Jan 31 • 35M

'Did the CIA Smuggle Cocaine? Yes, I Witnessed it Firsthand': A Podcast with Sheriff David Hathaway

Hathaway, a former DEA supervisory agent, on the failure of US drug policy, legalization, and the murder of DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena

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Appears in this episode

Melissa del Bosque
The Border Chronicle podcast is hosted by Melissa del Bosque and Todd Miller. Based in Tucson, Arizona, longtime journalists Melissa and Todd speak with fascinating fronterizos, community leaders, activists, artists and more at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Episode details

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David Hathaway, when he worked for the DEA, with Lt. Col. Oliver “Ollie” North. (Photo courtesy of David Hathaway)

Sheriff David Hathaway is a fifth-generation rancher from the U.S.-Mexico border in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. He’s also a former supervisory agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, and he participated in the DEA’s largest-ever homicide investigation, Operación Leyenda, to track down the killers of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in the 1980s.

Hathaway’s participation in Camarena’s murder investigation, and his discovery that the CIA was not only smuggling drugs but also involved in Camarena’s death in Mexico, led Hathaway to conclude that America’s war on drugs is a failure, which spurs government corruption on both sides of the border as illustrated (yet again) in the current trial of former Mexican anti-drug official Genaro Garcia Luna in New York.


Hathaway speaks frankly about U.S. drug policy, the investigation into Camarena’s death (which is now featured in a four-part documentary called The Last Narc on Amazon), and the restorative justice programs* that Santa Cruz County has spearheaded to reduce drug demand in its communities.

*Constructing Circles of Peace, Hope Incorporated, Wellness Connections, and Mariposa Community Health Center.

The second part of this podcast with Hathaway which delves into border militarization, the recent shipping container wall boondoggle, and “fuzzy” border statistics will air next week. Stay tuned!

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