Treading into a political and diplomatic confrontation it tried to avoid, the US has decided to declassify some secret government documents on the killing and torture conducted by the former Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet.
The United Nations Drugs Control Programme (UNDCP) is rallying support for the UN General Assembly Special Session to Counter the World Drug Problem Together (UNGASS). The UNDCP hopes the meeting will raise the profile of drugs issues and place the agency at the centre of a revitalised global approach to drugs. At the meeting, a series of declarations and action plans on a variety of issues will be tabled. Tackling drugs problems, however, involves more than words. What matters most is how such ideas will be put into action.
Drugs control is one of the most controversial issues of the late twentieth century. US-led efforts to wage a ‘war on drugs' have focused on wiping out production in developing countries, rather than tackling the demand for drugs in rich countries. Over time, eradication strategies have become increasingly militarised, and have led to human rights abuses and environmental degaradation. And the war has failed. The amount of drugs produced and drugs-linked crops cultivated have not decreased.
This briefing is published in the run-up to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs, to be held in New York in June 1998. The UNGASS provides a rare opportunity to re-think current drugs efforts. Member states are being asked to endorse a plan, known as SCOPE, for the eradication of drugs-linked crops by 2008. Is SCOPE viable? And what impact would it have on poor farmers who grow drugs-linked crops to survive?
The Institute for Policy Studies applauds the arrest of Chilean General Augusto Pinochet, whose regime ordered the assassination of two IPS colleagues, Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt, in 1976 and carried out other documented acts of international terrorism.
United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) New York, 8-10 June 1998
The "United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem" held from 8 to 10 June in New York, did not bring any surprises. The drug summit adopted a global strategy to reduce illicit drug supply and demand by 2008. In the General Assembly room, it was an uninterrupted three day sequence of political speeches. All countries could give their own emphasis to the agenda items and present in seven minutes their own more general view on the drugs issue and their policies to deal with it. But, all in all, it has been a lost opportunity, no evaluation of current drug policies took place whatsoever, it was devoted to (as a New York Times editorial phrased it) "recycling unrealistic pledges".
High-level US officials are discussing a possible extradition request to bring Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean strongman now held in London, to the United States to face questions the terrorist attack that killed Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt.
The Andean Council of Coca Leaf Growers (CAPHC), which groups together men and women coca growers from Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, met in Puno May 17-18, 1998, to analyze the situation of our people, put a distance between ourselves and the anti-drug policies currently being implemented and propose alternatives that need to be put in practice at the grassroots, demanded from the Andean governments in office today and proposed to the international community.
Supporters of Orlando Letelier, who was killed by a car bomb planted by Chilean secret police in 1976, want Clinton to speak out against the state-sponsored terrorism practiced by the government of former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile as a despot for 17 years, has been arrested in London after Spain asked that he be extradited for the presumed murders of hundreds of Chilean and Spanish citizens.
Survivors of a Chilean diplomat and his American aide who were assassinated in Washington by agents of former dictator Pinochet's government are urging the Clinton administration to reopen an investigation of Pinochet's involvement in the attack.
The prosecution of Pinochet, whose name became a virtual synonym for state-sponsored terror during his seventeen-year regime, has become a historic turning point for international and national efforts to hold him and other tyrants accountable.