Violence is yet again present in week 12 and Dawson can’t help but agree that there has always been violence in Latin America. This time however, drugs become a major part of the multitude of issues.
I found it really interesting to read about the war on drugs but was not surprised to read that the “successive U.S. administrations declared that they would not approve aid or favorable trade agreements for regimes that did not take an active (some would say militarized) role in disrupting the flow of illicit drugs” (Dawson, 334). The United States has often resorted to the military to “solve” problems and it wasn’t any different in this case. Millions of US dollars in military aid have been sent to countries such as Colombia, Israel, Egypt and Mexico in 2007. As a US citizen I have often wondered where all of our tax money goes and in Mexico and Colombia’s cases, most of the money was used on military equipment. In Mexico, a lot of the money was spent on Blackhawk helicopters and in Colombia, millions of dollars were funneled “to paramilitary groups, many of which have close ties with the military” (Dawson, 335). I found it terrifying to read that the paramilitaries have attacked many people, especially those trying to establish some order. Also, this is just proving that people will do anything, including harming other people, for money. Money is what motivates people. In this case, the revenues are more or less “$40 billion annually” (Dawson, 335). This is not shocking when considering that “one kilo of cocaine sells for $1,000 in Colombia’s interior, $25,000 in the United States, and $60,000 in Britain” (Dawson, 335). Because this is such an enormous sum of money, I wonder if the drug cartels helped Latin America’s economy in any way.
Another part of this week’s readings and videos that I found intriguing was the massive “No” campaign. It was fascinating to see how many people did not want Augusto Pinochet to continue his rule for another eight years. I really enjoyed listening to the song “No Lo Quiero, No” by Isabel, Javiera and Tita Parra, because I feel like it really shows how powerful this movement was. “Chile la Alegria Ya Viene” was also produced during this time. These songs must have had a really large effect on everyone who listened to them. In the end, General Augusto Pinochet was not reelected because the “No” side won 56% of the vote.
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