Drug Wars

Militant Islamists escort drug convoys through northern Mali in exchange for hefty payments. The U.S. military and Honduran authorities use commando-style tactics to catch traffickers in the remote jungles of La Moskitia. A 15-year old from Ciudad Juarez, the most violent city in Mexico, chooses the clarinet over drugs after dropping out of school twice.

Drug Wars tells of men, women, and children who risk their lives—as drug users, traffickers, smugglers, and enforcement agents. You will find searing portraits of those who suffer from addiction, their family members and loved ones. These are stories not only of lives lost and opportunities missed, but also of the fear and disruption that can overwhelm a community.

Pulitzer Center journalists expose corruption, extortion, and murder in an often violent war on drugs, fought in all corners of the globe, in Cuba and Crimea, in Bolivia and Burma, and from the Philippines to Tajikistan. They cover various recovery programs, such as opioid substitution therapy, as well as policy debates involving the roles of drug enforcement agents, the police, the military, and government. And they ask important questions: Are drug users criminals or patients in need of medical treatment?

Drug Wars

October 31, 2017

In Lazarat, the Fall of a Pot Empire

Nate Tabak

The residents of Lazarat, Albania, once grew $6 billion of marijuana per year under the nose of the state. What happens when that pot empire goes up in smoke?

July 28, 2017

In Defiance and In Defense of Duterte

Ana P. Santos, James Whitlow Delano

What happens to civil society in a country that democratically elects a leader who encourages the summary executions of citizens for drug addiction and the wholesale violation of human rights?

March 03, 2017

El Salvador's Lawyer for the Dead

Jason Motlagh

In El Salvador, the murder capital of the world, authorities are failing to combat a brutal gang war that is driving a mass exodus out of the country.

January 19, 2017

Duterte and the Philippines

James Fenton

A new president is elected in the Philippines on a promise that he will crack down on drugs, dealers and users. Thousands of poor people have already been killed.

Meet the Journalist: Nate Tabak

How did a little village in Albania come be known as Europe's unofficial marijuana capital? Nate Tabak discusses his project about Lazarat, and the rise and fall of its marijuana business.

Meet the Journalist: James Fenton

James Fenton discusses reporting on President Duterte's violent war on drugs in the Philippines. The number of casualties in a 7-month period reached 7,000 following the president's election.

This Week: A Divided Nation

This week: Protest violence in Duterte's Philippines, refugees prioritize integration and survival over religion, and how Haiti's capital manages waste without a sewer system.

This Week: DEA Killings Exposed

This week: New U.S. government report confirms a grantee reporting, the underground media market in Havana, and lax security policies in the Maldives.