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San Pedro de Sula: Drug Gateway and Murder Capitol

2013 July 30
by Shared by Steve Rust

According to the US State Department, 79% of all cocaine transported from South American to the United States travels through the small Central American nation of Honduras. One tragic result of this drug trafficking is that the country’s second largest city, San Pedro de Sula, has eclipsed Juarez, Mexico as the Murder Capitol of the world with more than 1200 murders last year in this city of approximately 800,000 people.  This evening’s PBS Newshour includes a short documentary on the city (a full version will air next month on the BBC).  This documentary gave me pause to consider the ecological and environmental justice impacts of drug use, drug trafficking, and the war on drugs.  Not only does the ecological footprint of international drug trafficking continue to grow but also at issue are the unregulated growing and manufacturing processes, the toll on infrastructure and energy used to grow and combat the drug trade, the toll on the forests, urban environments and other places and materials involved, and of course, the human ecological issues involved in drug use and in the bodies literally left to bleed in the streets in cities like San Pedro de Sulas and lives torn apart by violence and addiction. This short news documentary did not explicitly frame this issue in terms of ecological justice but left me feeling fully aware of the importance of ecomedia studies for understanding such issues in their full complexity, both in terms of the ecological images on display for viewers but also in the human/environment ecosystem of the drug trade and war on drugs.

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