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‘US hypocrite’ in war on drugs: Colombia’s former police chief

posted by Joey O'Gorman
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The U.S. brings “inadmissible hypocrisies” to the war against drugs, said former police chief Oscar Naranjo Monday.

In a column published by newspaper El Tiempo, Naranjo criticized the U.S. where some states recently voted on the recreational use of marijuana “while Colombia mourns the massacres of 10 humble peasants by criminal groups and the displacement of of farmers and the daily killing of police and soldiers.”

The liberalization of drugs in the U.S. “generates much confusion” according to the general who is acting as a lead negotiator in the peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group.

According to Naranjo who retired from the police force in June after 35 years of service, despite the “lack of coherent policy” in relation to drugs Colombia still produces “undisputed results,” with cultivation at the lowest level for the past decade and a number of important hits against capos, including the September arrest of top dog Daniel “El Loco” Barrera in Venezuela.

Naranjo, revered in Colombia for his work dismantling some of the country’s most powerful drug-trafficking organizations including Pablo Escobar’s notorious Medellin Cartel, said that the Colombian police couldn’t expect to be fully effective in the face of a “political response that is too full of ambivalence and contradictions” from the international community who treat the Colombian police with “a standard of suspicion and malice that discredits the efforts ….. of those who risk their lives.”

The retired general who was named as 2010′s “World’s Best Policeman,” said that it is “time to reconstruct and rethink the policies” in relation to drug trade in Colombia. Although he thinks “no talk about legalization is necessary, it is necessary to define the levels of responsibility of the nations and the compromises they should assume for the damage that drugs cause.”

Naranjo wrote that it was becoming “unbearable” that the U.S. which ensure compliance with anti-drugs law in Colombia, is playing a “double game of prohibition while advancing policies of freeing consumption,” while in Colombia “invaluable sacrifice and cost in lives” are made daily.

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Joey O' Gorman is from Ireland, she graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology with a masters in journalism.

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