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  1. Major Study on Drugs Laws and Prisons in Latin America to be Released

    29 November 2010
    Press release

    An unprecedented one-year comparative study of the drug laws and prison systems in eight Latin American countries - Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay - will be released on December 9, 2010, by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).

    Systems Overload: Drug Laws and Prisons in Latin America is the first major study to explore the way drug laws have contributed to prison overcrowding, analyze who is imprisoned on drug charges, and evaluate the impact of incarceration on people's lives, their families and their communities. Based on the available data, each country-study presents and analyzes statistics on the situation in the prisons, including levels of over-crowding; the percentage of prisoners behind bars on drug charges; the percentage of those who are consumers, low-level offenders or bigger traffickers; and the level of involvement in the drug trade of those in jail.

  2. Press contacts

    24 June 2010
    Article

    Our experts provide up-to-date information on drug policy developments in Latin America, the United States, and Europe.

    The TNI/WOLA Drug Law Reform Project can also put you in touch with in-country drug policy experts in Latin America.

    For press inquiries, or to be added to our mailing list, please contact Kristel Mucino, Communications Coordinator for the TNI/WOLA Drug Law Reform Project:
    kmucino[at]wola.org
    +1-617-584-1713
    Skype: kristel.mucino

  3. Study reveals alarming pattern in imprisonment for drug crimes in Latin America

    09 December 2010
    Article

    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 drug laws impose penalties disproportionate to many of the drug offenses committed, do not give sufficient consideration to the use of alternative sanctions, and promote the excessive use of preventive detention. The study Systems Overload: Drug Laws and Prisons in Latin America, published today 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.

  4. David Harvey

    Profile

    Distinguished Professor of Anthropology & Geography at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Visit: http://davidharvey.org   Photo: By Robert Crc - Subversive festival media, FAL.

  5. CEDLA (Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation)

    Profile

    Since its creation in 1964, the Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA), hosted by the University of Amsterdam, has promoted Latin American Studies in the Netherlands, Europe and beyond. This is done by conducting and stimulating relevant and original research on developments in Latin America and distributing the results of this research via academic education and...

  6. Fellows

    29 March 2010

    TNI Fellows are internationalist intellectuals with a track record of progressive activist-scholarship and a passionate commitment to social change. They bring TNI vision and new ideas, expertise relevant to current programme, connect TNI to relevant networks and commit themselves to an active role in TNI. TNI Fellowships do not involve any financial remuneration.

  7. Annual Reports

    17 July 2010
  8. Thumbnail

    Urgent action: Support the Human Right to Water

    27 July 2010
    Multi-media

    On Wednesday 28 July, the UN will vote on an historic resolution affirming the human right to water. But a powerful group of countries are trying to undermine the resolution.

  9. Drug Laws and Prisons in Brazil

    03 December 2010

    The number of people imprisoned for drug offenses in Brazil has increased over the last 20 years, but this has not affected the availability or consumption of drugs. The study also shows that those who are locked up for drug offenses are mainly small-scale dealers who represent the lowest links in drug distribution operations, and not the large-scale wholesale traffickers who dominate the country’s illicit drug trafficking trade.

     

  10. Expert Seminar on ATS and Harm Reduction

    26 November 2010

    This report captures the main outcomes from an informal expert seminar on harm reduction in relation to the rising problems with the use of Amphetamine Type Stimu­lants (ATS)[1] in Southeast and East Asia, organized by the Transnational Institute, with the sup­port of the Western Australian Substance Users Association (WASUA). The aim of the meeting was to have an open-minded exchange of opinions and experiences about the situation in Myanmar, Thailand, and Yunnan Province (China).

     

  11. The Case of Colombia

    08 December 2010

    In Colombia, most of the people incarcerated for drug-related crime are merely small-scale participants in the drug trafficking networks, reveals 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).

  12. The Case of Peru

    08 December 2010

    In Peru, the law on drugs does not punish drug use or drug possession for personal use by imprisonment. Nonetheless, as the Peru chapter of the study Systems Overload: Drug Laws and Prisons in Latin America concludes, the Peruvian authorities treat drug use as if it were criminal conduct. As a result, the police are overwhelmed, trials are delayed, and the prisons are filled.

  13. Contact us

    26 May 2010
    Article

    Our experts provide up-to-date information on drug policy developments in Latin America, the United States, and Europe.

     

     

  14. Thumbnail

    Zimbabwe's land reform ten years on: new study dispels the myths

    Ian Scoones, Blasio Mavedzenge
    22 November 2010
    Article

    Since Mugabe initiated a more aggressive land reform programme in Zimbabwe in 2000, the accepted wisdom was that it had been an unmitigated disaster. A new ten-year detailed study of one province in Zimbabwe challenges this view.

  15. Zimbabwe's land reform ten years on: new study dispels the myths

    Ian Scoones
    22 November 2010
    Article

    Since Mugabe initiated a more aggressive land reform programme in Zimbabwe in 2000, the accepted wisdom was that it had been an unmitigated disaster. A new ten-year detailed study of one province in Zimbabwe challenges this view.

  16. Drug Laws and Prisons in Ecuador

    03 December 2010

    Ecuador was never a significant center of production or traffic of illicit drugs; nor has it ever experienced the social convulsions that can result from the existence of a dynamic domestic drug market. While Ecuador has become an important transit country for illicit drugs and precursor chemicals and for money laundering, the illicit drug trade has not been perceived as a major threat to the country’s national security. However, for nearly two decades, Ecuador has had one of the most draconian drug laws in Latin America.

     

  17. A chance for a scientific drugs policy

    David Nutt
    21 September 2010
    Other news

    Last week Professor Roger Pertwee called for cannabis to be licensed for sale, and now Tim Hollis, the Association of Chief Police Officers' lead officer on drugs, has said the current criminalisation-based approach to policing cannabis use should be reviewed. Pertwee and Hollis are bringing a welcome breath of fresh air to the debate about drugs and the harm they do. The government now has the chance to take a genuinely science-based approach to drugs policy.

  18. Image of UN Flag

    UN’s International Narcotics Control Board’s Annual Report oversteps mandate and interferes with countries’ sovereignty

    Transnational Institute, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
    24 February 2010
    Press release

    The UN's International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) annual report released today, which criticizes Argentina, Brazil and Mexico for moving to decriminalize the possession of drugs for personal consumption, clearly oversteps the INCB's mandate and constitutes unwarranted intrusions into these countries' sovereign decision-making.

     

  19. The Case of Bolivia

    08 December 2010

    The Bolivia chapter is based on a survey of 130 prisoners in the San Pedro men’s prison in the city of La Paz, supplemented by other official data. The study Systems Overload: Drug Laws and Prisons in Latin America, published today by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), concludes that Bolivia has one of the harshest drug laws in the region, combined with inadequate administration of the national prison system.

  20. The Case of Argentina

    08 December 2010

    Argentina is a “transit” country within the international drug market. The laws designed to prosecute drug crimes have failed to reduce the scale of trafficking and have resulted instead in the imprisonment of people in vulnerable situations.

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