Narco terrorism was a term first used by the President Fernando B. Terry of Peru in the year 1983 when he was addressing his anti-narcotic policemen. Generally this term is used to refer to the violent and intimidating manner in which the narcotic traffickers influence their policies in their respective government. In a nutshell it is the way the narcotic traffickers force the law enforcers and the society at large to flaunt laws in their favor failure to which misfortunes such as family kidnappings, deaths or death threats are guaranteed.
With time the narcotic traffickers have transformed their affairs into a booming profit making business (Dikshita and Shah. 120-25). There have also been other understandings about Narco terrorism. For instance oxford dictionary defined Narco terrorism as simply terrorism that deals with illegal drugs. Other researches have said that the complexity of acquisition and distribution of illicit drugs as a source. As a result there has been an increase in the produce of illegal drugs that has also lead to its abuse, crime, ill health, terrorist financial management and worst of all illegal economy infiltration (Ehrenfeld. 56).
Terrorist Groups and Illegal Drugs The United Nation in their report of October 2001 indicted that the most dreaded terrorist group the Al Qaeda has an income of 2. 4 US dollars from solely the drug businesses. In Colombia, the FARC guerilla was said to be getting its income from protecting illegal operations of drug barons including protection from taxation. Narco Terrorism is linked to drug related organized crimes after the world wars. This is believed to have given birth to Narco-states. These are states whereby the drug barons use their powers to gain access to political and economic power.
For instance Colombia and Afghanistan are said to be the most notorious Narco-states (Ehrenfeld. 70). Due to the rapid increase of Narco terrorism across the globe, their has been endless debates in public forums to counter this problem. There has been an outcry to stop production, distribution, and consumption of the narcotic drugs with no success. Studies indicate that most countries that grow and produce the drugs are developing countries. Many countries both developed and developing have united to ensure that the terrorist organizations are weakened and destroyed.
Police and various countries have been on the look out to ensure that production is either limited or completely stopped (Davids. 151-154). Measures to Counter Narco Terrorism Many drug related terrorists accounts are frozen by respective governments in the effort of undermining any illegal economic operations by the groups which could translate to economic and political empowerment. Non governmental and governmental organization have also taken charge to preach against use of narcotic drugs, particular by street dwellers who are more prone to be enrolled in the drug terrorist gangs.
Free counseling sessions and treatment have been set up to help those who are already hooked in the drugs as these do not help and individual but the drug barons who champion terrorism (Dikshita and Shah. 123). The policy makers have continued to discourage if not abolishes the use of narcotic drugs as a medical measure. Public campaigns have been held global wide to create awareness of the impact of use of drugs. Issues of health have been discussed in depth as well as the indirect aid of terrorist activities by usage narcotic drugs.
The international anti-drug campaigns have drawn strategies and interventions that have lead to the fall of demand of the drugs. These are done by police rigorous involvement to cracking down of the drug users/abusers among others. The policy makers’ dockets have continued monitor and evaluate the progress of the countermeasures in place (Davids. 165-69). Statistics According to reports by the United National International Drug Convention of the year 1988 narcotic drugs are used for medicinal purposes however illegal distribution have enable access to people who do not need them and thus ended up abusing them.
According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime report of 2006, 5% of the world populations of age between 15 years and 64 years of age are using drugs (Ehrenfeld. 154-158). The most abused drug and also most produced is cannabis. In year 2003 alone about 40,000. 00 metric tones were produced while Morocco delivers 80% of Hashish to Europe. Studies indicate that the structure of drug barons have grown from small time operators to cartels. As a result Narco Terrorism has seen violence being monopolized by the drug barons.
There are four major operators on Narco Terrorism activities. The criminal organizations, the armed movements, the government and its security and finally the narco-states. The criminal organizations have been in existence since time memorial. For instance the French Connection of the years 1950s -1960s assisted in channeling Opiates from France to the United States of America. Distribution of drugs to the user is a very delicate affair and therefore it requires a powerful organization to ensure safety arrival and discrete from the arm of the law (Ehrenfeld. 175-178).
The Armed movement therefore plays a very important role in provision of security or fighting the enemy. The armed movement in most cases masquerades as a religious unit or an oppressed group politically. For instance the war of Tajikistan of the years 1990s saw warlords get financed from drug money. The states of many governments and their arms of security have been confirmed to be involved in Narco terrorism to gain political and economic mileage. For instance in Fidel Castro’s government is said to have played a major role in transportation of drugs from South and Central America to the USA.
North Korean government have been for years accused of misusing their diplomatic channels by facilitating drug transportation from one point to another and its usage (www. nti. org). Running a successful drug business requires good leadership skills to include planning, and ability to gain control and command of the subjects. These attributes are a must have for a terrorist leader or a drug baron chief. The two have displayed participation in crime as it is inevitable. These groups are also very secretive as any knowledge of the group to the public might enable the enemy to destroy them.
Therefore telephone tapping is in most cases used as a measure to know who to trust within and outside the criminal organization. The mode of government is authoritative and money laundering is the order of the day so that they evade paying taxes (Davids. 170-175). However despite their cautious way of life, the police and other intelligent units have managed to filter into the group and sometimes they succeed in arresting them. The reason why the police arrest such people is because they make their money by participating in crimes such as illegal trafficking of drugs and rivalry killings (Martin. 112).
The United States of America having suffered adversely in the hands of the terrorist that have been funded by drug money has played a major role in fighting Narco Terrorism. Intelligent reports have constantly been aired on international media to alert people on the danger of Narco Terrorism. They have also facilitated debates between the producers and consumers of narcotic drugs to allow collective responsibility in ensuring that terrorists do not use them to achieve their selfish ends (www. nti. org).
The producers who are normally developing countries however argue that they have to produce these narcotic drugs as it is their only means that empowers them socio-economically and politically. However, there have been concerns of environmental pollution and corruptions that are associated with production of these drugs. The producing countries also blame the consumer countries that they are the ones that dictate the supply, since supply is dictated by demands, and that in the effort to uplift their lives, they struggle to meet the demand (Martin. 123-126).
The United States of America being the major anti-narcotic drugs preachers and consumers have continued to blame the producer as opposed to the consumers. The consumers have been excused that they get drawn to drugs as a result of life problems such as marital and financial difficulties instead (Martin. 144-146). One organization that is engaged in preventing the spread of narcotic drug usage harshly criticized these approach and asked the government and its people to take blame of their own mistakes.
Michael Levine a member of this group particularly cautioned the about the security arm and police that get involved in drug trafficking and go unpunished. Conclusion A strong arm of law is necessary to counter Narco terrorism in any country. Treatment of drugs on voluntary basis has not provided any positive result and it’s a high time government’s changed tactics. Lack of proper co-ordination between the police force and other anti-narcotic drugs groups has yielded bad results. Work cited Davids, Douglas J. Narco-Terrorism: A Unified Strategy to Fight a Growing Terrorist Menace . Ardsley, NY, Transnational Publishers, 2002.
p 176. Dikshita. R. and Shah. G. Narco Terrorism: Michigan: Sidhi Books. 1996. Ehrenfeld. R. Narco Terrorism; London: Basic Books Streets: 1990. Jalalza. Khan. M. Narco-terrorism in Afghanistan; Kitabistan: 2006. Martin. G. Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues: New York: SAGE: 2009. Ronczkowski. M. Terrorism and Organized Hate Crime: Intelligence Gathering, Analysis, and Investigation: New York: CRC Press. 2006. Teicher. Dario E. The Decisive Phase of Colombia’s on Narco Terrorist: Washington: Sunny Press. 2008. NTI. Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved from www. nti. org on May 12th 2010.