Pubdate: Fri, 27 Apr 2001
Source: Inquirer (PA)
Copyright: 2001 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc
Author: Robert Sharpe


The deaths of two innocent members of an American
missionary family in Peru should serve as a wake-up call (Inquirer,
April 24). Autocratic former President Alberto Fujimori practiced a
scorched-earth campaign against Peru's Shining Path guerrilla
movement, which was financed by coca profits.

Allegations of rampant human-rights violations and civilian deaths are
remarkably similar to the situation in Colombia. How many innocent
Peruvians have been sacrificed at the altar of America's drug war?
Often touted as a supply-side success by U.S. drug warriors, Peru's
democratic institutions are in shambles.

As Peruvian coca production has gone down, Colombian coca production
and domestic methamphetamine production have both gone up, along with
the U.S. incarceration rate, now the highest in the world.

When will the champions of the free market in the U.S. Congress
acknowledge that immutable laws of supply and demand render the drug
war a costly exercise in futility?

Robert Sharpe
Program Officer
Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation Washington
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