Peru Sees Drug Flights Relaunch, Washington Mum

Peru Sees Drug Flights Relaunch, Washington Mum
Posted by FoM on April 26, 2002 at 11:51:25 PT
Source: China Daily
Peru expects the United States soon to announce it will resume a program to catch drug flights in the Latin American country that was halted after the shooting of an American missionary plane, officials said on Thursday, but Washington said no decision had been made. "The information we have received from a good source is that a high- ranking US official is apparently set to make the announcement (to relaunch drug flights) on Monday," said Ricardo Vega Llona, who handed his job as Peru's first anti-drug "czar" to successor Nils Ericsson on Thursday. 
The United States until last year sponsored an aerial drugs interdiction program, supported by the CIA, in conjunction with the Peruvian military, over Peru and Colombia, the world's top two cocaine producing nations. Americans helped staff surveillance planes and alerted Peruvian forces to suspected drug-trafficking flights. But the surveillance program came to a dramatic halt in April 2001 after a Peruvian Air Force jet mistakenly shot down a civilian plane, killing an American missionary and her baby. Vega Llona called the information on resumption of the program "preliminary" and said, "We still need final confirmation." A State Department official in Washington, however, said, "No final decision has been made on resuming the interdiction program in Peru and Colombia." Only US President George W. Bush can make the decision, officials said. Peru has been pushing for resumption of the CIA-backed program, which has been criticized by US lawmakers but which Peru says is vital for fighting drugs. Vega Llona's comments came a month after the Bush administration said it wanted to see those planes in the air again, fast. In connection with last year's shootdown, the White House has said it would pay the dead missionary's family compensation but would not admit liability. According to Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, the surveillance program is an essential weapon for this cash-strapped nation in curbing the illegal drugs trade. Peru was praised in the 1990s for cracking down on drugs, but officials are warning cultivation figures could creep back up. Vega Llona leaves his drugs czar post to head a new agency designed to boost private investment and privatization plans. His replacement, Ericsson, comes from the National Coca Company, which sells coca leaf -- the raw material for cocaine -- for traditional, legal uses like chewing and in teas. Newshawk: Ethan Russo MDSource: China Daily (China)Published: Friday, April 26, 2002Contact: editor Articles & Web Site:Colombia Drug War News To Resume Shooting Down Drug Planes Sought From U.S. in Plane Downing To Start Peruvian Drug Flights
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Comment #27 posted by Jose Melendez on April 30, 2002 at 08:28:25 PT:
hobsonian choice? (grin)
OK el_toonces, I can tell we are on the same page. I'll gladly and publicly train people to jump from planes, but it's likely to fail for the same reasons as parachutes for burning buildings: the landing area might be just as or even more hazardous. I think we could attract more attention with videos of people busted for legal drugs, like caffeine or nicotine...
What if YOUR drugs were illegal?
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Comment #26 posted by el_toonces on April 29, 2002 at 12:34:33 PT:
Air Rescue -- Peacemonger Parachuting?
Perhaps an young enterprising sky diving expert could teach airline passengers in the Peru area some to paracute out of small plane safely (if possible) when the plane is shot down by U.S. bought (or approved) weaponry? Might garner some media attention:) The things I think of when I have to clean my office:)El
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Comment #25 posted by Jose Melendez on April 29, 2002 at 09:23:06 PT:
shoot-downs: "a violation of international law&quo
Foreign "Shoot Down" Policy
December 2001Over the past 15 years, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has opposed proposed changes in policy authorizing the shoot down or force down of civil aircraft here and abroad. The tragic incident in Peru on April 20, 2001 resulting from this policy was predicted by AOPA in 1994 when we opposed the U.S. plan to furnish radar tracking and targeting information to South American governments to be used to intercept and shoot down suspected drug smugglers.Current Action on a Shoot Down Policy
	The foreign operations appropriations bill for FY 2002 (H.R. 2506) includes a provision that withholds funds to support a Peruvian air interdiction program until the Bush administration sets up safeguards to protect civilian aircraft. This provision was added to the House version of the spending bill by Representative Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) after the fatal shoot down of a civilian aircraft carrying U.S. missionaries on April 20. The bill passed the House of Representatives on December 19 and the Senate on December 20, and President Bush signed the bill into law on January 10.
