Issue

Drug Crises

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 Crises 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 Crises

Blood Trade — Memphis and the Mexican drug war: A violent venture hits home

They found Marcus Turner in a ditch in Olive Branch, naked and shot to death.

It was the end of a young man's life and a grim reminder of a larger truth: The Mexican drug war isn't as far away as you might think.

The order that led to Turner's death was phoned in from Mexico, prosecutors say. They say the man on the other end of the line was Craig Petties, alleged to be one of the most powerful and violent drug entrepreneurs the area has ever seen.

The Cocaine Coast

A frantic voice came over the radio: a blast had just destroyed Guinea-Bissau's military headquarters. I drove toward the compound and, when I arrived, everyone was still shouting and running through the smoking ruins of the building. Bissau's only ambulance was shuttling back and forth from the hospital, ferrying the bodies of victims. All that four heavily armed soldiers would tell me was that General Batista Tagme Na Wai, head of the army, had just been assassinated.

Full Frame: Africa's new narcostate

West Africa, a region that has barely begun to heal from a decade of civil wars, is once again under attack. The new threat grows silently, like a cancer, and the international community appears powerless to respond.