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Tuesday, September 23 2014 @ 12:21 PM EDT

Drug Trafficking Through Panama Has Increased - Stephenson

Drug TraffickingDrug trafficking in Panama has increased "alarmingly" - as have the number of murders, said US Ambassador to Panama Barbara Stephenson. "We have seen an alarming increase in the amount of cocaine and other drugs transiting the seas and Panamanian soil, leaving a trail of death and corruption," said the diplomat at a forum on organized crime. In Panama the number of homicides has increased from 363 in 2006, to 808 in 2009, which "we think is directly linked to an equally dramatic increase in drug trafficking through Panama," she added. Stephenson made a call to the US and Panamanian law enforcement offices to join efforts in the areas of logistics and information sharing. The diplomat also invited Panamanians to replicate US programs to reduce crime rates. "With a good plan, Panama still has a chance to proactively change the dynamics of security by keeping drug traffickers away from the coasts and outside of the sovereign territory, while seeking improvements in police and judicial institutions, and by embarking on effective prevention programs," she said. In 2009, Panamanian authorities seized 56 tons of drugs, of which 50 tons were cocaine. (Source - Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: If you would like to fully understand what has been happening to Panama in the past three to four years, please read this outstanding report. Here's an excerpt: "...there is no guarantee that Central America will continue to escape the wrath of Mexican drug traffickers. On the contrary, there is reason for concern that the region will increasingly become a battleground in the Mexican cartel war. For one thing, the Merida Initiative, a U.S. anti-drug aid program that will put some $300 million into Mexico and about $100 million into Central America over the next year, could be perceived as a meaningful threat to drug-trafficking operations. If Central American governments choose to step up counternarcotics operations, either at the request of the United States or in order to qualify for more Merida money, they risk disrupting existing smuggling operations to the extent that cartels begin to retaliate. Deaths related to drug trafficking in Panama jumped from 363 in 2006 to 808 last year because the Mexican drug cartels have taken over responsibility for moving the product North, once it leaves Colombia. Thus far these organized crime elements have remained focused only on their own people and problems. If they ever turn their wrath against the government of Panama, and start to do things like attack and kill government officials, then it will be a whole new ballgame. And, the amount of drugs transiting Panama has increased because traffickers have switched to a slower but safer land route strategy in recent years, mostly because sea and air routes have been effectively shut down or mitigated. They changed their strategy, and we are seeing the results on the ground.

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Drug Trafficking Through Panama Has Increased - Stephenson | 16 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Drug Trafficking Through Panama Has Increased - Stephenson
Authored by: susangg on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 09:44 AM EDT

At the risk of being repetitive: The greatest social evil from the drug business is the second word: the BUSINESS. It is the BUSINESS that is causing a crime wave in Panama and elsewhere.
People have been getting high on one thing or another since the beginning of time. Governments cannot stop this, the best they can do is educate, treat, motivate, and protect children.
The solution is simple: The USA, which is the world's largest market for illegal drugs, must decriminalize and take the dollars out of the drug business.
We owe it to the rest of the world, and we owe it to our own people, who could use the money now spent on criminalization for health related programs, including treatment and therapy for the addicted.
The costs of criminalization are simply too great. For us and for our neighbors.

---
"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Drug Trafficking Through Panama Has Increased - Stephenson
Authored by: Don Winner on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 11:09 AM EDT

Of Course You're Right: If there wasn't such a profit motive for drug traffickers, then they wouldn't be willing to risk facing life imprisonment or death to move the product. And if you think there's a huge profit motive for the drug traffickers, there's even bigger business in fighting the drug war. And that's money that doesn't need to be laundered. Ask yourself this, Susan. Where do you draw the line at legalization. Should all drugs and substances be legalized? Heroin? Do you want your kids being driven to school on a bus by a heroin addict? Crystal meth-soaked greeters at Walmart? The judge in this case is a crack-head? It's easy to to take the legalization argument in theory but it quickly falls apart in practice. If you think you have a problem trying to enforce laws against drunk driving now, wait until all drugs are legalized in the name of ending the war on drugs. In short, it has not been done because it will not work.

Don

Drug Trafficking Through Panama Has Increased - Stephenson
Authored by: Dick on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 11:23 PM EDT

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I'll have to go with Don on this one.