The language in the conference report is as follows:(Andean Counterdrug Initiative section)."That none of the funds appropriated by this Act may be made available to support a Peruvian air interdiction program until the Secretary of State and Director of Central Intelligence certify to the Congress, 30 days before any resumption of United States involvement in a Peruvian air interdiction program, than an air interdiction program that permits the ability of the Peruvian Air Force to shoot down aircraft will include enhanced safeguards and procedures to prevent the occurrence of any incident similar to the April 20, 2001 incident."
	On May 10, Representative Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), pilot and AOPA member, introduced H.R. 1818, a bill that eliminates authority for employees and agents of the U.S. government to assist foreign countries in interdiction of aircraft suspected of drug related operations. AOPA supports this bill to repeal a provision in the Defense Authorization Act of 1995 that grants immunity from prosecution to U.S. officials and contractors who assist foreign governments in tracking and shooting down aircraft suspected of drug operations. On May 10, 2001, the bill was referred to the House Committee on International Relations. As yet, the Committee has not taken action it.
Why AOPA Supports H.R. 1818:
	AOPA supports anti-drug efforts but the use of deadly force against aircraft is fundamentally wrong and a violation of international law intended to protect civilian pilots and their passengers.
	Ordering an aircraft to land is not comparable to a highway patrol officer ordering a car to pull onto the shoulder. An order to land can be difficult to communicate, even more difficult to accommodate, and in many cases dangerous. The International Standards, Rules of the Air, published by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) state that an aircraft interception should be undertaken "only as a last resort" and that "interceptions of civil aircraft are, in all cases, potentially hazardous." 
	Another tragedy will not be remedied by simply adding more guidelines or procedures. H.R. 1818 seeks to repeal a law that already contains numerous, well-intended, guidelines that will again simply be ignored in the heat of the moment by foreign governments that do not share our views on the rights of the individual.
	There are effective alternatives to the use of deadly force. Utilizing the same modern technology and superior intelligence information which makes it possible to identify a suspected aircraft in the first place one could quite easily continue tracking such an aircraft to its point of destination.
BackgroundAOPA fought long campaigns in 1989, 1994 and 1998 to defeat proposed legislation authorizing various government agencies to shoot or force down civilian aircraft suspected of drug trafficking domestically and internationally.In 1994 Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) added, over AOPA's opposition, a provision in the Defense Authorization Act of 1995 that grants immunity from prosecution to U.S. officials and contractors who assist foreign governments in tracking and shooting down aircraft suspected of drug operations. Representative (now Senator) Bob Torricelli (D-N.J.) introduced similar shoot down legislation in the House. Congressmen Senator Malcolm Wallop (R-Wyo.) and Representative Benjamin Gilman (R-N.Y.) spoke out against this shoot down provision.In a floor statement on September 12, 1994, on the Defense Authorization Act of 1995, Senator Wallop said, "For many years we have opposed, for both legal and safety reasons, other countries' occasionally announced intentions to shoot at civil aircraft. Once such a practice begins, it could have dangerous and widespread consequences that could affect the safety of innocent people worldwide. As the world leader in civil aviation, the United States would have more to lose than any other country in the development of such a practice...By elevating drug trafficking to the level of a threat to national security — justifying the use of deadly force against civil aircraft — [this provision] fundamentally departs from accepted standards of international law and long-held U.S. policy."Necessitated by the tragic incident in Peru, Representative Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) has introduced legislation (H.R. 1818) to repeal this shoot down authority provision and Representative Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) has added an amendment to the FY02 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that will withhold funding for the Peru portion of the Andean Counterdrug Initiative unless Congress receives a full report on the Peru shoot down incident of April 20, 2001. As we stated in our June 1994 letter to the U.S. Department of State, "How can anyone feel assured that a Cessna carrying members of Congress on an overseas fact-finding mission could never be mistaken for an identical Cessna full of drug smugglers?" Critics of the foreign shoot down authority fear U.S. liability if an innocent aircraft is shot down. There are effective alternatives to the use of deadly force, alternatives in which the consequences of mistake are far less likely to result in injury or death.While AOPA supports efforts to fight drug smuggling, we believe the use of deadly force against aircraft is fundamentally wrong and a violation of international law intended to protect civilian pilots and their passengers. - Arrest Prohibition
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Comment #24 posted by Jose Melendez on April 29, 2002 at 08:54:40 PT:
Of course, just like it is socially acceptable to smoke tobacco but not pot, some cultures consider jewelry in noses and other places beautiful, even a status symbol. Which is why we should not ever shoot them down... like civilian airplanes.Peace :) - Arrest Prohibition
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Comment #23 posted by dddd on April 29, 2002 at 08:37:29 PT
..I know what you mean FoM..
