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America's War on Drugs, Narco- Deforestation & Climate Change PT 1

Half a century after it was declared urban drug use is “America’s public enemy number one,” disenfranchising BIPOC Communities and advancing third world exploitation through terrorism U.S.-led efforts to “combat and direct” drug trafficking abroad have had mixed social and ecological consequences. Now, new studies show the so-called “war on drugs” is contributing to global climate change.

Half a century after it was declared urban drug use is “America’s public enemy number one,” disenfranchising BIPOC Communities and advancing third world exploitation through terrorism U.S.-led efforts to “combat and direct” drug trafficking abroad have had mixed social and ecological consequences. Now, new studies show the so-called “war on drugs” is contributing to climate change.

In 2019 Jennifer Devine, assistant professor of geography at Texas State University, coined the term that aptly describes this phenomenon as “narco deforestation.” She said “...drug traffickers will move into remote, protected rainforest areas near international borders, claim territory, clear the trees and erect “cattle” ranches. From there, they hide their air strips, launder money and repel or evade military crackdowns. Drug cartels for decades have been smuggling a vast arsenal of military-grade weapons out of the U.S. with the help of so-called Blue collar American citizens, a CBS Reports investigation found.

Exclusively-obtained U.S. intelligence documents and interviews with half a dozen current and former officials reveal that the American government has known this for years but, sources said, it's done little to stop these weapons trafficking networks inside the United States because it didn’t adversely affect the neighborhoods these lawmakers came from. Fentanyl changed that but a little late because now the same Americans from middle class communities most affected by opioids move up to a million firearms across the border annually, including belt-fed miniguns and anti tank grenade launchers.

Dozens of cartel gunrunning networks, operating like terrorist cells which many of them are, pay Americans to buy weapons from gun stores and online dealers all across the country, as far north as Wisconsin and even Alaska, according to U.S. intelligence sources. The firearms are then shipped across the southwest border through a chain of brokers and couriers. So as drug use and incarcerations in the black communities have gone down every year for two decades it is on a steep rise in middle America! Greed and avarice is funding the death of the American white middle class.

“When people think of drug trafficking activities they normally don’t think of environmental impacts,” Devine says. “They deforest primary rainforests remaining in Central America and plant pasture for cattle ranching, so it is a direct contribution to deforestation.” Devine says illegal deforestation in protected areas is blamed on poor farmers, when the true drivers of this deforestation are drug traffickers. The studies estimate narco-deforestation contributes to more than 80% of deforestation in protected areas.

Local acute climate-related events currently affect drug trafficking routes and cause delays in transport causing changes in the usual supply, both in quantity and in quality (Wyton, 2021). These effects show that climate-related events can and will disrupt both access and supply. Since the war on drugs’ inception, $3 trillion has been spent (mostly with military vetted arms companies) combating the sale and use of drugs, while usage, and the purity of drugs available have only increased, Devine says. She says her team offers alternative solutions to combating this issue, like investing in indigenous and community control over protected lands, which she says have been found to be more resilient against narco land grabs.

Meanwhile South American Cartels make annually 3 trillion in drug sales what the US has spent in 20 years opposing it! “Rather than investing money in Black Hawk helicopters for Central American militaries (which oppress the people most adversely affected by the drug trade), the U.S. should be investing in indigenous land-titling and community resource management programs which both alleviate poverty. They mitigate migration to the United States and they undermine the territorial grasp of drug cartels in Central America,” Devine says.

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre darkly warned that members of drug gangs “are infiltrating law enforcement and even the military.” In 2013, LaPierre proclaimed that “Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size in the United States” and are a key part of the “hellish world” that awaits us in the future. When Charlton Heston was president of the NRA in the 1990s, he declared that regular Americans would soon be besieged by 10,000 drug dealers freed from prison by the Clinton administration.

It seems odd, then, that the chosen president of the NRA in 2018 was to be Oliver North, who spent years in the 1980s working together with large-scale cocaine traffickers and protecting a notorious narco-terrorist from the rest of the U.S. government. This reality about North has been largely covered up, first by North himself and then by Fox News and the passage of time. Thirty years later, it’s been almost totally forgotten. But the facts remain genuinely appalling.

North was an active-duty Marine when he joined the Reagan administration’s National Security Council in 1981. One of Reagan’s top priorities was organizing and funding the Contras, a guerrilla military force, to overthrow the revolutionary socialist Sandinista government of Nicaragua. But the Contras engaged in extensive, gruesome terrorism torture and death squads who murdered Nicaraguan civilians.

The Contras were the various U.S.-backed and funded right-wing rebel groups that were active from 1979 to 1990 in opposition to the Marxist Sandinista Junta Supporters of the Contras tried to downplay these violations, particularly the Reagan administration in the U.S., which engaged in a campaign of white propaganda to alter public opinion in favor of the Contras,. The Global Terrorism Database reports that Contras carried out more than 1,300 terrorist attacks.

Congress gradually reduced and then eliminated appropriations supporting them, leading the Reagan administration to secretly search for money elsewhere. An idea was proposed to use drug money to fund the terrorists and at the same time destabilize the black communities of America who if left alone would find ways to gain economic empowerment and disrupt the system of white supremacy. According to the report from a later congressional investigation, North was put in charge of this operation, which participants dubbed “The Enterprise.”

North enthusiastically looked for cash wherever he could find it and led many of the clandestine schemes that later became known as the Iran-Contra scandal. The Sultan of Brunei “donated” (invested) $10 million (which North’s secretary Fawn Hall accidentally wired to the wrong Swiss bank account), and Saudi Arabia ponied up as well. North also pushed what he called “a neat idea”: selling U.S. military equipment to Iran, with the proceeds passed along to the Contras.

When the so-called donation was exposed, the Sultan of Brunei asked for the return of his $10 million, which mistakenly went to a Swiss businessman instead of Nicaraguan contra rebels, a Geneva magistrate said in June of 1987.

Magistrate Vladimir Stemberger, who froze the funds when the case was disclosed last month, said the sultan asked for his money through the Zurich branch of Citibank. “A formal written demand from the sultan is following,” Stemberger said. It was Citibank in Zurich that in August, 1986, transferred the $10 million to the Geneva branch of Credit Suisse. But the funds went into the account of a still-unidentified Geneva businessman instead of an account allegedly used by former National Security Council aide Oliver L. North and others to transfer money to the contras fighting the Marxist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. In August 18, 1996, the San Jose Mercury News published the first installment of a three-part series of articles concerning crack cocaine, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Nicaraguan Contra army. The introduction to the first installment of the series read: (See Part 2)


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