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I had a nice life, and I’d never heard of any type of violent crime taking place in my hometown.

For me, violence


would only be found miles away in Mexico City. At least that’s what national television showed me. Nevertheless,
once I started growing up and reading local newspapers, I realized that something was wrong.

I don’t really know when it started, but for more than three years ago, Tijuana has been covered by a wave of violent
crimes that are related to drug trafficking. Kidnappings, torturous murders, shootings in public places, persecutions,
threats, army’s intromission, innocent lives taken away, it all has become part of the place I used to call home.

While some are scared to death and avoid going out, especially during night, other habitants say they don’t really
care about Tijuana’s violence since “it’s an issue between gangsters.” Apparently, those people have never listened
about shootings taking place inside of hospitals or outside schools, including kindergartens. There is a difference
between being indifferent and being ignorant. I was ignorant. I thought Tijuana was a peaceful city and that all the
things said by the media were exaggerations. Nevertheless, once you are informed that a neighbor was shot while in
a park, or that one of your closest friends lost his father who was a policeman, or even when you listen to the story of
a girl who’s been involved in the drug trafficking world all her life, that makes you think.

One of the things I’ve learned is that when people get used to violence, they just end up accepting it. The society has
lost faith in its representatives which keeps some people from voting. That is, people do not expect change anymore.

In my opinion, Tijuana lacks people eager for a different reality. I believe that if someone has the voice and the
courage, the rest will listen to him. Unfortunately, drug trafficking is too powerful that it actually silences people. This
is logical in a society that doesn’t rely on their representatives.

People always blame the government when things go wrong. But what are people doing besides complaining and
crossing their arms? I don’t believe that talking about how good the old times were will change the present or the
future.

An exploration of the relationship between local drug markets and communities in which they operate.

To date there has been little research into the impact of drug dealing and dealers on communities in which they
operate, and the nature of the relationship between them. Our knowledge about how local drug markets actually
operate is slight.

This report, by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research at King's College London, describes how people become

involved in selling drugs and their attitudes toward their dealing. It also documents the complex relationships that

some communities have with their illicit economies. This complexity suggests that preventive work needs to

acknowledge the ambivalence that communities in deprived areas may have towards drug markets and markets for
stolen goods.
The authors conclude that enforcement activity is an essential component for tackling drug dealing. However, they

argue that if policies are to have anything more than a short-term impact, other agencies besides the police will have
to shoulder some of the responsibility.

Impact of Drugs on Society

The trafficking and abuse of drugs in the United States affect nearly all aspects of our lives. The economic cost alone is immense,
estimated at nearly $215 billion. The damage caused by drug abuse and addiction is reflected in an overburdened justice system,
a strained healthcare system, lost productivity, and environmental destruction.

Drug Trafficking: a $32 billion business affecting communities globally

Drug trafficking - the global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of

substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws is estimated to be a $32 billion industry. The
recently launched UNODC campaign on transnational organized crime highlights that drug trafficking

continues to be the most lucrative form of business for criminals worldwide. Drug trafficking flows

have global dimensions linking regions and continents, sometimes with dramatic consequences for the

countries they affect.

Emphasizing the key financial and social costs of transnational organized crime, the campaign has

been developed to raise awareness on issues like drug trafficking, counterfeiting of goods, human

trafficking and environmental crimes.

According to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) Report, there has been an

increase in the abuse and trafficking of prescription drugs and over-the-counter pharmaceutical

preparations containing narcotic drugs in South Asia. Many of these drugs are obtained in local

pharmacies.

The report also points out that abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants in the region is increasing.

International drug trafficking organizations continue to use South Asia as a base for the illicit

manufacture and trafficking of amphetamine-type stimulants, largely because of the wide availability

of precursor chemicals in the region.

The abuse of drugs by injection is also on the rise in South Asia and has reached significant

proportions in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

The global drug trafficking market is constantly evolving, undermining economic and social

development and contributing to crime, instability, insecurity and the spread of HIV.

A key message of the campaign is driving action against transnational organized crime. It calls not

just on Government authorities to act, but also highlights the role of communities and individuals.

Some of the steps that the campaign suggests in tackling transnational organized crime, like drug

trafficking include:
Coordination: integrated action at the international level is crucial in identifying, investigating and

prosecuting the people and groups behind these crimes.


