International Drug Policy• International drug policy focuses on the “control” of narcotics for two main purposes.• To prevent the illicit use, manufacture, and distribution of narcotics.• To keep narcotics available for controlled medical use.
International Drug Control Treaties• There are three main treaties established by the UN regarding the trade and abuse of narcotics.• 1) Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961 This Convention aims to combat drug abuse by coordinated international action. There are two forms of intervention and control that work together. First, it seeks to limit the possession, use, trade in, distribution, import, export, manufacture and production of drugs exclusively to medical and scientific purposes. Second, it combats drug trafficking through international cooperation to deter and discourage drug traffickers.
International Drug Control Treaties• 2) United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 The Convention establishes an international control system for psychotropic substances. It responded to the diversification and expansion of the spectrum of drugs of abuse and introduced controls over a number of synthetic drugs according to their abuse potential on the one hand and their therapeutic value on the other.
International Drug Control Treaties• 3) United Nations Convention against illicit traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988 This Convention provides comprehensive measures against drug trafficking, including provisions against money laundering and the diversion of precursor chemicals. It provides for international cooperation through, for example, extradition of drug traffickers, controlled deliveries and transfer of proceedings.
Use of Conventions• The 3 conventions on drug control are all complementary and supportive of one another.• These drug control treaties are also complemented by The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.• This convention legally binds the participating states to take measures against international crime such as “sweeping frameworks for mutual legal assistance, extradition, law enforcement cooperation and technical assistance, and training.”
Operation of Drug Rings• International drug rings contain people of various nationalities operating out of virtually anywhere.• Many times the ones orchestrating the illegal operations are doing so in a foreign country.• Recently a Canadian, and American citizen have been arrested in the seizure of $237 million dollars of narcotics being shipped from China to Port Botany Australia.• The two men were running their illegal operations out of Australia, and attempted to smuggle the 350kg of narcotics (heroine and cocaine) concealed in heavy machinery.• The Canadian man recently appeared in a court hearing where he was denied bail.
Extradition• Extradition has become an international tool used by cooperating countries to disrupt the operation of drug rings.• The relation between US and Colombia provides an interesting perspective on extradition with relation to these International Drug Rings and their leaders.
U.S Colombian Cooperation• In 1997 a treaty was signed between the U.S and Colombia to allow the extradition of Colombian nationals involved in drug trafficking or other international crimes.• In the case of Colombia and the U.S extradition has proved to be a vital component of cooperation, along with joint criminal investigations.• The level of cooperation involving extradition between these two countries is at an all time high in an attempt to disrupt and set back these criminal organizations.• Extradition serves an even more important role with Colombia and the United states because of the lucrative opportunities involved in the mass trafficking of drugs across these boarders and into to a very large “market” like the U.S.
Extraditions affect on International Drug Rings• The most important part of extradition between Colombia and the united states is the disruption of organized crime.• Extradition forces drug lords operating in Colombia to be sent north to face trial.• This tactic of extraditing helps de-organize the organized drug rings by forcing drug lords with extensive connections to a foreign place were they have little to no influence on the outside world.• This is particularly important when examining Colombia’s history with imprisoning leaders of these very powerful Colombian Cartels.
Trafficking• The Colombian Cartels control the trafficking of cocaine across boarders using many different methods.• These cartels in south America can move the drugs by land, through Mexico and across the United States boarders by Transport Truck or trap car.• Commercial shipping vessels are also used for extremely large shipments of drugs through the Caribbean.• Mexico along with the islands populating the Caribbean such as Haiti, the Dominican republic, and Puerto Rico are used as midpoints for trafficking the drugs.
Border Intelligence• As smuggling becomes more complex so is the technology that needs to be used by United states boarders particularly.• In 2011 realizing that drug trafficking has become even more of a problem Barrack Obama sought to increase the use of technology such as X-ray’s that can scan for narcotics in vehicles crossing the boarder, particularly transport trucks.• Maritime methods of trafficking drugs had become increasingly popular and successful calling for an improvement and increased use of Radars by the US coast guard in order to detect newer non commercial methods such as “fast boats” and most recently submarines.
Trafficking Sentences and Seizure• First Offense: Not less than 10 yrs. and not more than life. If death or serious bodily injury, not less than 20 yrs. or more than life. Fine of not more than $10 million if an individual, $50 million if not an individual. United states border Patrol annual apprehensions(2011)Coastal border sectors- 6,552Northern border sectors- 6,123Southwest border sectors- 327,577