The war on drugs has been intensifying over the years. Five years to be exact. The major drug being trafficked is cocaine. The president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, is cracking down on this war on drugs. Large amounts of cocaine are being smuggled into Mexico. Drug traffickers transport the drugs through boats, ships, smuggling by any means.
“Poor countries have difficulty acquiring an honest police force” says media teacher at New Dorp High School, Mr. Stefanelli .Traffickers have used Central America as a stopover point since at least the 1970s. But the aggressive crackdowns on criminal organizations in Mexico and Colombia, coupled with strides in limiting smuggling across the Caribbean, have increasingly brought the powerful syndicates here, pushing the drug scourge deeper into small Central American countries incapable of combating it.
Most of the known cocaine shipments moving north, 84 percent of them, crossed through Central America last year, according to radar tracking data from American authorities, a sharp increase from 44 percent in 2008 and only 23 percent in 2006, the year President Felipe Calderón of Mexico took office and began his assault against the drug gangs in his country.“Government officials are corrupt. They change hands often and this offers no stability.” Says media teacher at New Dorp High School Mr. Stefanelli.
One former smuggler said he had little trouble moving cocaine loads for years. He said he collected pound after pound from planes and then drove it by boat or car to the Guatemala border, without once being caught. The patterns reveal how drug traffickers exploit the region’s geographic, political and economic vulnerabilities. In Honduras, the coast northeast of San Pedro Sula offers a remote, largely uninhabited rain forest that is perfect for the single-engine planes traffickers use, then hide or burn to destroy the evidence.
In Costa Rica and in Honduras, as with other countries in the region, the largest seizures have come only withAmerican assistance. Just a few weeks ago, after American radar picked up a plane near the Honduran coast, Drug Enforcement Administration helicopters with night vision gear helped pinpoint where the plane landed. Oscar Álvarez, the security minister, said its cocaine was seized, but only because the police and American agents happened to be training nearby. Even these victories can be fleeting. Last year, a single-engine plane that had been seized and stored at a military base in San Pedro Sula disappeared. Five armed men somehow slipped past guards, broke into the hangar and flew the plane away.