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War on Drugs Timeline

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April Jernberg

on 17 March 2010

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Transcript of War on Drugs Timeline

June 1971: Nixon officially declares a war on drugs, identifying drug abuse as "public enemy # I" July 1973: Nixon creates the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to coordinate the efforts of all other agencies. November 1975: Medellin Massacre From 2000 to 2006: Coca cultivation in Colombia rose 15%, cocaine production 4% Mid-1980s: The South Florida Drug Task Force finally pays off and drug traffickers change transport routes making the Mexican border the major point of entry. August 2000: President Bill Clinton gives $1.3 billion in aid to Plan Colombia November 1993: President Clinton signs the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which increases the amount of trade and traffic across the U.S.-Mexican border. This makes it more difficult for U.S. Customs to find narcotics moving across the border. The Justice Department reported in December that Mexican cartels are the "biggest organized crime threat in the United States," present in 230 cities. There are 6,600 licensed gun dealers along the southern U.S. border alone, vastly outnumbering a relative handful of federal investigators assigned to Mexican smuggling. U.S. officials seized less than $1 billion in contraband cash last year, a fraction of cartel assets. 1994: War on Drugs now imprisons 1 million people a year. Someone is arrested for violating a drug law every 17 seconds.
1996: Gary Webb publishes "Dark Alliance" series in the San Jose Mercury News accusing CIA of helping contras smuggle cocaine into the US during the 1980s. Webb is discredited by media, is demoted, resigns, and commits suicide in 2004. Internal CIA probe ultimately corroborates many of Webb's claims. October 1986: Reagan creates mandatory minimum penalties for drug offenses, which are increasingly criticized for promoting significant racial disparities in the prison population because of the differences in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine. Possession of crack, which is cheaper, results in a harsher sentence; the majority of crack users are lower income. 2006: Conservative PAN candidate, Felipe Calderon declared President of Mexico after disputed and highly controversial elections against liberal PRD candidate Manuel Lopez Obregon.
March 20I0: Maria Genoveva Rogers, A Red Cross clinic worker dies in gulf coast city Tampico. 17,900 deaths as of March 2010 including 620 women, 87 soldiers and 1,500 police officers

~55,000 troops deployed throughout the country

Over 2000 accusations of military abuse in 2008 alone

July 2008: Police torture tapes exposed

Only one military officer convicted of HR violations, which is the first information released from the military in ten years

Police and Military accused of rape, murder, torture, wrongful detention, forceful entry into households June 30, 2008: US passes Merida Initiative March 2007: Right to Know Act. Establishes principles of transparency and provides minimum standards for access to public information at the federal, state, and municipal level.

June 2008: Constitutional Reform.
New laws guarantee presumption of innocence, public and oral trials, and access to qualified defense lawyers. 2009: The State Department declares that Mexico has "generally respected and promoted human rights at the national level by investigating, prosecuting, and sentencing public officials and members of security forces.”

This allows the US to release the remaining 15% of Merida funds. July 2009: Calderon decreed that the military authorities have broader power to represent the executive in cases involving military actions. November 4, 2008:

Interior Minister Juan Camilo Mouriño dies instantly in a plane crash along with seven others, including a top security adviser and former federal prosecutor, José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos who had dedicated his career to the fight against drug gangs.

Mexico's War on Drugs
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