New Direction in the Drug War

Reportedly, last May there was a shoot-out between U.S. and Honduran anti-narcotics agents and traffickers. Residents were "infuriated" about the presence of U.S. and Honduran police, and set out to push local drug traffickers out of their communities. 

Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell

What´s the Latest Development?

How did local residents overcome the risks of taking on drug traffickers in their community? The answer is participation and cooperation. “Details of the events remain vague, but in the fog of interdiction, instead of firing upon a boat of suspected traffickers, the Honduran anti-narcotic agents mistakenly killed four civilians and injured four more.” Residents were outraged over the presence of both U.S. and Honduran police, “and also complained about the violence brought by drug traffickers,” that they took it upon themselves to burn down the homes of drug traffickers to get them out of their community. “From Colombia and Peru, where much cocaine production originates, drug violence has spread to affect communities in Brazil to the south and to the north as far as the Tohono O'odham nation, which spans the Arizona-Mexico border and has been caught between DEA, border-patrol agents and cartels. Even Indian reservations on trafficking routes along the U.S.-Canada border have not been left out.”

What´s the Big Idea?

Residents inflicted with drug traffic in their communities are fighting to take their communities back. “Indigenous lands generally are neglected by national governments and increasingly have been used as smuggling corridors throughout the Americas—even into North America and the highly “developed” United States.” Local residents have the right to exercise governance, “and government outsiders have constructed their own forms of local order and participatory decision making to manage their own affairs.” “Both governments and civil-society actors should study the promise that existing models of participatory community governance (both indigenous and nonindigenous) hold for managing security.”

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Afghanistan is the most depressed country on earth

No, depression is not just a type of 'affluenza' – poor people in conflict zones are more likely candidates

Image: Our World in Data / CC BY
Strange Maps
  • Often seen as typical of rich societies, depression is actually more prevalent in poor, conflict-ridden countries
  • More than one in five Afghans is clinically depressed – a sad world record
  • But are North Koreans really the world's 'fourth least depressed' people?
Keep reading Show less

Banned books: 10 of the most-challenged books in America

America isn't immune to attempts to remove books from libraries and schools, here are ten frequent targets and why you ought to go check them out.

Nazis burn books on a huge bonfire of 'anti-German' literature in the Opernplatz, Berlin. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
  • Every year, the American Library Association puts on Banned Books Week to draw attention to this fact.
  • Some of the books they include on their list of most frequently challenged are some of the greatest, most beloved, and entertaining books there are.
Keep reading Show less
  • Oumuamua, a quarter-mile long asteroid tumbling through space, is Hawaiian for "scout", or "the first of many".
  • It was given this name because it came from another solar system.
  • Some claimed 'Oumuamua was an alien technology, but there's no actual evidence for that.