We need to understand the “NarcoImpact” as a complex of negative factors affecting the social development of a community.
One of the significant factors is corruption, and corruption’s strong link to the illicit drug trade is a substantial part. Drugs and corruption cannot be considered isolated from each other, especially if they emerge from a set of circumstances connected to the narcotics trade, such as money laundering, which can, for example, raise real estate costs in such a region. It brings a massive impact on the people with unprecedented relocation; they cannot afford to live at such a locality because the black market creates real estate bubbles. It brings tensions and isolation. The close connection between crime and drug use is vastly confirmed in studies of arrestees.
When drug problems in a community are recognized as severe, people must face unpleasant alternatives. They can accept the reality of drugs in their neighborhood, adapting to a situation that they cannot hope to change immediately. Changing a lifestyle can reduce the threat of drug dealing and violence in their streets and buildings. They can change the environment by some form of community action with or without police support, or they can flee to safer housing if possible.
Many of these alternatives are not available to persons living in poverty or with limited sources.
Because of these factors, even more people are engaging in the criminal networks.
Many terrorists and organized criminals take an active part in or have close ties to the illicit drug trade. The connection between the two is often money and power.
Political changes may affect smuggling patterns, organized crime, and drug abuse. A study of the opening of the European Union’s borders shows that it has raised drug trafficking, terrorism, and computer crime related to refugee migration.
Illicit traffic in drugs generates enormous profits. Funds are obtained in or converted into an international currency and then moved into financial centers to electronically transfer the money worldwide.
The impact of drug abuse on law enforcement is extensive. At each step along the way of production, distribution, and consumption, drugs divert time, energy, and resources away from other responsibilities. Intelligence, surveillance, interdiction and seizure, prosecution and adjudication, sentencing, prisons, probation, and parole—all these measures may need to become specialized to deal with the complexity and volume of drug cases.
NarcoImpact on productivity, employment, premature mortality, illness, injury leading to incapacitation, and imprisonment directly reduces national productivity. Increased unemployment rates usually occur in the same age group as those most likely to use drugs and have drug problems. We can observe a significant loss of productivity and premature mortality associated with drug use.
Drug abuse occurs more frequently in young people than in other age groups. The risk factors for drug use often occurs before entry into the workforce. The relationship between drug abuse and the workplace is significantly influenced by national, social, cultural, ethnic, religious, and gender issues. Narcotic problems have a costly impact on the workplace as well as the community. Employers and workers alike are concerned about the consequences of drug abuse.
NarcoImpact on the environment is visible with environmental degradation in developing countries, which is due principally to population pressures, shifting cultivation patterns, and resource extraction from the earth.
To examine the linkage between illicit drug cultivation and harmful environmental impacts, one expert has noted that, unlike indigenous farmers, cultivators of drug crops have fewer ties to the land and are less respectful of it. To produce more plants, growers frequently use herbicides and insecticides, often in large amounts, without following prescribed procedures.
NarcoImpact and development of economic costs of drug abuse can be categorized as direct and indirect. Direct costs involve the increased cost of police, courts, military, treatment programs, welfare payments to drug addicts and their families, and increased security measures by businesses. Indirect economic costs include the displacement of legal industries, diminished control over the economy, spending money for drugs, inappropriate use of funds gained from drug sales, and fiscal problems related to the inability to tax the drug economy.
A high indirect cost of the drug industry results from the fact that governments cannot tax it. In such a case, governments have no choice but to increase taxes on those expected to pay.
We need to turn the government’s war on drugs into a “society against drugs.”
We cannot succeed without the active involvement of citizens. That applies to all of us, not only those in politics or those responsible for legislation and law enforcement, but to all of us—fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, teachers, firefighters, rescuers, and all of us who face the threat of drugs in our society daily.
And that is the goal of the IOSI–NarcoImpact project. The IOSI member platform’s ambition is to serve this current need to change the old paradigm. As a virtual space for every person involved in NarcoImpact without limiting their opinion. To offer confidence in expressing ideas, we allow everyone to publish articles anonymously to stay safe and expose the drug trade, which is critical for our society. We do not censor, and we do not want to spy. We fundamentally respect freedom of expression and the right of individuals for security in society. We know what it’s like to be at the center of risk. All lives matter!
