A Los Angeles Times article covering two 2011 reports which criticise the American government's growing use of US contractors such as DynCorp and Lockheed Martin in fighting the drug war. These contractors were paid more than $3 billion to train local prosecutors and police, help eradicate fields of coca, operate surveillance equipment and otherwise battle the widening drug trade in Latin America over the last five years. US politicians and academics have attacked this policy, saying it is incredibly wasteful and ineffective.
A US Senate Subcommittee report, commissioned by Senator Claire McCaskill, which examines State Department and Defense Department spending on contracts to supply counternarcotics assistance to governments in Latin America. The report's analysis finds that from 2005 to 2009, the federal government’s annual spending on counternarcotics contracts in Latin America rose by 32%, from $482 million in 2005 to $635.8 million in 2009; and that, in total, the US government spent more than $3.1 billion on counternarcotics contracts during this period, despite not having any uniform systems in place to track or evaluate whether these contracts are achieving their goals.
A unique collection of original essays that investigates the impacts of the war on drugs on children, young people and their families. It looks to foster debate as to whether current polices are indeed protecting children, as governments claim, or if the war on drugs has in fact had a negative impact on their lives and created numerous harms.
Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, argues that if we fail to commit to ending mass incarceration, future generations will judge us harshly. She draws attention to the fact that the war on drugs has been the driving force behind a quintupling of the US prison population over the last few decades, with African Americans disproportionately bearing the brunt of this increase.
An AOL News interview with Sylvia Longmire, former senior border security analyst for the state of California, who discusses the extent of Mexican drug cartels' influence and violent practices in the US. She concludes that both the US and Mexican governments "need to do some rethinking" about drug control measures, as the situation is only getting worse.
An article from the Root analysing the effectiveness of a criminal justice – instead of a public health – approach to drugs, as well as discussing the differing incarceration rates between African American and white drug users.
A feature-length documentary based on a collection of testimonials from criminal offenders, family members, and experts on criminal justice, which examines the effects of excessively punitive drug policies in the US.
A comprehensive Guardian report on how Wachovia, one of the biggest US banks – which is now part of the giant Wells Fargo – laundered vast amounts of money for Mexican drug cartels. It was revealed that the bank failed to apply proper anti-laundering strictures to the transfer of $378.4bn, a sum equivalent to one-third of Mexico's gross national product.
A report from the NAACP which shows that minorities and the poor are most negatively affected by incarceration and criminal sanctions for drug offences and calls for an end to existing disparities in sentencing.