The Holland story HAS NOT BEEN A SUCCESS! You do your own homework on this!

Who pays the additional health costs for those that "just exercise their personal freedoms"? Who pays the additional costs for supporting the users' lifestyle (food housing etc.)? How about the funeral expenses or do we just let them go out in the desert and die?
Who picks up the fragments of broken homes and scattered families?

Do you think the chemicals used in the production of cocaine are less explosive or less toxic than those used in cooking up a batch of meth?

For most of my adult life (and I'm a really old fart) I have watched a number people very close to me (nice people, with lots of potential) totally ruin their lives from drug USE (cost was never an issue nor was availability). They ranged from 13 year olds to those now into their 50's and now 60's. Some with children and some (as a result of their drug use) unable to have children. One died at 45 years as a direct result of early-age drug use. Her brother was in fact "saved" from a similar fate (by his own account) by religion and has been clean for 30 years (so don't be too hard on religion. Whatever works!). (During his junior high school graduation he was voted to be the most likely graduate to go to prision! - He made it. As a highly paid guard in Alaska´s maximum security prison). Both commented to me that by age 15 there was no drug I could name that they hadn't taken!

Two outstanding music artists that hit the Billboard charts a couple of times -- Fantastic artists -- lives ruined by coke and meth.

A girl friend who's first thought when she woke up in the morning was do I have enough smoke to last the day or do I have to spend the day to score enough to last.

A co-worker who was excited about going to Hawaii to become a prostitute so she would have enough money for drugs.

My youngest daughters' friend who at 14 was pimped out by her mother for drugs.

One marriage and a normal life ruined by "roofies" and meth.

So Susan and Steve -- Do your homework! You won't find the answers in a dictionary or library or at your coffee clatch. The answers come from those who have had to "clean-up" after and morn the "leave me alone, it's my life and I can do what I want with it" crowd.

When your daughters or sons, your present or past lovers, your friends, and the people you looked up to and admired start to die, not from an acute overdose but from long-term use you may begin to understand.

Legalization is not the answer.
I've done MY "homework"!

I leave you with the following:

"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so."
--Ronald Reagan


Drug Trafficking Through Panama Has Increased - Stephenson
Authored by: Dick on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 11:30 PM EDT

.
Oh,and by the way, I'm from Lane County, Oregon:
The home of the Oregon Ducks.

AND

The Meth Capital of the World"!
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Drug Trafficking Through Panama Has Increased - Stephenson
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 09:51 AM EDT

consider this, what's the difference between drugs & alcohol affecting someone's life? other than the legality of them). how much does the government spend to arrest, convict, & house 'criminals' found with drugs? how much do they spend looking for people to arrest? who REALLY benefits from keeping drugs illegal?

Drug Trafficking Through Panama Has Increased - Stephenson
Authored by: oldmanandthesea on Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 04:38 PM EDT

Two things. Prior to the criminalization of drugs there were fewer drug users, per capita, than there is today and there were no people in prison because of drug use. Today approximately 66% of the prison population is comprised of drug related criminals.

The main groups opposing the legalization of drugs isn't the churches or the police, it's the drug lords. It's an interesting visualization having a bible thumper standing shoulder to shoulder with a police captain and a cocaine king.

Clyde Jenkins

Drug Trafficking Through Panama Has Increased - Stephenson
Authored by: Dick on Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 06:41 PM EDT

.
For Lynnie & Clyde: (That has a familiar ring to it. Are you two a couple?)

I must asume that you have been around a lot of folks that drink a lot but have not hung out with, lived with, been legally responsible for, had to fly across the US to recover persons who were addicted to meth (crystal or otherwise), cocaine or heroin!

I used to drink and hang out with those that did. I used to drink alot!
I used to hang out with those that did alot!

BOOZE ADDICTION IS NOTHING LIKE METHAMPHETIMINE, COCAINE, OR HEROIN ADDICTION! (or all three at once for that matter!)

Comparing the two in the same vain is a strawman argument that doesn't wash with reality.

Like Don, I also spent some time at Howard. 250Kg loads were "ohh hum", an everyday happening with occasional 1000Kgs and rarely a 10000Kgs (that's with 4 0's) load.