Thus, the purpose of the anonymous posting on the IOSI member platform is not, as it might seem, primarily to break the rules. The objective is to protect such a level of freedom that is important to us and to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the dangers that can arise if someone who wants to (and can) use it against us accesses our identity. Our professional experience has shown us that this danger is not unrealistic.
Modern Problems require Modern Solutions
IOSI aims to help battle illicit drug trade in the following ways.
OSINT is an Open Source Intelligence methodology that is used to collect and analyse data from publicly accessible sources. The IOSI – NarcoImpact project and its members aim to use OSINT to access data relevant to illicit drug trade that can assist law enforcement in identifying perpetrators of illicit drug trade and locating victims.
IOSI has access to a sea of individual OSINT experts all around the world. The use of OSINT in illicit drug trade cases can, and will, increase the number of victims found and saved, and decrease the time that it takes.
IOSI experts provide OSINT training. This training is available to first responders as well as member of the general public, and the newly acquired knowledge can be used for a wide variety of things, including the collection of data important to the fight against illicit drug trade.
Education, Awareness and Communication:
The new IOSI Members Platform has been created to combat the changing nature of Global Crime. The platform acts as a virtual space that connects all members, allowing the free and unfiltered communication between them. With the option of anonymity, members can publish articles regarding illicit drug trade, connect with experts, express opinions, and views, and develop strategies.
A Future without illegal drug trade.
The future of Drug trafficking is dependent on our ability to create and sustain effective instruments to combat it. Sole communities nor countries will be able to abolish a global illicit trade. It will take a global community to tackle a global problem – people with specialized training, years of experience, expert knowledge, and the general public. If the general public turns a blind eye to the illegal drug trade, it will continue to live and thrive.
Summary and Findings
- While estimating the size of global and hemispheric drug markets presents tremendous challenges, evidence suggests that some two thirds of total revenues are earned at the final, retail level in consuming countries.
- Wholesalers and traffickers through transit countries account for another 20-25 percent of revenues, while just under 1 percent of total retail sales find its way to drug cultivators in the Andes.
- In terms of the size of overall drug markets, the most recent UN estimates place total retail sales of illicit drugs at some $320 billion or 1 percent of GDP.
- The UN estimates annual drug revenues in the Americas at $150 billion or just under half the global total, though other estimates are lower. North America currently occupies a dominant share of the hemispheric total, reflecting higher prices as well as higher drug prevalence, though this could change in future years.
- Cocaine estimates enjoy better consensus, with U.S. sales accounting for some $34 billion out of a global retail cocaine market of about $85 billion. Cocaine estimates for the rest of the hemisphere are a small fraction of this figure, but this could change when revised Brazilian data become available.
- Estimates of marijuana and methamphetamine revenues suffer particularly high rates of uncertainty.
We cannot succeed without the active involvement of citizens IN BUILDING A BETTER SOCIETY. This applies to all of us, not just people involved in politics, law enforcement or the field of law. In society, we play different roles – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, teachers, firefighters, rescuers and so much more. All of us, irrespective of our roles, face constant security threats, even when they are not blatantly obvious. This includes the numerous consequences that drug-trafficking has created, and despite not being starkly evident, these consequences compromise and endanger us all.
This is where IOSI comes into play. The IOSI PLATFORM for members strives to serve as the catalyst to a global shift away from the old paradigm. IOSI wants to serve as a virtual safe space for all persons involved in SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE, where they can express themselves accordingly, and freely exchange opinions. To offer a trustworthy and safe space, our platform allows everyone to publish articles anonymously, if they so desire; hence, issues relating to the drug trade, among other critical matters in our society, can be exposed confidently. In this sense, it is important to emphasize that IOSI neither censors nor spies, however harassment is not tolerated as per our Platform Rules ( which can be found at https://www.iosi.global/platform-rules ).
Fundamentally, our platform respects freedom of expression and the right of individuals to live in a secure society. Our team knows what it is like to be at the center of risk. The ability to post anonymously opens doors to victims or other individuals caught up in the criminal world of narcotics to share sensitive and critical information that they would otherwise be unable to, due to realistic fears for their safety.
The purpose of posting anonymously is not, as it might seem, to break rules. The objective is to protect a level of freedom that is important to our community, ourselves, and our loved ones, and to protect us from the dangers that exist when identity is revealed. Our professional experience has shown us that this danger is not unrealistic.
Global Organization for Security and Intelligence – IOSI