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Aerobiology and the War on Drugs: A Transnational Crime

NCJ Number
Crime and Social Justice Issue: 30 Dated: (1987) Pages: 28-44
R delOlmo
Date Published
17 pages
The great demand for drugs, particularly marijuana and cocaine, in the United States, has given rise to transnational crime with an economic dimension in Latin America and other Third World countries.
The main emphasis of the Reagan administration's war on drugs has been on programs of eradication and interdiction. The latter programs provide an example of a crime with the characteristics of eco-bio-genocide, committed under the pretext of preventing another crime. This transnational crime involves the use of a whole complex of toxic chemicals -- pesticides, herbicides, plaguicides -- whose use has been prohibited or restricted in developed countries, but which have unlimited use in Third World countries lacking environmental laws or regulatory controls on toxic chemicals. Despite mounting scientific knowledge about the toxic effects of such chemicals as paraquat, gliphosphate, and agent orange, they continue to be the major weapons in the war on drugs. The emphasis on stopping drugs at their source and the aerial spraying programs aimed at crop eradication in such countries as Mexico and Colombia exemplify the existence of a double standard in the use of deadly toxins that victimizes the inhabitants of developing nations by destroying their food crops, polluting their environment, and endangering their health. 10 notes and 31 references.