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The US War on Drugs in Latin America
Introduction
The United States has a long history of intervention in the affairs of one it’s southern neighbor, Latin America. The war on drugs has been no exception. An investigation of US relations with Latin America in the period from 1820 to 1960, reveals the war on drugs to be a convenient extension of an almost 200 year-old policy. This investigation focuses on the commercial and political objectives of the US in fighting a war on drugs in Latin America. These objectives explain why the failing drug policy persisted despite its overwhelming failure to decrease drug production or trafficking. These objectives also explain why the US has recently exchanged a war on drugs for the war on terrorism.
Fighting a Losing Battle
Since it’s beginning, the war on drugs has been a series of lost battles. Failed expectations in Panama, Colombia and Bolivia provide glaring examples.
The US invaded Panama in 1989 and removed leader Manuel Noriega from power. Prior to Noriega’s arrest, the Bush administration had portrayed him as a …