Issue

Drug Wars

Militant Islamists escort drug convoys through northern Mali in exchange for hefty payments. The U.S. military and Honduran authorities use commando-style tactics to catch traffickers in the remote jungles of La Moskitia. A 15-year old from Ciudad Juarez, the most violent city in Mexico, chooses the clarinet over drugs after dropping out of school twice.

Drug Wars tells of men, women, and children who risk their lives—as drug users, traffickers, smugglers, and enforcement agents. You will find searing portraits of those who suffer from addiction, their family members and loved ones. These are stories not only of lives lost and opportunities missed, but also of the fear and disruption that can overwhelm a community.

Pulitzer Center journalists expose corruption, extortion, and murder in an often violent war on drugs, fought in all corners of the globe, in Cuba and Crimea, in Bolivia and Burma, and from the Philippines to Tajikistan. They cover various recovery programs, such as opioid substitution therapy, as well as policy debates involving the roles of drug enforcement agents, the police, the military, and government. And they ask important questions: Are drug users criminals or patients in need of medical treatment?

Drug Wars

December 09, 2016

Philippines: The Execution Beat

Jason Motlagh

Thousands of people have been executed on the streets of the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his all-out war on drugs. But shooting his way out of the problem is taking a heavy toll.

June 13, 2016

The “War on Drugs” in South America

Simeon Tegel

US-led prohibition has exacted a high toll in Latin America. This project explores the impacts on communities in Bolivia and Paraguay, whose principal cash crops are coca and cannabis respectively.

March 29, 2015

North India's Heroin Epidemic

Michael Edison Hayden, Sami Siva

The India-Pakistan border overflows with heroin. Journalist Michael Edison Hayden and photographer Sami Siva report from the afflicted communities to find out what, if anything, can be done about it.

November 25, 2013

Honduras: "Aqui Vivimos"

Dominic Bracco II, Jeremy Relph

"Honduras: Aqui Vivimos" ("Honduras: We Live Here") explores the social conditions—abject poverty, corruption, political disillusionment, and gang culture—that have made Honduras a violent country.

June 06, 2013

Tajikistan: Drugs, Guns, Water

Joshua Kucera

Tajikistan is chronically unstable and corrupt—and now bracing for more chaos from Afghanistan. Its president is staking his country's future on the biggest dam in the world.

December 09, 2016|

The Execution Beat: Tracking the Philippines Drug War

Thousands of people have been dragged from their homes and executed on the streets since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared a new war on drugs. AJ+ follows photographers on the murder beat.

August 01, 2016|

Paraguay's "War on Weed"

Paraguay is South America's largest producer of cannabis, accounting for 15 percent of the global supply, according to the UN. Its policy of repression is blamed for fueling corruption and human rights abuses.