HomeNewsBriefUS Party Platforms Address Hemispheric Drug Trade
BRIEF

US Party Platforms Address Hemispheric Drug Trade

US/MEXICO BORDER / 5 SEP 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

Both of the major political parties in the United States have incorporated language addressing drug trafficking and transnational crime in their platforms, but there seems to be very little new proposals from either side.

On September 4, the US Democratic Party kicked off its convention ahead of the November elections, meeting to shore up support for President Barack Obama and officially ratify the party platform for the next four years. While drug trafficking and organized crime in the Americas is far from the main issue on the table at the convention, the 2012 Democratic National Platform includes some surprising references to transnational crime in the hemisphere.

In fact, the issue made up the vast majority of the platform’s section on foreign policy towards the Americas. The section begins by praising the Obama’s accomplishments in strengthening ties with Mexico, Colombia, and Central American countries to combat drug trafficking, and then promises to deepen this work, claiming:

As we collectively confront these challenges, we will continue to support the region’s security forces, border security, and police with the equipment, training, and technologies they need to keep their communities safe. We will improve coordination and share more information so that those who traffic in drugs and in human beings have fewer places to hide. And we will continue to put unprecedented pressure on cartel finances, including in the United States.

The Republican party’s platform, approved a week earlier in Tampa, Florida, also mentions the regional drug trade. In it, the party claims that the “The war on drugs and the war on terror have become a single enterprise,” and acknowledges the efforts of the governments of Mexico and Canada to fight this threat. The platform also calls for

“[A] unified effort on crime and terrorism to coordinate intelligence and enforcement among our regional allies, as well as military-to-military training and intelligence sharing with Mexico, whose people are bearing the brunt of the drug cartels’ savage assault.”

InSight Crime Analysis

Despite the two parties’ differences in ideology, their platforms on combating drug trafficking abroad appears to be more or less the same. This is likely good news for countries in the region which depend on the US government for funding of much of their counternarcotics programs, as it guarantees that much-needed security aid will continue more or less unchanged regardless of the outcome in November.

However, it should be noted that both platforms clash with changing attitudes towards the US-led “war on drugs” in the hemisphere. As InSight Crime noted at the time, drug policy was one of the top issues at April’s Summit of the Americas. Several Latin American governments, led by Colombia and Guatemala, two countries which have been hard hit by the drug trade’s violence, used the summit to express openness to legalizing or decriminalizing certain drugs deemed less harmful.

Ultimately this is a sign that if the US continues to advocate for military-heavy approaches to drug trafficking in the region, it may find itself facing stronger opposition from its partners in the region.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 6 MAY 2011

The debate over a United States gun trafficking probe known as Operation Fast and Furious is heating up, and the…

HUMAN SMUGGLING / 15 SEP 2011

The number of immigrants arrested on the U.S. border with Mexico has reached a 40 year low, with only 305,000…

DRUG POLICY / 16 AUG 2018

New data shows synthetic opioid drugs are driving a sustained increase in overdose deaths in the United States, and booming…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…