NI 455 - Illegal drugs - September, 2012

NI 455 - September, 2012

Subscribe from $15.00

Illegal drugs

A note from the editor

Vanessa Baird

Journalism isn’t a bad profession. It can have its risks, dangers and limitations, depending on what you do and where you do it. But, by and large, it isn’t life-threatening.
Unless, like Sandra Rodríguez, you live just on the Mexican side of the border with the United States.

Sandra works for El Diario, a newspaper in Ciudad Juárez. She investigates crime and corruption in a city torn apart by the ‘war on drugs’. This is a place where journalists are routinely murdered for just doing their job.

The courage and persistence of Sandra and other reporters, who have lost colleagues when death threats turned real, takes your breath away. It shows a commitment to freedom of speech, to talking truth to power, way beyond what most of us will ever be called upon to prove. Writing in this month’s issue of New Internationalist on legalizing drugs, Sandra startlingly evokes what it is like to live and report, day-by-day, in the cauldron of impunity.

And while we are on the subject of journalism, why is it that some conflicts get saturation coverage, while others are ignored? Nick Harvey explores this in an article that delivers some uncomfortable home truths.

Finally, we are pleased to welcome the wonderful North American writer Alice Walker to these pages. She turns a simple Q&A into a kind of poetry that encompasses dust motes, the Dalai Lama, Fidel Castro and the Universe.

PS: Special thanks to Tony Jackson for his help and tireless lobbying on the drugs issue.

Vanessa Baird for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

The big story

Mexican soldiers burn 7.6 tonnes of cannabis seized in Ciudad Juarez. Illegal exports of marijuana into the US account for 25% of cartel income.

Mexican soldiers burn 7.6 tonnes of cannabis seized in Ciudad Juarez. Illegal exports of marijuana into the US account for 25% of cartel income.

Photo: Stringer/Reuters

Legalize drugs - all of them!

NI editor Vanessa Baird looks at the many reasons why this is the only option that makes sense.

Buy this magazine

We were sitting in a café drinking cola. My two companions, drug enforcement soldiers, kept their guns resting across their knees. Fingers not quite on triggers but close enough for rapid response. They were smiling.

The woman running the café was not. Her face was closed, expressionless. Through the open window we could hear the almost constant sound of light aircraft taking off and landing somewhere in the thick greenery of Peru’s Upper Huallaga Valley. When, earlier, I had innocently a...




Features

Illegal drugs - THE FACTS

The demand for illegal drugs is solid and the trade in them resilient - in spite of expensive and punitive attempts to stop it.

Buy this magazine

What would legalization of drugs look like?

What would legalization of drugs look like?

Heroin in every lunchbox? Not quite. Medic Max Rendall answers your questions...

Buy this magazine

Journalism in Mexico: 'Seeing my own death'

Journalism in Mexico: 'Seeing my own death'

Award-winning reporter Sandra Rodríguez Nieto on the dangers of writing from the drug-war frontline.

Buy this magazine

Opinion

Obama: a better adversary

It may seem counter-intuitive, but this is just one more reason for voting for Barack, says Mark Engler.

Buy this magazine

Should celebrities promote charities?

Professors Mark Wheeler and Ilan Kapoor go head-to-head.

Buy this magazine

Agenda

The gloves are off

The gloves are off

The authorities are cracking down on dissent in Russia, writes Victor Sonkin.

Buy this magazine

Building protest in Sudan

Building protest in Sudan

Magdi el Gizouli offers a low down on the range of groups challenging the regime of President al-Bashir.

Buy this magazine

Back