A U.S. Coast Guard crew from Alameda stopped a semi-submersible vessel carrying more than 16,000 pounds of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean last month — the largest bust of its kind in Coast Guard history.
On July 18, the crew apprehended four suspected smugglers and captured 275 bales of cocaine worth more than $181 million wholesale from the self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) vessel, a low-riding vessel often used to smuggle massive quantities of narcotics across the ocean nearly undetected.
The local Coast Guard commander thinks that these interceptions "helps increase security and stability in the Western Hemisphere."
“Our success intercepting this drug-laden, self-propelled semi-submersible is a testament to the collaboration of our partner agencies, and demonstrates the importance of our increased presence in the Western Hemisphere,” said Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray, commander, Pacific Area. “Every interception of these semi-submersibles disrupts transnational organized crime networks and helps increase security and stability in the Western Hemisphere.”
However, nothing could be further from the truth. The US efforts to suppress the illegal drug trade between South America and the US is actually responsible for much of the violence and corruption in places like Mexico and by forcing much of the drug trafficking onto land we have helped bring about nearly failed states in places like Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala.
Mark Thornton is a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and the book review editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He has authored seven books and is a frequent guest on national radio shows.