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

October 31, 2017

In Lazarat, the Fall of a Pot Empire

Nate Tabak

The residents of Lazarat, Albania, once grew $6 billion of marijuana per year under the nose of the state. What happens when that pot empire goes up in smoke?

July 28, 2017

In Defiance and In Defense of Duterte

Ana P. Santos, James Whitlow Delano

What happens to civil society in a country that democratically elects a leader who encourages the summary executions of citizens for drug addiction and the wholesale violation of human rights?

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.

Capital Offenses

Under President Rodrigo Duterte, thousands have died at the hands of police or the masked vigilantes who roam Manila's vast slums.

Stains on Duterte's Society

After fleeing the area of Manila with high drug-affiliated assassinations, a young father returns home for his daughter's birthday only to be murdered with his children nearby.

Signs of Execution

On the night of June 21, 2017, seven people died from drug-related deaths, adding to the more than 12,000 dead since President Duterte began his war on drugs in the Philippines.

Meet the Journalist: Nate Tabak

How did a little village in Albania come be known as Europe's unofficial marijuana capital? Nate Tabak discusses his project about Lazarat, and the rise and fall of its marijuana business.

This Week: A Divided Nation

This week: Protest violence in Duterte's Philippines, refugees prioritize integration and survival over religion, and how Haiti's capital manages waste without a sewer system.

This Week: DEA Killings Exposed

This week: New U.S. government report confirms a grantee reporting, the underground media market in Havana, and lax security policies in the Maldives.