Sunday, December 14, 2008

Colombian Drug Kingpin Extradited to Miami

The Miami Herald reports that Diego León Montoya Sánchez, was extradited Friday from Bogotá to Miami on federal charges of trafficking cocaine, laundering money and murdering witnesses.

At the peak of his power during the past decade, ''Don Diego'' commanded a narco-trafficking empire that exported at least 1.2 million pounds of cocaine to the United States and raked in $1 billion in illicit profits, authorities said. Montoya Sánchez's organization rivaled that of earlier generations of Colombian traffickers, from the Ochoa's operation in Medellín to the Rodríguez Orejuela's syndicate in Cali.

Since the defeat of the Medellín and the Cali cartels and now the extradition of this guy, perhaps the War on Drugs is succeeding. What do you think?

According to the article, back in the 1990s Montoya Sánchez took advantage of the demise of his former bosses in the Cali organization. Does that mean there's someone stepping up right now to fill his spot? It is said he controlled "export corridors along the southwestern Pacific coast." Does that sound like Mexico to anyone? Could this have something to do with the other discussions we've been enjoying lately.

I suspect in the big picture, arresting these guys and bringing them to justice costs a lot and does no good whatever. This is the War on Drugs at its worst. I suppose, attacking the problem at the source, at the place where the coca is grown and processed is as futile. That leaves only one aspect of the complex problem to focus upon: the hunger for drugs in the U.S. Can't something be done about that? What do you think? Is addressing the drug problem in America as much a waste of time as the other efforts that make headlines?

What's your opinion?


  1. The War on Drugs and Drug Cartels WILL NEVER BE WON.

    Every time you make it harder to get drugs into the USA it increases the profit potential and somebody will step up to the plate. The more suppliers, the more competition, and increases in quality with price drops.

    When I was a teen-niney kiddo in the USA, cocaine cost thousands of dollars an ounce. Now it costs $300/ounce and the price continues to drop and is easily available to anybody who wants it that knows where to look.

    The "drug wars" and "war on guns" are both shams that were invented to give a bunch of Treasury Agents something to do when they got kicked out of their "War on Alcohol" by Constitutional Amendment.

  2. Mike,

    I think the question you ask, if the War on (some) Drugs is succeeding shows how much you've bought the government line.

    I think there are more appropriate questions: First, should there be a war? Why should it be a criminal offense for the mere possession of some substances when others are legal? Could it be there is another reason for the government actions; possibly a reason to implement restrictive controls on the population, get the people used to the idea of intrusive government searches, an excuse for the militarization of the police,etc?

    Second, Let's go back to the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. When will it be obvious to people that you can't legislate morality? People have always and will always want to alter their consciousness, isn't that their right to do so?

    Now, I'm not letting drug users off the hook at all. I think that any time a person's actions while on drugs injures, harms, etc another person, property that is when a crime occurs.

    I agree this type of action is a waste of time, energy, and money.

  3. How about we legalize drugs and ban guns - no, only kidding. Let's legalize drugs and cut the number of guns in half by say 2015. Here's how: stop producing and importing weapons for the civilian market. The ones already in the hands of lawful gun owners will be diminished by attrition. Every time a kid like Yanis steals dad's guns and every time one of you guys pulls a gun on a lady at a red light in Boston, the overall number is diminished. The trickle into the black market will slow down accordingly. Then every time the cops arrest someone and take their guns away and every time they have one of those gun exchange programs, those weapons can do no more harm. By 2015 we should see some improvement. What do you think?

  4. Worked really well for the UK. They now for the first time in the history of this country have MORE violent crime and MORE gun crime than the US.

    There are lots of other places that do the same thing (Most of Eastern Europe can be examined) where there is no production of civilian firarms...and a huge black market of guns and violence.

    It's been tried before Mike, and has ALWAYS failed.

    Wanna try it anyway?

  5. Mike,

    So you are willing to put my father, 68 years old with emphysema --having to carry an oxygen bottle- at yet another handicap by saying he shouldn't be able to buy a firearm to protect himself?

    Or if he wants one it will cost an exorbitant amount because there is no supply to meet the demand?