Education and awareness-raising: citizens should learn more about organized crime and how it

affects everyday lives. Express your concerns to policy and decision makers so that this global threat

is considered by politicians to be a top priority among the public's major concerns.

Intelligence and technology: criminal justice systems and conventional law enforcement methods

are often no match for powerful criminal networks. Better intelligence methods need to be developed

through the training of more specialized law enforcement units, which should be equipped with state-

of-the-art technology.

Assistance: developing countries need assistance in building their capacity to counter these threats.

As the guardian of the three international drug control treaties namely,

1. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol

2. Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971

3. United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988

UNODC continues to build international cooperation to help Member States respond to this global

threat.

Resources like the annually published World Drug Report present comprehensive information on the

illicit drug situation. It provides detailed estimates and trend analysis on production, trafficking and

consumption in the opium/heroin, coca/cocaine, cannabis and amphetamine-type stimulants markets.

In South Asia, UNODC assists countries to frame legislation, rules and regulations to strengthen drug

law enforcement capacities. Emphasis is laid on building capacities of law enforcement agencies from

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka to enable them to detect and prevent

diversions of precursors from licit trade, as well as through smuggling. They are also trained to

conduct follow up investigations to identify sources and apprehend traffickers.

Chapter I The Impact of the Drug Trade

Drug trafficking is the most serious organized crime problem in the world today. The drug trade generates billions of
dollars for organized crime each year, imposing incalculable costs on individuals, families, communities, and
governments worldwide. But drug trafficking is only part of a broader, unified phenomenon, which also includes the
illicit use of drugs. It is drug users who finance organized crime through their drug purchases, and it is they who
must accept responsibility for the broad range of costs associated with the drug industry.

Drug abuse ruins individual lives, drains billions of dollars each year from American society, and erodes the nation's
quality of life. The violence and corruption that are an integral part of organized crime drug trafficking take the lives
of American and foreign officials and private citizens, undermine drug control efforts, and threaten entire
governments. To the extent that the stability of friendly nations is threatened, particularly in this hemisphere, our
own national security is jeopardized. The impact of organized crime and drug trafficking on society thus has far-
ranging consequences, from the mental or physical destruction of the individual drug user to questions of national
security.

This Commission has found drug trafficking to be the most widespread and lucrative organized crime activity in the
United States. According to this Commission's survey of local law enforcement agencies, marijuana, cocaine, and
dangerous drug trafficking are the three primary activities of organized crime groups, as defined by local agencies,
nationwide. Drug trafficking accounts for almost 38 percent of all organized crime activity across the country and
generates an income estimated to be as high as $110 billion.

A concept fundamental to this report is the dual nature of the drug phenomenon: drug supply and drug demand are
mutually dependent aspects of a single global problem. All strategic and tactical evaluations in this report have been
arrived at in this context, and it is imperative that the planning undertaken by this government and its allies be
performed within the same framework. The gaps that now exist between strategists who seek to reduce supply and
planners who want to reduce demand must be closed. The situation confronting us is a crisis both nationally and
internationally. Our response can be no less than national and international mobilization. As this report sets out in
detail, the menace of drugs is not restricted to a particular segment of society, but is now of a scope and severity that
is a threat to our national security and therefore a legitimate national security issue.

The appropriate response must therefore involve our entire society, not just our law enforcement and health
professionals. Parents, educators, employers, the legal profession, financial institutions, the military, and the
diplomatic and intelligence communities must all recognize that we are in a national emergency.

Military strategists have warned and painful national experience confirmed that a war must not be fought without a
clear notion of the victory sought. In this war on drugs - a phrase worn by use but nevertheless the only accurate
description of what must be done - this Commission has adopted a definition of victory: the dramatic reduction, if
not complete elimination, of drug abuse in this society. The ultimate goal is a distant one, to be sure, requiring
patience, determination and vision. No less an objective is acceptable. Short fixes, compromises, and resignation are
a breach of faith with ourselves, our children, and generations to come.

Just as we must clearly define victory, so must we identify the enemy. Here again, there is no room for compromise.
We must unite against drugs themselves, and anyone who is their ally. Producers, refiners, smugglers, and sellers, all
those we know as "traffickers," are obvious targets. It is our obligation to look further and recognize that those
among us - friends, relatives, colleagues, and other "respectable" people - whose small, personal drug purchases at
the base of the consumption pyramid are the driving force behind the traffickers' assault on this country. It is the
consumer's dollars that come together to finance the organized crime drug trafficking described in this report, and it
is thus their responsibility and ours to confront this truth. This means an end to tolerance of drug use at every level
of society.

