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Drug War

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    Breaking Barriers to Employment: Criminal Record Reform in Massachusetts Aaron Tanaka December 1, 2010

    This summer, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a landmark law reforming the state’s criminal background check system. Aimed at improving acc ess to jobs, housing and other vital services for residents with arrest records, overhauling the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) has been a target for Massachusetts community activists for over a decade. The successful passage of CORI reform marked a notable break from War on Drugs crime policies that have driven the rapid expansion of police and prisons since the early 1970s. Massachusetts’ precedent-setting laws frontline a growing national movement to reverse the systemic economic barriers faced by formerly convicted people. 

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    Outsourcing the Blood: Letter from the Drug War in Mexico John Gibler December 1, 2010

    Like so many others, Alma Trinidad thought that if you turned up dead, your body destroyed by gunfire and left on the street for the cameras, then surely you were up to no good.  This is one of the two central myths of the drug war: if you are found with a bullet in your head you were dirty and thus guilty of your own murder. The other myth is that governments, police, and armies on both sides of the border are actually trying to stop drug trafficking. 

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    Terrorizing Colombia: Obama Continues Bush Administration’s Militarism Garry Leech June 1, 2010

    Many Colombia observers hoped that the arrival of President Barack Obama in the White House would bring about a significant shift in US policy toward that troubled South American nation. The hope was that the new president would reduce aid to the military with the worst human rights record in the hemisphere and prioritize social and economic issues. That major shift did not occur during Obama’s first year in office. And to the degree that a shift in policy did occur, it constituted an increased militarization of US intervention in Colombia.

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