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Green Politics

Guatemalan Rain Forest Latest Casualty of War on Drugs and “Public” Property

The Daily Green reports on fires in Guatemala’s Mayan Biosphere Reserve set by “narcoranchers” in order to open arable land for coca crops.

While writer Dan Shapley would like to blame this problem on American drug habits he overlooks a couple of salient facts.

  1. This practice would not be necessary if coca and cocaine were legal.
  2. Public property is dependent on the bribe-able government bureaucrats for protection. Private property is not.

In the case of Guatemala, the state of the wild is defined by the state of our drug habits.

Forests are burned to make way for coca fields and air strips to ferry the illegal crop for processing or sale. Some 30 air strips have been carved into the forest in just the last couple years.

“This is my forest on drugs,” McNab said, waving his arm at an image of smoke emanating from the forest.

By George Donnelly

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