While all drug trafficking, by its nature, requires some degree of organization, it is essential for the purposes of this
report to identify the threshold at which the organization inherent in drug trafficking can be distinguished from
organized crime drug trafficking. The Commission's definition of organized crime, which sets out the six
characteristics of organized crime groups, is helpful in making this distinction. These characteristics are: continuity,
structure, defined membership, criminality, violence, and power as its goal. These elements, together with a reliance
on the "buffer" that this Commission has found to be an integral part of organized crime, are common to the world's
most notorious trafficking organizations.

This report examines the organized crime groups that traffic in illicit drugs. To the extent necessary to grasp the
dynamics of worldwide drug traffic, it also details the nature of the drugs themselves. It describes the array of
enforcement agencies currently in place, analyzes their various strategies and tactics, and presents specific
recommendations for more effective anti-drug efforts.

In the portion of this report devoted to efforts to reduce the supply of illicit drugs, "Supply Strategies," it is clear that
our law enforcement and other government agencies, particularly on the Federal level, are deployed with a degree of
determination, imagination, and resource commitment unparalleled in American history. This government must
continue to pursue strategies to reduce supply with all possible vigor, or it is the government's obligation to do all
within its power to protect its citizens, no matter how formidable the foe. Nevertheless, if the demand for illicit
drugs continues at its present voracious level, improvements in the area of reducing supply will continue to be slow,
expensive, infrequent, and too often only temporary.
This report places great emphasis on the need for complete national resolve in this area and for that resolve to be
translated into fully coordinated governmental action. Compartmentalization and parochialism, which have been far
too common in past efforts, must be brought to an end. In this regard, we are at a particularly propitious moment in
history. The slow and painful evolution of our strategy has finally achieved a centralized authority for our national
effort: the National Drug Enforcement Policy Board. Not just another advisory body, this Board is a true
congregation of every component of our national government's anti-drug effort. It provides the means for achieving
a thoroughly coordinated national attack on every aspect of drug trafficking and abuse. It is vital that the Policy
Board move effectively, thoughtfully and decisively, but it is most urgent that it move. Indecisiveness are signals in
themselves, the wrong signals, to drug traffickers, users, concerned parents, health and social planners, and even
foreign governments. Perhaps most critically, indecisiveness and delay are the wrong signals to those U.S.
governmental agencies that must choose where anti-drug efforts will fall on the list of competing priorities in a time
of hardening fiscal austerity. By action, not mere promises, the Policy Board must send the proper message: we are
in a fight for our lives, and every agency must arrange its priorities accordingly.

Our strategies to reduce supply will require not only dedication, but patience and objectivity. The war against drugs
will not be won until individuals stop using them. Strategies to reduce supply can do no more than hold the line
against illegal drugs while public attitudes and private choices change. That is not to say that our enforcement
strategies should not be aggressive and persistent. On the contrary, this report makes clear that there is much in this
area that is being done and should continue, and much more that might be done. Many of the specific
recommendations in this report are devoted to this theme. What is necessary at the outset, however, is an
understanding that such efforts must not be judged by an unrealistic standard. As long as this society is willing to
provide its enforcement agencies scarcely more than a penny for every dollar our citizens squander on illicit drugs, it
has no right and no reason to expect more.

Ultimately, the curse of drug abuse will be broken, but only by a nationwide dedication to persistent and unyielding
assaults on both supply and demand. The supply is already under siege by our enforcement, diplomatic, and
intelligence communities. Because an end to consumption is our ultimate goal, it is a concerted and direct attack on
demand that must be mounted.

Illicit drugs are an attack upon the integrity, character, and health of the individual. Although discussions of drugs
are often framed in terms of costs to society and society's responses, the fact is that individuals, not societies, take
drugs. It is the individual user who finances all of the violence, corruption, and degradation that this report
describes. The powerful, sophisticated, and thoroughly evil organized crime drug trafficking groups described herein
are a reflection of nothing more than our self-destructiveness. It is as a result of individual acts of will that such
groups came to be and are sustained, and it is by individual acts of will that they will finally be defeated.