Below you will find information about the relationship of NAFTA and the FTAA to the drug war. This information is compiled by Reverend Damuzi and represents a relatively brief exploration of a series of articles written by the reverend that have been published in various back issues of Cannabis Culture Magazine.
-Question: What do NAFTA, the FTAA and other so-called “free” trade agreements have to do with marijuana and drug prohibition?
-Here is the answer:
(1) The drug war has been used as the enforcement arm of so-called “free trade.” In 1982, many South American countries were strong-armed into signing structural adjustment loans (SAL’s) when their economies crashed and they couldn’t pay back development loans from the World Bank. The crash was largely manufactured by the World Bank through unprincipled loan practices. Colombia held out by making its loan payments from the revenue generated by coca and marijuana production. The US drug war in Colombia targeted the country’s most vibrant and resilient economy, eventually forcing Colombia to tow the line on free trade in a series of agreements that begin to be signed in the early 90’s and culminating with Colombia’s full participation in the FTAA.
-An excerpt from South American Holocaust, CC#20, describing World Bank involvement and the third world debt crisis at greater length:
-More excellent information about the third world debt crisis and its use to leverage third world countries into free trade style economic reforms can be found in Susan George’s excellent and extremely influential book, “Debt Boomerang” which can be purchased at online bookstores and also has a website:
-More information about the intentions of the World Bank in leveraging free-trade style reforms can be found in an excellent series by retired world bank economist Harold Brandreth, called “Money as a colonizing tool.” I will try to make this series available in some form in the future.
Ironically, while drug production is routinely blamed on anyone that stands in the way of resource extraction, everyone from the Colombian military to the CIA to the presidents of Colombia and the US have been implicated in South American drug smuggling. Largely, the term “drug war” is really just a way of collecting moral support for military attacks on armed revolutionaries, peaceful indigenous peoples, and democratic movements alike that stand in the way of corporate profits.
-Check out some information about the internationally acclaimed series “Dark Alliance,” by San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb, which triggered a US government investigation into CIA drug smuggling:
-A story of the attempts to silence Gary Webb:
-Check out this link to an article about the Bush family’s long involvement in the drug trafficking:
-And President Bush’s own history with drugs:
-Check out this link to an article about how President Clinton was caught at the villa of a renowned cocaine smuggler:
We see a similar reflection of the relationship between free trade and the drug war in BC. During the Salmon War, Glen Clark retaliated against the US by canceling talks to develop a corporate region-state called the Pacific North-West Economic Conference (PNWER, aka Cascadia), which would have seen the American states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington joined to the Canadian provinces and territories of British Columbia, Alberta and the Yukon. Shortly after, the CIA named Canada a marijuana-producing nation (particularly targeting British Columbia), drug border checks were radically increased (particularly along the BC/Washington border), US customs became more active in Canadian airports, and the travel routes between BC and California were declared High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA’s).
All major free trade promoting international bodies have either strong drug war departments and/or connections. FTAA negotiators regularly talk about ways to make the drug war an international enterprise. Participation in the FTAA requires full participation in the international drug war.
-The Organization of American States is responsible for coordinating the FTAA and the international drug war at regular meetings called “The Summit of the Americas” (the most recent of which was held in Quebec City). The OAS has its own drug war branch, called the OAS Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission and known by its Spanish acronym, CICAD. Check out the OAS website:
*http://www.oas.org (go to the search engine and type in “drugs.” Check out the CICAD website by going to the pull-down bar at the top left corner of the OAS site, and selecting “drug control”.)
-Check out the Summit of the Americas Website:
*http://www.summit-americas.org (Take a look at the “Declaration of Quebec City,” in particular notice where it says that “Foremost amongst these threats [to the security of society]are the global drug problem and related crimes?” This document promises a renewed and continued international drug war as a part of moving forward with globalism and free trade. It has been agreed to by our nation’s leader, Prime Minister Jean Chretien.)
-The 13 member council of the UN’s drug war branch, the INCB, is elected by the UN’s free-trade promoting Economic and Social Council. Check out the INCB’s website:
-Link to the HIDTA website, which shows where US drug enforcement efforts are being focused:
-In particular, check out this page of the HIDTA website:
*http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/enforce/hidta/nw-fs.html (scroll down and check out the part where it lists the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development as a participating member. This department has been central in PNWER talks and planning.)
-Link to the Inter-American Development Bank, a free trade promoting international-level bank with strong ties to the World Bank. The OAS is not shy to admit that the Inter-American Development Bank close ties to the OAS drug war branch CICAD:
-Link to the CIA world factbook, listing Canada as a marijuana exporting nation:
*http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ca.html (Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and check it out)
(2) The drug war is also used as an excuse to destroy anything that stands in the path of free trade, the first agenda of which is international mobility corridors. Democracy, villages full of innocent people, and the local economies that they support are some of the first victims.
