From Wed Apr 30 14:00:08 2003
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 10:46:26 -0500 (CDT)
From: Alberto M. Giordano <>
Subject: [narconews] Issue #30: Lula says the Drug War is a Class War
Article: 157152
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Lula says the Drug War is a ‘Class War’

By Al Giordano, NarcoNews, issue #30, 29 April 2003

Dear Colleagues,

The gloves are off in the Brazil drug decriminalization debate.

President Lula da Silva has weighed in forcefully, noting that the violence and crime associated with drug trafficking under prohibition can't be blamed on the poor person, pushed into crime to earn his daily bread, but, that, rather, the real narcos can be found in the large centers of capital.

And Lula, in a major public speech, instructed his Attorney General and Public Safety Secretary to stop going after the small-fry and go after the big shots—the money-launderers—instead:

Although other heads of state—notably Jorge Batlle in Uruguay (in 2000) and Vicente Fox in Mexico (2001)—have called for drug decriminalization, Brazil's President Lula da Silva is the first that seems to have a strategy toward implementing that goal.

While his Health Ministry has proposed harm reduction programs to diminish the damages associated with the use of certain drugs under prohibition, Lula's law enforcement officials—most notably his Attorney General Marcio Thomaz Bastos and his Public Safety Secretary Luis Eduardo Soares—have also called for drug decriminalization.

Today's report brings you Bastos' testimony, last Thursday, before the full Senate, where he reiterated his support for decriminalization of drug users.

What is interesting, and unprecedented, though is the strategy being deployed: To shift the resources of law enforcement away from chasing and imprisoning the drug user and small dealer, and to instead go after the white-collar narco-traffickers, the ones who launder illicit drug money to make it appear to come from legal business activity.

It's what boxers call a one-two punch. One, knock the opponent off balance with the calls for decriminalization, and, Two, knock him to the floor by going after the big drug money that never gets touched. Could this lead to a knockout of drug prohibition?

In my report on these developments, I suggest that there is a political element to this strategy, one that gives the prohibitionist elites only one exit door to avoid their drug war persecutions from bouncing back upon them: To support legalization, amnesty for all drug war convicts and defendants, and end the prohibition once and for all.

But I could be wrong in that analysis. What do you think, kind reader?

We've also added a Readers Comments page for you to add your analysis and opinions on today's report:

Is going after the money-launderers, the real narcos in what Lula calls the large centers of capital, consistent with an anti-prohibitionist strategy?

Do you think that if a major government finally did target, effectively, the white-collar narcos, that the elites, including the Commercial Media, would continue to prop up prohibitionist ideology and regimes?

Should this strategy be deployed in other lands, like your own?

Politicians in every land talk about stopping drug money laundering, but their policies continue to fill the prisons with the poor. Do you think that Lula and the members of his administration are serious about this? And if they are, what do you think will happen?

Read today's detailed report... and add your voice.

From somewhere in a country called Amirica,

Al Giordano
The Narco News Bulletin