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[PDF] Privatization of the War on Drugs in Mexico and Colombia: Limiting the Application of Humanitarian Law and Endangering Human Rights

Author: Antoine Perret, European University Institute (Italy), Published on: 1 October 2013

The use of Private Military and Security Companies…in the so-called War on Drugs has considerable implications for the application of international humanitarian law and raises concern about the respect for human rights under antidrug assistance programs. [The] lack of state control over PMSC activities poses a major challenge for human rights protections in the short-term…Every year, more…[PMSCs] are contracted…to provide intelligence, logistical support, and training and/or support to local armed forces…The concern over human rights violations is particularly acute in Colombia because all U.S. personnel (including contractors) working…[there] have been granted immunity from Colombian jurisdiction…The situation in Mexico demonstrates some significant parallels with Colombia, as well as some important differences. As in Colombia, a substantial proportion of PMSC activity…takes place through an antidrug trafficking agreement…under which several PMSCs have been hired to train local forces…In theory U.S. PMSCs should not participate in hostilities…[but an] example of a U.S. PMSCs’ de facto participation in the conflict, despite a de jure prohibition…is shown by the activities of DynCorp…

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Related companies: DynCorp