Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Cocaine Wars and the Deforestation of Central America

"Starting in the early 2000s, the United States-led drug enforcement in the Caribbean and Mexico pushed drug traffickers into places that were harder to patrol, like the large, forested areas of central America," said David Wrathall, an Oregon State University geographer and co-author on the study. "A flood of illegal drug money entered these places and these drug traffickers needed a way that they could spend it.

"It turns out that one of the best ways to launder illegal drug money is to fence off huge parcels of forest, cut down the trees, and build yourself a cattle ranch. It is a major, unrecognized driver of tropical deforestation in Central America."

Using data from the Global Forest Change program estimating deforestation, the research team identified irregular or abnormal deforestation from 2001-2014 that did not fit previously identified spatial or temporal patterns caused by more typical forms of land settlement or frontier colonization. The team then estimated the degree to which narcotics trafficking contributes to forest loss, using a set of 15 metrics developed from the data to determine the rate, timing and extent of deforestation.

(Science Daily:  'Narco-deforestation' study links loss of Central American tropical forests to cocaine)

The above was presented verbatim since why should you believe it were I to paraphrase it.  MSM is specifically why there's so much attribution of things on Ithaka.  We provide the citations for things whereas MSM never does.  Welcome to their world of unnamed sources.

One aspect of news in America which is almost never true is anything the context of drug use, particularly narcotics.

"We are cruising through the last of our wild spaces in Central America," Wrathall said. "Obviously, ending the illegal drug trade would be the best solution, but that isn't going to happen. In fact, when drug enforcement efforts are successful, they often push the activity into remote areas that haven't had issues before, such as remote biodiversity hotspots."

Wrathall is an assistant professor in Oregon State University's College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. He specializes in the impact of climate change on the distribution of the human population and other factors that affect human migration.

"The surge of violence in Central America that has accompanied drug trafficking is recognized as a major driver of migration in the region."

- SD

In this case, the interested student is advised to read the article to pursue this further.  Efforts toward interdiction look great on television and I believe there's another tiresome movie on the matter which has either just been released or will be soon.  The consequences of interdiction, however, don't receive much publicity at all.

We agree with a determined effort toward reduction or elimination of abuse of cocaine and other networks but the Rockhouse preference is for something which works better than Hollywood heroes who are in it for the selfies.

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