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Fight drugs not wars Maryknoll pleads

MARYKNOLL (SE): The Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns is calling on the United States of America (US) Congress to stop funding the war on drugs in Central America, saying that it is not working and that it has only contributed to a sharp rise in the level of violence in Mexico and central America.

“The rule of law has deteriorated as a result of the battles between drug cartels, with the involvement of often corrupt state security forces,” the office says in a November 12 press release from Maryknoll, New York.

“The use of torture, violence against women, human rights violations and extra-judicial executions have risen since the US policies began to support a militarised approach to combating drug trafficking in the region,” it continues.

Maryknoll is asking people to join a petition circulated by the Americas Programme of the Centre for International Policy to the congress and the president of the US, Barack Obama, to stop funding for the war.

Instead of spending the money on arms, Maryknoll is suggesting investing in drug war aid programmes that actively build a better society for all, such as job programmes, poverty alleviation, health care and education.

Maryknoll cites the numerous people who have travelled to the US from Central America to plead for an end to the war.

They say that military aid has led to governments increasing their oppression of indigenous peoples and grassroots community leaders, as well as illegal land grabs and extra-judicial executions, often at the hands of the very forces funded and armed by US aid money.

It calls the war to date an abject failure, as it has not succeeded in reducing the supply of drugs or the power of the cartels, and nor has it increased public security or contributed to the effective use of taxes.


“It is time to put human rights and well being first and re-channel drug war money to programmes for drug abuse prevention and treatment, reduction of arms trafficking, prosecution of money laundering and drug policy reform within the US,” it concludes.

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