Saturday, January 21, 2006

News Roundup

Pete's got it. I hate when I've missed a few days of the Drug WarRant. It takes me an hour to get out of there because you can't stop reading and today is no different. It's a scroller to the bottom. Anything of substance that has happened in the last week is there and it's too much to highlight except for this which, with my apologies to Pete, I'm going to just steal outright so I have it in these archives. Plan Colombia By The Numbers.

Adam Isaacson's got the data:
Total U.S. aid to Colombia over the seven years between 2000 and 2006: $4.72 billion

Square miles of Colombia sprayed with “Round-Up Ultra” herbicide, 2000-2005: 2,550

Land area of Delaware, square miles: 1,954

Square miles planted in Colombia with coca, the plant used to make cocaine, in 2000,
the year Plan Colombia began: 526

Approximate cost of fumigating one square mile, conservative estimate: $162,000

Reduction in Colombian coca-growing from 2003 to 2004, in acres: 0

Percentage of coca plots detected by the United Nations in 2004 that did not exist the year before: 62

Amount per month, according to the United Nations, that a Colombian farmer nets from a hectare (2.5 acres) of coca: $199

Percentage of Colombia’s rural population living below the poverty line: 82
“Arbitrary arrests” documented by Colombian human-rights groups between August 2002 and August 2004: 6,332

Percentage of murders in Colombia that end in a sentencing: 4%
Colombians forcibly displaced from their homes by violence, January 2000-September 2005: 1.8 million
As you well know, numbers aren't my strong suit but these seem pretty clear to me. Not only are we losing the war on some drugs, the collateral damage is unacceptable for a civilized society to condone.


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