The US government has spent an estimated $1 trillion since the country began its ‘war on drugs’ in the 1970s. But in the 50 years since then, the cross-border flows of illegal drugs, arms and money have only increased.
It’s a mess – but it didn’t need to be this way. The first instalment of this two-part series on the war on drugs exposes the mistakes of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ and shows how to stop wasting lives. For starters, why did the US choose to fight drugs instead of the tax havens that enable it?
‘The tools of tax avoidance are the same tools that enable the illicit drug trade’s extraordinary resilience to prohibition,’ Eric Gutierrez, of the International Centre of Human Rights and Drug Policy, says on the podcast.
‘It was always about the US and the UK in particular, protecting and leveraging their own national trading interests on both sides of the Atlantic,’ says Dr Mary Young, Associate Professor of International and Organised Crime at the Bristol Law School, says on the podcast. ‘Western countries were never going to put the trillions used on the war on drugs into combating financial secrecy havens.’
In this first part of the podcast, Naomi Fowler of the Tax Justice Network speaks to academics and activists to look into the supposed ‘goodies’ and the ‘baddies’ and the real crime story.
This episode’s guests include:
- Karina Garcia-Reyes, criminology lecturer of the University of the West of England, author of Morir Es Un Alivio (Dying is a Relief) and Las Reveladoras Historias De 12 Ex-narcos Que Lograron Escapar Del Crimen Organizado.
- Eric Gutierrez, of the International Centre of Human Rights and Drug Policy
- Associate Professor of International and Organised Crime at Bristol Law School, Dr Mary Young
A podcast transcript is available at this link. Please note that some of it is automated.
Home page photo by William Fernando Martinez via Policia Nacional de los Colombianos/Flickr.