Floating Guantánamos: How the Coast Guard Uses Indefinite Detention to Wage “War on Drugs” at Sea

https://democracynow.org – A shocking new exposé reveals how the U.S. Coast Guard is detaining thousands of suspected drug smugglers they arrest in international waters and keeping them jailed at sea for up to several months before they are charged in a U.S. federal court. Many of the suspects are low-level smugglers from impoverished fishing towns in Latin America. During their imprisonment at sea they are shackled on deck, exposed to the elements and denied access to lawyers and their families. The increased detentions began when General John Kelly headed the Pentagon’s Southern Command from 2012 to 2016. Kelly is now President Trump’s White House chief of staff after briefly serving as Secretary of Homeland Security. We are joined by Seth Freed Wessler, the journalist who broke the story in The New York Times Magazine in a piece headlined, “The Coast Guard’s ‘Floating Guantánamos.’” Wessler is a Puffin Fellow at the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute.

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