The Human Face

A Series of Videos on Drug Laws and Prisons in Latin America
02 July 2010

The human toll of unjust drug policies often goes unseen and unacknowledged; often buried in statistics and official reports. That is why the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) decided to give these faceless statistics a human face. A series of videos feature people who have spent years in prison enduring harsh sentences that are disproportionate to the crimes they committed.

Current counter-drug policies in Latin America are not only ineffective; they also come with severe collateral damage to the most vulnerable sectors of society. Instead of focusing on the large-scale drug traffickers responsible for the growing violence and corruption that is undermining nations, current strategies end up pursuing easy targets -- people who turn to drugs out of poverty and who play a minimal role in the drug trade.

The videos are part of a study investigating the prison systems of eight countries across the region, conducted by TNI/WOLA. The people in the videos are featured because they represent the rarely revealed human side of the war on drugs. Viewed together, these personal stories illustrate the unjust impact of current drug laws.

The videos are made available to press for linking and embedding. The interviews and editing were conducted with the highest standards to ensure a neutral and objective reporting of the person’s story. Note to editors: credits/attributions are at the end of the videos.

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