In Northern Colombia, the city of Apartad? is situated in an area of intense mobility corridor planning (particularly by the Inter-American Development Bank). The mayor, Gloria Cuartez, who opposed multinational mobility corridor planning in her area (which includes major north/south highway development and an east/west canal to replace the one in Panama), and who had the democratic support of the people, suffered from repeated attacks on her life in which children were once killed. Eventually, every one of the members of her city council who supported her were also killed. She now lives in hiding far from Apartad?, with the support of the Women’s League for Peace and Freedom.
In British Columbia and the state of Washington, free-trade promoting international mobility planners see BC Bud as a stumbling block to opening the borders. Their answer is to take the American drug war away from the borders and into British Columbia itself.
-Check out this article from the president of the Discovery Institute, which promotes the Washington-BC International Mobility Corridor, and how he sees the drug war:
-Link to Gloria Cuartez’s website:
-Buy the latest issue of Cannabis Culture, and read the story “US Drug War in Canada!” for more information about how the drug war creates stumbling blocks for those trying to open trade between the US and Canada.
-There is more information supportive of this point contained in links below.
(3) The drug war is also used in order to inexpensively extract resources from the land and guarantee cheap labour for products that will be sold on the international market. People demanding even the slightest human rights in a labour setting or who have the misfortune to live on lands that are rich in oil or emeralds are particularly targeted for slaughter, enslavement and dispossession of their property.
-Studies by the organization Geopolitical Drug Watch indicate that certain multinational corporations have formed alliances with paramilitaries in South America to coordinate military attacks on villages that are situated on high mineral and oil producing lands. “It is noteworthy that for several years the expansion of the paramilitary groups [involved in mass killings], which have close ties with the drug trade, has very closely paralleled that of the oil drilling and production areas” reads the OGD 97/98 Report. There are tons of similar, scientifically researched observations on their site, which has made the OGD a quotable and trustworthy authority for news-services around the world:
-An article that explores the relationship between certain multinationals corporations (particularly those with gold mining interests) and death squads in South America:
-The Colombian city of Barrancabermeja has received a flood of refugees, who were rounded into the city after by paramilitaries so that their land could be developed for its gold resources. Take a look at this article from the Economist:
-The indigenous U’Wa were particularly targeted for military attacks by an oil company who wanted and have been at least partially successful in stealing oil-rich U’Wa lands. In the process some U’Wa children were killed. The U’Wa are so despondent that they have threatened mass-suicide:
-Occidental has strong links to the free-trade promoting Inter-American Development Bank. Go to the Inter-American Development Bank’s website and type “occidental petroleum” into their site search engine (you will likely need the program adobe acrobat as many of their more interesting english-language files are in PDF format):
-The free-trade promoting Inter-American development bank has their own “involuntary resettlement program,” a term that hasn’t been in much circulation since the Nazis used it as a euphemism to describe how they rounded up Jewish people and gassed them, sometimes in the very rail cars that were supposedly taking them to their “new homes”. See this document, from a PDF file downloaded from the Inter-American development bank’s website:
-Certain multinational corporations routinely call labour organizers “narcoguerillas” and use that as an excuse to slaughter or imprison them (the labour union SINTRAINAL has reported such attacks from Coca Cola and Nestl?). Visit this website for excellent news articles from the mainstream media:
(4) Human rights abuses in South American countries like Mexico and Colombia by particular multinational corporations, directed against workers and property owners (Give link to UWA), create an unfair and immoral trade advantage for products arriving into BC and Canada from those countries. They can produce the same goods for less money because they are unjustly depriving people of basic human rights.
-Here is a link to a site that explores the problems with Maquiladoras under NAFTA, and which includes some articles from the mainstream media:
-Here are a few more sites on the same theme (Only a small sample. There are so many!):
(5) When we trade in goods we also trade in human rights. If our local products are to compete with the unfair trade advantages of South American goods, then British Columbians (and indeed all Canadians) will be subject to steadily declining human rights standards.
For example, American politicians are increasing the pressure on Canada to adopt the same drug war standards as the United States. Without US interference, Canada would benefit from trading in billions of dollars of BC Bud as borders steadily erased under free trade. To ensure that Canada doesn’t benefit in this way, NAFTA and FTAA agreements will take an emphasis off of border controls and increase restrictions to producing bud right here in Canada, by creating international pressure for Canada to increase the penalties for trafficking, possession and cultivation.
-Here is a link to an transcript of a CBC 5th Estate program, showing how the DEA has infiltrated Canada, and how the DEA now coordinates marijuana stings in BC. Also included is evidence that the Canadian Minister of Justice has essentially handed the RCMP over to the Americans for use in the drug war.