..I used to think that anyone who was shocked by my long hair,,was a close minded square...and then,,I started seeing all these body pierced tattoo kids,,and I was/(am) sorta disgusted ....I then realized what a hypocrit I was,,, ,,but ya gotta admit,,it's way easier to cut your hair,take off the tie-dyed bell bottoms,and Nehru shirt, ,than it is to remove a tattoo!.. ..besides,,growing your hair is way less painful than having an eyebrow,nostril ring and tongue stud installed....dddd
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Comment #22 posted by dddd on April 29, 2002 at 08:25:33 PT
yes El Toonces...
..I am indeed,,somewhat of a "bastard"................ but I hope you realize,that it is all simply a cheap ploy to divert attention,and remain in denial concerning my grotesque and abusivly frivolous verbage ,, punctuation.... and spelling..........................dddd
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on April 29, 2002 at 08:22:01 PT
Bone in my nose ho ho
Rings on my fingers and bells on my toes and a bone in my nose ho ho! dddd I can related! See even liberal, old hippie types don't get somethings. Each generation does it's darndest to shock older people. I swore I would never get shocked about anything when I was younger but nope I do get shocked. So much for my arriving I suppose.
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Comment #20 posted by qqqq on April 29, 2002 at 08:08:51 PT
,,I do agree about maintaining proper and acceptable decorum when advocating drug law reform. .Tie-dyed Hippie freaks are not generally well accepted or respected,no matter how polite,or smart they may be. ...
.I get kinda spooked by people with body piercings and tattoos,,but I now realize that they are simply displaying Rebellion through self's todays sad attempt to be beatniks or Hippies.?
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on April 29, 2002 at 07:55:11 PT
neckties and girdles
I don't want to get into this too much but that made me laugh! Liberated from neckties and girdles I love it!What's a girdle? LOL!PS: I know I wouldn't smoke in public if I went to a March. I would feel uncomfortable. I don't want to offend those that I would be trying to explain why marijuana should be legal.
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Comment #18 posted by el_toonces on April 29, 2002 at 07:53:55 PT:
Why of course, dddd...
.....I knew you and qqqq were not in any way related and perhaps I erred in using the slash sign "/" when the symbol for "AND" -- "&" -- might have been better? DDDD, you're a bastard when it comes to picking apart the poor grammar of ADD rattled simple folks like me:).I am sure qqqq would never engage in such tactics!:)El
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Comment #17 posted by dddd on April 29, 2002 at 07:48:33 PT
El T. ..I hope you know
..that I have nothing to do with qqqq,,and I refuse to take responsibility for any of the outlandish comments 4q makes.,,I want everyon to know.....dddd
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Comment #16 posted by Ethan Russo MD on April 29, 2002 at 07:48:17 PT:
I have said something along these lines before. Back at my first NORML Convention in 1998, someone referred to the clientele being composed of "ties and tie-dyes." I looked like the former and felt like the latter.I tend to dress up whenever I am "preaching the gospel of cannabis." It merely tends to deflect some unwarranted stereotypes that our detractors would like to hang around our necks. A few in the audience may grant credibility to a message delivered by a suit, when the same content might be discounted when offered by a grunge. Is this fair? I don't think so, but it is the truth. Actually, I'd like to strangle the idiot that invented the necktie: probably the same twisted guy that came up with the girdle. At least women had the sense to liberate themselves from the constriction.
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Comment #15 posted by el_toonces on April 29, 2002 at 07:47:59 PT:
Point of a march... it primarily "self-expression" (and yes, in part, it is and that is why political speech is protected) or changing bad public perceptions, policies, and laws.What do you think accounted for the success of the Million Man March on Washington years ago by men of color?El
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Comment #14 posted by el_toonces on April 29, 2002 at 07:44:54 PT:
...perhaps it was the idealism of the "youth panel" that appealed to me, qqqq/dddd, because I feel the same way you do about law enforcement, and I grew up around LEOs. I am not saying I respect them or that I or anyone else even should respect them, just that if we are seen by the public as showing respect, we are likely to get it in return, and that is Maher's point as well, I think: we need to get away from our "flower child within" (or calloused activist without, whatever) and present the right IMAGE, because in this country, in these times, IMAGES count for more than substance.It's sad, but I am not moving to the third world over it:).el
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Comment #13 posted by el_toonces on April 29, 2002 at 07:40:18 PT:
dddd, qqqq, everyon else....
