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Reblogged:Did War on Drugs Lead to Surfside?

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A lengthy and somewhat repetitive story from USA Today considers evidence that money laundering, necessitated by our country's ill-advised, immoral, and anti-freedom "War on Drugs" might have led to some of the design flaws and structural defects in Champlain Towers South, which collapsed in June:
Folha_de_coca.jpg
Image by Marcello Casal Jr./ABr - AgĂȘncia Brasil, via Wikimedia Commons, license.
The reporting reveals for the first time that early condo sales exhibit telltale signs of a money laundering scheme. Experts said cutting corners on construction often accompanied money laundering. At Champlain South, engineers noted an incorrectly designed pool deck and improperly constructed support columns. Money laundering might have meant that some early buyers weren't living in the condo building or concerned with its long-term maintenance.

"The era we're talking about is when Miami suddenly came out of the ashes. So how do you rush to fulfill the demand? You cut corners. You attached roofs with paper clips. You bribe the inspectors," said Jorge Valdes, who was not involved in Champlain South but helped build dozens of homes, apartment complexes and high-rises in the Miami region as a chief money launderer for the Medellin Cartel. [bold added]
And later:
If they took part in money laundering in the sales, experts said, the developers were probably cutting corners on construction and anywhere else they could boost profits.
It is disturbing to contemplate that the artificially high recreational drug prices (and need to hide income from such sales) created by the War on Drugs might have led to criminals, with their short-range mentalities, becoming widely and deeply involved in the construction industry as this story argues.

Even if we assume that the story is sensationalizing the severity or extent of the problem and that it was not a factor in this particular disaster, it certainly stands as a plausible, cautionary example of the maxim Controls breed controls.

-- CAV

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