Colombia's coca cultivation boom is not only being blamed for increased cocaine consumption in the United States, it is also being held responsible for an alleged growth in local demand in Colombia. But the evidence doesn't stack up. And these unsubstantiated notions are being used to drum up support for misguided anti-narcotic policies.
In our September 21 Facebook Live Session, Co-director Steven Dudley and Senior Editor Mike LaSusa discussed some of our viewers' questions concerning the most pressing crime and corruption issues in Latin America.
The rise of organized crime in Venezuela's southern Bolívar region has been directly proportional to the state's neglect of local people and towns. Criminal gang lords impose terror using the same methods of extreme violence favored by the leaders of Venezuelan prisons, the pranes, turning the mining business into part of their criminal network.
Recent testimony before the US Senate revived allegations that a Venezuela-owned company in Nicaragua may have laundered money for Colombia's demobilizing FARC guerrillas, once again raising the question of whether foreign governments may have been complicit in washing the fighters' dirty cash.