Lately the corridor from South of Piña to the Las Perales has been HOT! 150Kg to 500kg go-fast loads. Not exagerated! I've personally watched them at night from the beach. Sometimes heard about the bust on the radio the next day or read about it a month later when I returned to the luxury of the Internet, TV, regular electricity, and phones.

You are right about one thing, though. Drugs are a business. Big Busness. Big DEADLY business and involves local, national, and international politics.

The prohibition era in the US was NOTHING compared to what is happining in Mexico (and soon Panama) in terms of violent death and destruction. And don't forget Don't forget the Kennedy clan was up to their eyeballs in the business of running Scotch and Irish whisky from Canada and across the pond.

But given all that except for some minor historical points, you're excused! You don't know what you don't know!

But please, at least consider the experience ot those who have had some in-depth personal (not bean counting) or professional experience with the with the subject.

"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so."
--Ronald Reagan
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Drug Trafficking Through Panama Has Increased - Stephenson
Authored by: Dick on Sunday, March 21 2010 @ 12:29 PM EDT

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Steve and Susan

First a couple of questions for you:

What are the names of the "studies"
Who authored each "study"?
When were the "studies" conducted?
(Ok! 3 questions)

Second a comment or 2 or 3 or . . .

Social societies have been around forever!
Wolves have one
Horses have one
Lions have one
Bees have one
Monkeys have one
Chimps have one
Gorilla have one
etc. etc

These social animals have each developed "rules" for membership.

Sub-groups of each have modified the "rules" to suit their own particular local circumstances including helping those who are unable to care for themselves.This usually does not apply to those individuals who volintarily break the rules. In other words "there are consequences for your deliberate actions inactions and deeds".

My spelling ability is often laughed at. That's because I didn't follow the rules and pay attention in school!

Damn! There's a penalty for all devient actions!

Humans have also developed over a million or 2 years, "rules" (like the term or not) for survival within and without the group.

So the "Don't tell me how to live my life" statement sounds like what my daughters at around 12 or 13 years old used to plead! But because of their ages at the time, they are excused. They grew up into fine, productive, responsible, independant adult humans!

In all social groups individuals either follow the rules, leave the group, are forced out and away from the group, or are "disposed of" in some way! Repeatitive violatiions are not tolerated!

Humans are the only animals that have other alternatives. Confinment away from the group (prison) or welfare of some sort.
Both are a tremendous economic burden on the group!

At one time in the Good O'le USofA, this process worked pretty well.
1st violators were punished in some way. The group made in clear in some manner that repeated violations would not be tolerated. (No, you can't smoke in my barn! And no you will not leave the gate open. If you can't conform, YOU'RE FIRED!)

When repeated violations became a social burden, violators lost their social status. Not invited over for dinner / No one wants to date a young guy who has low status or displays irresponsibe behavior.

Most, like you and me, decided to conform and prosper to one degree or another or a least survived.

When the violator continually refused to conform, and the social burden became intolerable, they were expelled from the group. "Get out of town and stay out!" (no more social burden).

If the violation was severe enough (rape, murder, etc) the violator was "disposed of". (use your imagination, but, no more social burden, and of course, no further economic burden).

Then came the local jail. (The infraction was too great to responsibly release you onto society at large.) A drain on the groups resources.

Now we have group (read that tax) -supported counciling, group supported housing, food stamps, medical care, rehabilitation expenses, etc. All a drain on the groups' resources!

My spelling ability is often laughed at. That's because I didn't follow the rules and pay attention in school! (A drain on my ability to garner personal resources) Damn! There's a penalty for all deviant behavior!

So I know this is very long winded but consider this:

The terms "you" and "your" as used below does not refer to you, the reader, personally!

If you want to live your life any way you want, fine. I have no objection whatsoever. Drink all the MD20-20 you want, smoke all the blow you want, snort all the nose-candy or shoot-up all the "Horse" you can get.

But you should not expect your society to tolerate your behavior or to pick up the tab for the damages so that you can maintain your "chosen lifestyle"!

It just ain't natural!
AND IT JUST AIN'T RIGHT!

AND don't expect alot of sympathy from me if you enter my house in the middle of the night to steal and sell what I have so you can support "your chosen lifesyle"!! Expect several very loud noises!
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