The Drug War in the Andes



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The Drug War in the Andes

Acknowledgements
I. Note to Teachers
Why Study the “War on Drugs?”...............…………….3

Integrating the Curriculum into the New York State Classroom………………………………………………………………….4

Structuring the Curriculum ……………...……………..……..7


Making the Curriculum Work in your Classroom………8




II. The Curriculum

Day 1: What we know about drug policies……….…..13

Day 2: Introduction to the Andes and U.S. Policy...18

Day 3: Prepare for Debate………………………………………24

Day 4: Debate Andean Drug Policy………..………….….26

Day 5: Continue Debate and Conclusions………….….28

III. Materials Packet

Drug War in the U.S. Information .………………………..……..35

Background on Colombia and Bolivia……………………….… …41

Background Reading on the Drug War………………….……….65

Preparing for Debate…………….………………………………..………83

Vocabulary……………………………………………………………….………85

Drug War Timeline……………………………………….…….…..86

Internet Sources………………………………………………….….94

Documents in Spanish………………………………………..….95


IV. Group Information Packets

U.S. Government………………………………………………..…102

Human Rights Organizations……………………………..…109

Coca Growers…………………………………………………….… 120

Governments of Colombia and Bolivia…………….…..125

Drug Treatment and Prevention providers…….…….133


Acknowledgements

No project like this one is ever realized without the collaboration and willingness of a group of people, in this case mostly women, to dedicate the necessary energy to bring it to life. The idea first took hold when a Brown University student on a 1997 School for International Training Study Abroad program in Bolivia, Hallie Chertok, was inspired by the coca growers she lived with for two weeks who asked her to bring the truth about coca back to the United States. She decided to develop a curriculum as her senior thesis and contacted Linda Farthing, who had begun the SIT program in Bolivia and had been active on Andean drug war policy for years. With the support of Mary Jo Dudley, then Latin American Studies Associate Director at Cornell University, Linda took Hallie’s model and developed it into a full fledged curriculum as part of her work with the Andean Information Network, a small organization committed to changes in drug policy in Bolivia (www.ain-bolivia.org) When the project floundered due too many other commitments, Ann Peters at LASP stepped in to push it forward towards conclusion. Mary Roldán, history professor at Cornell who teaches a course on the drug war and Kathyrn Ledebur, AIN director, kindly reviewed it to ensure its accuracy and clarity and Tompkins County Drug Court Judge John Rowley commented on the treatment section. Thanks to everyone for helping bring this project to fruition and to all the teachers and students who I hope will use and benefit from it.

Linda Farthing

Ithaca, New York

March 2006




NOTE TO TEACHERS


Why Study the “War on Drugs?” 1

For the last thirty years, illegal drug use has increased significantly in the United States making drugs of increasing importance as an issue in health, criminal justice and foreign policies. Drug use among all social and economic classes in U.S. society has most frequently led to policies that are punitive in orientation, resulting in the U.S. having one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world. In New York state alone, the prison population grew from 12,500 in 1973 to 71,472 in 1999, with a corresponding increase in the number of prisons from 20 to 71. Most of the increase in prison population is due to mandatory sentencing associated with stringent drug laws.

Internationally, drug policy has become a cornerstone of the US relationship with other countries. Since President George Herbert Bush declared the “War on Drugs” in 1989, over $25 billion has been spent on controlling drugs internationally, making the War on Drugs one of the largest annual recipients of US government overseas funding.

Within the US, the debates over drugs stir strong emotions on the part of both public officials and the community, particularly when the issue touches youth. By high school, most students in the United States have had little choice but to address the issues surrounding drugs in their own lives or in the lives of their peers and communities on a regular basis. Yet despite the extensive education against drug use which has become a key component in health education from elementary school and up, few young adults are aware of the global implications of this same “War on Drugs” that they hear so much about at school and at home.

Goals of the Curriculum

The Drug War in the Andes seeks to close this knowledge gap about a crucial contemporary issue by introducing students to many of the key issues affecting US international drug policy. The immediacy of the “War on Drugs” in students’ lives makes it an excellent topic for educating about international policy issues. Learning about how the drug war is fought in two of the Andean countries where most of the United States “source country” efforts are focused, students have the opportunity to gain an understanding of how US foreign policy functions, how it affects the lives of individuals and governments of less powerful countries and how these link to their own lives at home. The curriculum focuses on Colombia and Bolivia as two principal source countries but much of what is written here is applicable as well to Peru. However we decided that including Peru would be simply information overload in the five day length of the curriculum.

A central goal of this curriculum is teaching the concept that there are competing interests and needs in the formation of all policies. By exploring and representing different perspectives, students gain a deeper understanding of what these interests are and of the values that underlie each of them. The background reading is designed to prepare students to grapple with each of these perspectives and be able to adequately represent them to their classmates. The curriculum also assists students in thinking critically about policy options and in presenting a coherent argument to support their position either for or against current policy.