    In the meanwhile, crooks are running guns into the United States at levels never seen before because the price makes it more attractive then running drugs. Look at the violence levels associated with prohibition, now imagine the smugglers bringing in firearms. No thanks.

    In the mean time, anyone with a modicum of machinery knowledge and capability will be jumping on sites like these

    Going to ban sulfur, charcoal and bat guano also?

    If people can't use a gun to commit a crime, do you think they are going to stop committing crimes or does it not matter to you as long as they don't use a firearm?

    Is it remotely possible that some will step up to explosives, chemical attacks?

    Is it remotely possible that some will just use baseball bats, hockey sticks? Forcing the rest of us to try to defend ourselves using only our hands?

    Hey, I just realized where I've heard your idea know banning the import of something, confiscating what you find..isn't that the same policy as the "War on Drugs"?

    Wow, I didn't recognize it at first because drugs have been made so scarce in America!

  6. prohibitionism doesn't seem to work, and it's certainly not for lack of trying. if there's some thing that a lot of people really want to own or use, and which they can own or use without displaying it too obviously to society at large, and the only obstacle between them and it is a ban --- there'll be a profitable black market in it. this seems to be a historical constant.

    prohibiting alcohol didn't work, and created a powerful, violent subculture of organized crime to feed the black market. prohibiting drugs certainly hasn't wiped out drugs, and has --- hey, whaddaya know, who could have guessed...

    prohibiting guns would work marginally better, because the desire to own and use guns is not nearly so powerful in most people as the one to get drunk or high, and you can't recreationally use guns without risking people finding out who you'd rather not find out. so a lot of people would, in fact, comply with a gun prohibition. but can we think of any segment of the population that might not? any subgroup of people that might really need, or think they need, or at least want, to tote weapons the law be damned? worse still if these were people less inclined than most to obey the law in the first place...

  7. Nomen,

    A friend of mine has a large and varied collection of fine switchblade and fighting knives. You'd just think they were a nice knife collection if you didn't know the backstory. Look like top shelf commercial items made by custom knife makers.


    If you drive guns underground, people will do more dry fire practice and not be as obvious about things but you aren't going to make them go away. The determined will still have them, most especially the criminals.

    Part B: as long as the military and law enforcement carry firearms, they will be available to civilians as well.

    Seems some people need to do some more reading.

  8. I'm curious, Mike. you strike me as a man who prides himself in being a thinker...yet you throw out such a short-sighted idea that is a well documented failure.


  9. Weer'd, I don't know what you're talking about when you say this:

    "Worked really well for the UK. They now for the first time in the history of this country have MORE violent crime and MORE gun crime than the US."

    In one of our other discussions I offered this, which no one questioned:

    "The homicide rate for London was 2.4 per 100,000 in the same year (1.7 when excluding the 7 July bombings).

    By comparison, 5.5 murders per 100,000 of population were reported by police in the United States in 2004, of which 66% involved the use of firearms. New York City, with a population size similar to London (over 8 million residents), reported 6.9 murders per 100,000 people in 2004."

  10. Are those numbers before or AFTER the home office adjusted the numbers to downplay UK violent crime?

    And are you including areas like DC, NYC, Chicago, LA, that all have the same idea of gun control as the UK?

  11. So what are you saying now, that stats are suspect? Are you saying that the reason they're often unreliable is because the ones producing them may be biased? Finally we agree on something.

  12. I'm saying the numbers you give don't agree with many other sources I've read AND the agency that collected them has openly admitted to have adjusted the numbers to downplay the violent crime problem.

    On the same side, there was a study that said that there are 2 Million defensive gun uses in the United States every year. I don't reference it because #1 the survey method was not as accurate as I'd like to see, and #2 it was sponsored by the NRA, who I support, but I'm not naive enough to think they don't have an agenda.

    Crime reports will likely give numbers MUCH lower than actual numbers, but the data is MUCH more reliable.

    I just spent 20 mins trying to dig up the crime report, I'll grab it later if you want (but if you'll just ignore it let me know that too to save me the effort...also the others might dig it up as their stat-fu is stronger than mine)

    So be careful Mike, just because somebody creates unreliable data, this doesn't mean all data is unreliable.

    Your logic is if some drivers are drunk, all people in cars are drunk drivers.