-Here is a link to an article in the Ottawa Citizen describing how the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) chastized British Columbia for being too lax in our attitudes toward marijuana, and how Canada agreed to the INCB’s demands that Canada step up the drug war, particularly in British Columbia. Also in this article, journalist Dan Gardner exposes the INCB as a a puppet organization for US drug war mongers:
-Here is a link to a story by Cannabis Culture journalist Pete Brady, again showing that the US Office of National Drug Control Policy and the UN’s INCB have been pressuring the Canadian Government for tighter drug-law enforcement:
US interference in Canadian drug laws are an example of how trade agreements such as NAFTA and the FTAA push human rights to the lowest common denominator between member countries. How long before the DEA are shooting people with good timber or some mineral resource on their land, and calling them “narcogeurrillas” to justify their behavior? The drug war must end.
Canada should demand that the nations it trades with have human rights standards at least equal to our own, and that the US and other nations of the world immediately call a halt to drug war activities within their own borders. Meanwhile, we should work on improving our human rights standards here, ending the drug war in BC and eventually Canada.
-Here is what Marc Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture and president of the BC Marijuana Party, has to say about free trade:
“Free trade in principle is a great thing: unencumbered mutually consenting trade in ideas and goods. Best kind of foreign aid, intellectual freedom, assistance for the poor, fast moving, consumer directed economy. Free trade can be a wonderful thing.
“Negotiated treaties between governments are not, however, wonderful things. They are political omelettes that contain preferences & privileges for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of favour seeking elites, of course, inevitably powerful and political influential (or else they wouldn’t be considered in the treaty draft).
“As a consequence, the phrase ‘free trade’ when used to describe governments’ trade agreements, is not free trade but negotiated privilege.
“I bring this up, because I respect [Reverend Damuzi’s] research into the nefarious trade arrangements that have compromised our sovereignty and further integrated Canada into a US government sphere of greater influence, but I believe that all intellectual and economic freedom is rooted in a ‘free exchange’ without government imposed barriers.”
-Here is what Dana Larsen, editor of Cannabis Culture and the BC Marijuana Party’s Deputy Leader, has to say about free trade:
“There is a difference between NAFTA and ‘free trade’. NAFTA and its ilk are complex trade agreements that are not “free trade” despite their use of the term.
“When Damuzi writes ‘free trade’ he means the ideology behind NAFTA, which I agree is one based upon government and corporate control, despite the rhetoric?”
“NAFTA and the other pending Free Trade of the Americas agreements have clauses and connections to the drug war. For countries to be allowed into these trade agreements they have to meet certain standards of drug-war oppression.
“I support ‘free trade’ but I oppose NAFTA.”
Here are a few stories by Reverend Damuzi, exploring the connection of free trade to the drug war, that you can find online.
-Herbal Holocaust (Cannabis Canada #9)
Exploring the connection between free trade agreements and the banning of natural and healing herbs and vitamins:
-Multinationals will kill for Drugs (Cannabis Culture #13)
Starting with the Opium war and exploring UN involvement in the drug war/free trade complex:
-US Prison Empire (Cannabis Culture #30)
A detailed analysis of the US Prison/Industrial complex, linking drug war arrests to ghetto redevelopment, corporate feudalism, and sex/race oppression. A comparison of the prison/industrial complex to the drug war/free trade complex.
The following stories aren’t online yet, but can be ordered from Cannabis Culture by requesting the relevant back-issue.
(604) 669-9069; [email protected]
-Death to South Americans Inc (Cannabis Culture #19)
A consideration of the relationship between the drug war and free trade with a particular focus on international structures, banks and government.
-South American Holocaust (Cannabis Culture #20)
An exploration of the devastation wrought by the drug war in specific South American countries, comparing Mexico, which is signed into NAFTA to Colombia which is not. A look at Nazi involvement in early corporate development in South America, and how it relates to the drug war.
-Colombia’s Corporate Killers (Cannabis Culture #23)
A look at death squads and their relationship to both particular multinational corporations and to the drug war.
-Colombian Death Spray (Cannabis Culture #26)
Comparing Colombia to Vietnam. The use of glyphosate (roundup) and other sprays in the so-called drug war that is really a war against FARC revolutionaries. Also details corporate interests in using such sprays to expand the drug war.
-US Drug War in Canada! (Cannabis Culture #31)
The cross-border drug war destroys Canadian sovereignty as NAFTA helps the DEA control the RCMP in BC.
There is so much more, and this document is but a brief primer, thrown together quickly. If you search around on your own a bit more, you will find more evidence of the unfortunate misuse of so-called “free-trade” agreements as tools of oppression. Good luck, and educate others!
-Reverend Damuzi ([email protected]).