The curriculum can be used by social studies teachers focusing on global studies or criminal justice issues, as well as health teachers. Materials in Spanish are included in the curriculum making it applicable for use in Spanish language classes as well.

Integrating this Unit into the New York State


Classroom

The curriculum is designed to be utilized as part of the Global History and Geography Social Studies curriculum taught during the Ninth Grade in the State of New York. It fits into the Learning Standards for commencement level Social Studies in New York State (June 1996) in the following areas:


Standard 2 - World History:

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments and turning points in world history and examine the broad sweep of history from a variety of perspectives.



Performance indicators for students:

  • Know the social and economic characteristics…that distinguish different cultures and civilizations;

  • Interpret and analyze documents and artifacts related to significant developments and events in world history;

  • ..Investigate the various components of cultures and civilizations including social customs, norms, values, and traditions; political systems; economic systems; religions and spiritual beliefs; and socialization or educational practices;

  • Understand the development and connectedness of Western civilizations and other civilizations and cultures in many areas of the world and over time;

  • Analyze historic events from around the world by examining accounts written from different perspectives;

  • Understand the broad patterns, relationships, and interactions of cultures and civilizations during particular eras and across eras;

  • Analyze changing and competing interpretations of issues, events, and development throughout world history.

Standard 3 - Geography:

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which we live –local, national, and global-including the distribution of people, places and environments over the Earth’s surface.

Performance indicators for students:


  • Understand the characteristics, functions, and applications of maps, globes, aerial and other photographs, satellite-produced images, and models (Taken from National Geography Standards, 1994);

  • Describe the relationships between people and environments and the connections between people and places;

  • Understand the development and interactions of social/cultural, political, economic, and religious systems in different regions of the world;

  • Analyze how the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of the Earth’s surface.

Standard 4 - Economics:

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of how the United States and other societies develop economic systems and associated institutions to allocate scarce resources, how major decision-making units function in the U.S. and other national economies, and how an economy solves the scarcity problem through market and non-market mechanisms



Performance indicators for students:

  • Explain how societies and nations attempt to satisfy their basic needs and wants by utilizing scarce capital, natural, and human resources;

  • Define basic economic concepts such as scarcity, supply and demand, markets, opportunity costs, resources, productivity, economic growth, and systems;

  • Understand how scarcity requires people and nations to make choices which involve costs and future considerations;

  • Understand how people in the United States and throughout the world are both producers and consumers of goods and services;

Standard 5- Civics, Citizenship and Government

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the necessity for establishing governments; the governmental system of the U.S. and other nations…and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation.



Performance indicators for students:

  • Explain the probable consequences of the absence of government and rules;

  • Understand that social and political systems are based upon people’s beliefs;

  • Analyze how the values of a nation affect the guarantee of human rights and make provisions for human needs;


Integrating this Unit into other Classrooms

The curriculum is sufficiently adaptable that it can be included in a variety of high school social studies courses. Below are a few ideas of where it might fit into your curriculum:



Global Studies: Since the end of the Cold War in 1989, drug policy has been a major guiding principle of contemporary U.S. foreign policy in Latin America and other parts of the world. The Drug War in the Andes provides a framework to examine contemporary Latin American societies, their histories, economies and challenges. It can provide a useful starting point to spark student interest in international issues.

U.S. Foreign Policy: As a key component of US foreign policy, the Drug War provides a clear and concrete example of the principles and values guiding current policy. Its close ties to domestic policies provide a clear means of examining how domestic concerns influence foreign policy. The Drug War in the Andes provides a tool for examining how complex and competing interests affect the formation of foreign policy and how US policy choices impact countries where the policy is applied.


Economics of Development: Underlying any discussion of drug policy, are the economic issues involved in reducing the drug trade. The Drug War in the Andes allows students to consider the economic options for low and middle income countries and how these affect and interact with US foreign policy.


Structuring the Curriculum

The curriculum is structured for five forty-five minute class periods using various types of media and teaching techniques. Students produce both individual portfolios of the written work they complete during the unit and participate in a group project which provides them the opportunity to debate from a variety of different perspectives solutions to the complicated problems under consideration. The five class periods are designed to be as interactive as possible and teachers are encouraged to revise the curriculum as needed for the characteristics and particular experience of their students.

The five-day format is conceived of as a guideline only. Teachers with a more flexible schedule could revise the curriculum to be taught over six days by extending the time for preparation, debate and discussion. Those with more limited time and where students have time to meet outside of class with their groups may choose to give no in-class time to the preparation of the group presentations, which would reduce the curriculum to four days.





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