In its two years of operation, the online marketplace Silk Road raked in 1.2 billion dollars in revenue and amassed an estimated 200,000 registered users – a success story that would be any start-up's dream.
The arrest of the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, will not affect drug trafficking in Mexico, but it presents an opportunity to change the country’s drug policy, experts told IPS.
“The army decided to open fire on the people,” Estanislao Beltrán, a spokesman for the self-defence forces of Michoacán, said in a radio interview after the government’s attempt to disarm the vigilante groups in the state of Mexico, in which at least two people were killed.
Following the release of a major draft report on drug policy in the Americas, the secretary-general of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, called for the beginning of debate aimed at reforming those policies throughout the region.
Tuchinha was once a drug lord in Rio de Janeiro’s Mangueira favela. But today he is helping youngsters in this Brazilian city turn their lives around and leave behind crime, prison and the likelihood of an early death.
In Libya, a dose of LSD or the painkiller tramadol costs 78 cents, and a joint of cannabis is 7.80 dollars. Here, drugs are affordable to the poor for a simple reason. “Slashing prices is a way to create demand and open up a market,” a Western diplomat tells IPS in Tripoli, the capital.