...sorry about that. I meant the plural form the personal pronoun "you" even though my the pronoun's antecedent (FoM, presumably, by the way I wrote it now that I look) was singular. I meant I wanted the opinion of EVERYONE here who would so kind as to offer me one.And thank you, qqqq/dddd.
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Comment #12 posted by qqqq on April 29, 2002 at 07:35:38 PT
..well El Toonces,,I know you didnt ask me,,
,,but I'm gonna toss out my 3 cents from my private peanut gallery......I think there are two ways to look at the question....yes,,it's true that one can gain enhanced respect,and increased acceptance by donning the proper decorations of distinguishment and respectability....and there is definitly a place for those who wish to approach the problem in this way.There's alot to be said for the theory of avoiding hacking on a big ol' reefer during a 'march'..Nowdays,,people who insist on smoking weed in a public demonstration,,only do it once or twice,because they soon realize how unpleasant it is to get brutally busted, and taken into custody...they end up having little time or resources left for 'marching', because they are now forced to spend their time in court.......Yes, I will admit that it is probably best to present a respectable,self-controlled aire,when publicly representing drug-law reform.......BUT,,, ......... I have not attended any 'marches' lately....and I could easily put on a plaid blazer,and a pair of Dockers,,tie my hair back,and pretend I'm normal,,but it's not easy for me,because I'm an old bitter dinasoar Hippie,,and I'm fuckin' Pissed off Bigtime!...I've had to watch as peaceful friends of mine were brutalized by cops...I get really nervous around law enforcement,,and I kinda think that if you are going to 'march',for a cause,,then getting all dressed up,and pretending you're normal is a plastic fake-out MAN!..It's a drag to think that an American has to live in a plastic bag..........Peace
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Comment #11 posted by el_toonces on April 29, 2002 at 06:39:48 PT:
Smokeless marches?
FoM -- As I am sure you know, when Bill Maher spoke at the NORML conference, he suggested the next major march(es) be SMOKELESS -- to emphasize we are responsible people who do not WANT to break the law and are not without discipline. This is part of an "image" brush-up we need, he said. He urged people to USE the media (like the corporations) do and stop what he called "Indian style" thinking that "we should not use the white man's evil ways."JEspecially after I saw Kris Krane's very impressive and inspiring "youth panel" on the last day and heard these kids talk about putting self-expression "second place" and dressing professionally when meeting with media, legislators or other "mainstream folks", I had the feeling Mr. Maher is right.What do you think?El
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on April 27, 2002 at 11:56:41 PT
A CLS Degree! Well that sure sounds impressive! Hope the information helps you. When I get my zippy connection I'll work on updating my personal pages. I try to keep them current but slip but soon I'll zip here and zip there and generally be very zippy! Just kidding and have a nice time if you make one of the Marches. I'll do all the news that is in the papers or at least as many as I can. I hope the Million Marijuana Marches get a lot of good press this year!
Freedom To Exhale
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Comment #9 posted by el_toonces on April 27, 2002 at 11:10:25 PT:
Thanks, FoM...
...that link will also help me connect with some Portland area people I met in SF. You really should be given a graduate degree in CLS -- cannabis library science, you know. I am STILL finding new things on your freedom pages!
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Comment #8 posted by Jose Melendez on April 27, 2002 at 06:35:03 PT
Finally, a plan to reduce crime, increase tourism
POLICE COMMISSIONER Francis Forbes believes that ganja will inevitably be legalised in Jamaica.He told The Gleaner's Editorial Forum on Wednesday that decriminalisation was just a back-door means of legalising the drug which has been illegal in Jamaica since 1913."I think that no matter what we say, ganja will eventually be legalised. This whole issue about decriminalisation is just the back-door way of legalising ganja. And I think that very soon we really have to make up our minds: is it worth the effort to tackle ganja or cannabis the way that we are doing it now?" The Commissioner pointed out that there was a move, globally, towards legalisation."And the more you hear the presentation, the more people like myself, you know, have had to step back and really try in a very objective way to look at the problem as it is being presented," he said.Commissioner Forbes said there was a need to expand the recently introduced drug courts, as a theory was being presented at the international level, that it is not the users who are the problem, but the traders, and if users were treated the demand side would be reduced.He said that an example of this was Dutch sidewalk cafés, which sell ganja legally. He said he had been informed that these have been reduced in numbers in recent years "because there just isn't that great demand any longer."

Arrest Prohibition
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 26, 2002 at 21:51:03 PT
el_toonces here's information
Hope you meant Portland, Oregon if not here is the link to all of the Marches.
Have fun!
