The objective of the reports is to find a better way to address the challenges posed by illicit drugs
On May 17, 2013, the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to share the results of the hemispheric review of drug policies. This task was entrusted to him by the Heads of States of the Americas at the Sixth Americas Summit held in April 2012 in Cartagena, Colombia.Read more...
Creates a positive example for modernizing the UN drug conventionsTNI/WOLA press release
Friday, January 11, 2013
Today the Plurinational State of Bolivia can celebrate a rightful victory, as the country can become formally a party again to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, but without being bound by its unjust and unrealistic requirement that “coca leaf chewing must be abolished.” This represents the successful conclusion of an arduous process in which Bolivia has sought to reconcile its international treaty obligations with its 2009 Constitution, which obliges upholding the coca leaf as part of Bolivia’s cultural patrimony.Read more...
The role of the drugs trade in criminal violence and policy responses in Guatemala, El Salvador and HondurasLiza Ten VeldeTNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Papers Nr 19
Mexico has occupied the limelight when it comes to media attention focusing on drug-related violence in Latin America. However, it is actually Central America's Northern Triangle – consisting of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – currently experiencing much higher rates of violence and increasing Drug Trafficking Organization (DTOs) activity, thus providing an illustration of the 'balloon effect' previously experienced by Mexico itself after the implementation of Plan Colombia which was conceived at the end of the 90's. Together the countries of the Northern Triangle now form one of the most violent regions on earth.
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Shifts in the Latin American drug policy debate
There is a growing recognition that current war-like strategies have failed. At the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena in April the Organisation of American States (OAS) was given a mandate to study the effectiveness of current drug policies and look into alternatives. Using the political momentum, next steps can be discussed at both a high level international conference in Lima on June 25-26, and the thematic debate of the UN General Assembly on 'Drugs and Crime as a Threat to Development' in New York on the occasion of the UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26. The Drugs & Democracy Programme sheds its light on policy developments in Latin America with a new briefing "A Breakthrough in the making?".Read more...
The globalisation of control and regulation of an ancient stimulant
Khat has been consumed for hundreds if not thousands of years in the highlands of Eastern Africa and Southern Arabia. Outside that area, khat use was first observed during the 1980s, but has only attracted wider attention in recent years. Where khat has been studied extensively, namely Australia, the UK and until recently the Netherlands, governments have steered clear of prohibition because the negative medical and social harms do not merit such controls. Where strict bans on khat have been introduced they have had severe unintended negative consequences and failed to further the integration, social incusion and economic prosperity of Somali communities in particular, which chew khat most widely. Experiences from North America and Scandinavia show that a ban will not solve problems associated with kath but tend to increase them.Read more...
IDPC supports Bolivia re-accession with a reservation allowing for the traditional use of the coca leaf
The Bolivian government denounced the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs on June 29, 2011, indicating its intention to re-accede with a reservation allowing for the traditional use of the coca leaf. The decision was triggered by Bolivia’s need to balance its obligations under the international drug control system with its constitutional and other international legal commitments. The move follows the rejection of Bolivia’s proposal to amend the Single Convention by deleting the obligation to abolish coca leaf chewing earlier this year. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) called on countries to oppose Bolivia’s decision. This intervention is extremely unhelpful, and arguably an abuse of the Board’s mandate. The International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) supports the difficult decision taken by the Morales administration.Read more...
Global Commission on Drug Policy calls for reform of international drug control
On June 2, 2011, the Global Commission on Drug Policy presented its report in New York, calling to break the taboo on debate and reform of international drug control policies. The high-profile panel calls the global war on drugs a failure and recommends a paradigm shift towards harm reduction, decriminalization and legal regulation of cannabis. TNI has been closely involved in the initiative and its Latin American predecessor in an advisory capacity. Martin Jelsma of TNI’s drugs policy programme wrote a background paper for the Commission’s meeting in Geneva earlier this year: The development of international drug control: lessons learned and strategic challenges for the future.Read more...
Systems Overload: Drug Laws and Prisons in Latin America
A comparative study on the impact of drug policies on the prison systems of eight Latin American countries – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay – reveals that drug laws have contributed to the prison crises these countries are experiencing. The study Systems Overload: Drug Laws and Prisons in Latin America, published by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), found that the persons who are incarcerated for drug offenses tend to be individuals caught with small amounts of drugs, often users, as well as street-level dealers.Read more...