Part of the CSED Seminar Series
An important challenge in the crime literature is to isolate casual effects of police on crime. Following a terrorist attack on the main Jewish center in Buenos Aires in July 1994, all Jewish institutions were given 24-hour police protection. Using data on the location of car thefts before and after the attack, Di Tella and Schargrodsky find a large deterrent effect of observable police presence on crime. The effect is local, with no appreciable impact outside the narrow area in which th epolice are deployed.
The Duque government’s drug policy in Colombia is taking on a progressively ominous and counterproductive direction. It threatens to undermine the incomplete and struggling peace process, misdirect law enforcement resources, augment the alienation of coca farmers from the state and undermine human rights and drug users’ access to health services in Colombia. With their emphasis on criminalization of even drug possession for personal use and forced eradication, the announced policies clearly cater to the Trump administration’s doctrinaire and discredited drug policy preferences that harken back to the 1980s. But without sustainable livelihoods already in place, forced eradication will not sustainably reduce coca cultivation and cocaine production. The dominance of zero-coca thinking in Colombia whereby a community has to eradicate all coca first before it starts receiving even meager assistance from the state never produced positive results in Colombia.