Million Marijuana March Event Navigator
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Comment #6 posted by el_toonces on April 26, 2002 at 21:34:19 PT:
FoM -- not everyone....
....unfortuately I will have to miss ours here in Mich as I wille be out of town (pts out ot time thing). Has anyone heard anything about a march in Portland?
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Comment #5 posted by Jose Melendez on April 26, 2002 at 16:30:48 PT
lists leaked
From: POLICE are stunned by some of the names of people who are turning up as big players in the local narcotics drug trade, Commissioner Francis Forbes says.
He told The Gleaner's Editorial Forum on Wednesday that improved intelligence capabilities had produced names of traffickers who he expects to be "brought to book" soon. However, he said he could not disclose any more information then.
Mr. Forbes told the forum: "When we speak about the big players and all that, Jamaicans think only of this handful of people whose names are called all the time and we labour under the misconception that we know the players. Since our intelligence capacity has been increased, we are stunned by some people who are turning up to be very, very big players.
"When we bring some people to book, I think that a lot of people are going to be surprised, because these are not the run-of-the-mill people. People have a different profile now.
"The RICO Act in the United States has driven people underground and has sent them back to school to learn how to be big without advertising it. They now have very bright lawyers, very bright accountants who are taking charge of their business.
"So these little guys, who by themselves are not intellectual stars, are still able because of the strength of cash to get the expertise on board to allow them to run a very efficient organisation and they are able to siphon off quite a lot of the profits."
Turning to the results of the Roderick McGregor wire-tapping issue, Commissioner Forbes said he had never heard any of the tapes said to have been produced by Mr. McGregor, or read any transcripts from any of them. But, that it was "work in progress" and the investigations were continuing.
"Operation Whitewater in the United States, Operation General in the Bahamas and I forget the name of the operation in Canada. They are all linked, they are all the same operation. Indictments were issued. I was invited from Jamaica to be with the DEA when the indictments were being announced, as also the Commissioner of Police from the Bahamas and a senior RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) representative. That is work in progress."(continued...)
Names of some drug lords stun cops 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on April 26, 2002 at 15:24:39 PT
Nuevo Mexican 
Thanks for the link. I keep looking for news articles on the marches but haven't found any but will post them when I do. Everyone that is going have fun!
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Comment #3 posted by Nuevo Mexican on April 26, 2002 at 15:18:55 PT
May 4th! MMM, World Cannabis Day!
Please forward and distribute! to spend some time with Stephen Gaskin from The Farm in Tennesee last weekend (420!) Great guy! He moderated a live (Solar-Powered) radio broadcast discussion of how to bring Peace to the world, and mentioned the War on drugs every chance he got!
I 'highly' recommend his book, Cannabis Spirituality (High Times Books), which is excellent reading, even for those who know everything on the subject! Steve says HELLO TO c-NEWS READERS, and was a big boost to the Global Peace Walk, which finished up here, where 300 people, including 150 teens from local schools and their teachers marched for Peace and concluded the Peace Walk from Albuqueque. The mayor re-dedicated our town as a Global Peace Zone (first in the country in 95') and we planted a Peace Tree and a commemerative plaque stating so! Folks, there are alot of reasons to be hopeful, as somewhere around 150,000 Americans marched in Washington against the bush W-ar machine and against the Israeli massacre in Jenin, globalization, the war in Columbia, and the attack on the environment. Also met Russell Means from A.I.M. the next governor of New Mexico. He is running on a Constitutional Plank, since New Mexico signed the Treaty of Hidalgo/Guadalupe and renders state and federal laws unconstitutional! That's why they call it 'New' Mexico! 
So, Speak now or forever hold your 'Peace' as my 8th grade Social Studies teacher was fond of saying!
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Comment #2 posted by el_toonces on April 26, 2002 at 12:41:26 PT:
Thank God for newshawks......
...beccause even with MAP, Inc., this little article would have even slipped under my radar until the "real" press noticed it.It is such a shame to resume them after agreeing to pay the surviving family members. Michigan has lost a good number of innocents to the federal warriors of late:(El
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Comment #1 posted by Dark Star on April 26, 2002 at 12:20:16 PT:
Creeping Imperialism
Should the drug flights resume, it will further erode the dangerously isolated position the USA currently holds on the world stage.It is ironic that the new drug czar was a coca baron. One hopes that he will be more cognizant of the environmental devastation wrought by defoliants, and will rule out the use of mycoherbicides that would wipe out his past livelihood and likely most of the rainforest with it.
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