part series on meth in the Huntsville Item (see parts one, two, three and four), portions of which seemingly could have been written by the spin doctors at the national Office of National Drug Control Policy. “You know, I thought that crack was the worst plague that we had ever seen, but I think meth is worse,” Weeks said. “From what I've seen, it's more addictive, it's more destructive, it's more violent. It's just about the worst thing you can come across.” Weeks was one of the DAs who opposed stronger probation and pushed Texas' disastrous pseudoephedrine restrictions (law enforcement officials say that after just three months they fear the new law will cause "more addiction, more overdoses, and more violence"). So he's in typical form here -- full of dire predictions but offering only bad solutions.
Meanwhile, local Sheriff Clint McRae, a former narcotics task force officer, told the paper meth is “more addictive than any other narcotic I have dealt with.” It's worth mentioning that a presentation I heard at a recent drug policy conference by Dr. Carl Hart, a clinical neuroscientist at Columbia University who studies the effects of meth on human workplace behaviors, contradicted such dire, 'worse than crack' claims -- bottom line, Hart said the qualities and intensity of the addiction, from a medical researcher's perspective, didn't differ that much from cocaine. Many of the side effects like meth mouth, it turns out, likely stem from the prohibition on safer chemicals for use by home manufacturers, but don't show up with the pharmaceutical meth he uses for tests. That makes sense. After all, US fighter pilots popping meth tablets to fly jets are taking the same drug, chemically speaking, as the meth-heads, but they aren't having their teeth fall out.
Go Here For More On The Drug War.
Blog Reload's Drug War Roundup links to a number of interesting items I don't have time to write about, including a bizarre incident in which US Border Patrol agents in Hudspeth County were outgunned by military-clad drug traffickers in a firefight over a dumptruck load full of pot.