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  1. Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico Urge UN to Review Global Drug Policy

    03 October 2012
    Other news

    Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala delivered a landmark declaration to the United Nations Secretary General calling on the organization to lead a debate on alternative approaches to the current war on drugs, though it is likely to fall on deaf ears. The statement, issued to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on October 1, contains 11 points outlining the three countries’ views on the current state of organized crime and counternarcotics policy in the Americas (see declaration in English here, and in Spanish here).

  2. Image of UN Flag

    Latin American nations push UN to drop zero tolerance on drugs

    04 October 2012
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    Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico – hardly liberal bastions – have taken the matter a step further. The Latin American countries, each threatened by drug violence, sent a clearly worded declaration to the United Nations, inviting member states to undertake a consultation process to come up with more effective drug policy strategies. They urged the UN to “exercise its leadership…. to conduct deep reflection to analyze all available options, including regulatory or market measures, in order to establish a new paradigm,” the declaration states, translated into English by the Guatemala Times.

  3. Western banks 'reaping billions from Colombian cocaine trade'

    Ed Vulliamy
    01 June 2012
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    While cocaine production ravages countries in Central America, consumers in the US and Europe are helping developed economies grow rich from the profits, a study claims. The vast profits made from drug production and trafficking are overwhelmingly reaped in rich "consuming" countries – principally across Europe and in the US – rather than war-torn "producing" nations such as Colombia and Mexico. And its authors claim that financial regulators in the west are reluctant to go after western banks in pursuit of the massive amount of drug money being laundered through their systems.

  4. eltarra

    Analysis: Colombia’s fight against the coca trade

    Obinna Anyadike
    05 September 2013
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    EL TARRA, 28 August 2013 (IRIN) - The Colombian government believes people should just say no to growing coca: those that do not, risk aerial spraying of their illicit crop with powerful pesticides, or manual destruction by work teams hired by private firms and supported by the security forces.

  5. The year in drug policy: Movement at a crossroads

    26 December 2014
    Other news

    The 43-year-old war on drugs had never seen such a barrage of opposition as it did in 2014, with successful marijuana legalization initiatives in several U.S. states, California’s historic approval of sentencing reform for low level drug offenders and world leaders calling for the legal regulation of all drugs — all of which cement the mainstream appeal of drug policy alternatives and offer unprecedented momentum going into 2015.

  6. How California's Pot Proposition Is Agitating Latin America

    31 October 2010
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    What was Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos smoking? Colombia has long been an obedient lieutenant in the U.S.-led war on drugs, yet there was Santos musing out loud — at a presidential summit, of all places — about the possibility of exporting bales of marijuana to California dopers. "I would like to know," he said on Oct. 26, "if the eighth-largest economy in the world and a state that's famous for high technology, movies and fine wine, will permit marijuana imports?"

  7. HSBC gives Argentina prosecutors chance to correct US blunder

    31 March 2013
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    The accusations from Argentina's tax authority that London-based HSBC laundered over $100 million may pale in comparison to that of the bank's US - Mexico case, but they raise the specter that someone from HSBC could finally go to jail. The charges, announced by the head of Argentina's tax collection agency, Ricardo Echegaray, on March 19 include tax evasion and money laundering totalling up to $120 million.

  8. U.S.-led "war on drugs" questioned at U.N.

    26 September 2012
    Other news

    The presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala all called for a vigorous global debate of drug laws at the United Nations on Wednesday, raising new questions about the wisdom of the four-decade-old, U.S.-led "war on drugs." Although none of the leaders explicitly called for drugs to be legalized, they suggested at the U.N. General Assembly that they would welcome wholesale changes to policies that have shown scant evidence of limiting drug flows. Guatemalan president Perez Molina said his government "would like to establish an international group of countries that are well disposed to reforming global policies on drugs."

  9. Nick Clegg and Juan Manuel Santos to lead global initiative on drugs reform

    08 November 2014
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    Nick Clegg wants the UK to take a lead role in forging an alliance between European and Latin American countries aiming to reform global drugs laws focused on prohibition.

  10. Colombia to ban coca spraying herbicide glyphosate

    09 May 2015
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    Colombia has announced it will stop using a controversial herbicide to destroy illegal plantations of coca, the raw ingredient for cocaine.

  11. Colombian prosecutor calls for drug legalisation referendum

    20 August 2012
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    Colombia's chief public prosecutor has called for a referendum on whether to legalise drug consumption, in response to plans to set up a network of public centres where users can consume illicit drugs under supervision. The so-called “controlled consumption centres” are part of a drive by Gustavo Petro, the mayor of the capital, Bogotá, to reduce drug-related crime in the city.

  12. Latin America rethinks drug policies

    Icaria Editorial
    26 May 2015
    Other news

    During the 1980s and 1990s, as the United States battled the scourge of cocaine throughout the hemisphere, Washington did most of the talking.

  13. Colombia Decriminalizes Cocaine and Marijuana

    Ethan Nadelmann
    02 July 2012
    Other news

    Colombia's Constitutional Court approved the government's proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cocaine and marijuana for personal use. Anyone caught with less than 20 grams of marijuana or one gram of cocaine for personal use may receive physical or psychological treatment depending on their state of consumption, but may not be prosecuted or detained, the court ruled.

  14. ecstasy

    New drug bill 'to decriminalise ecstasy' in Colombia

    30 January 2013
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    Colombia's Justice Minister, Ruth Stella Correa, has said a new drugs bill would decriminalise personal use of synthetic drugs, such as ecstasy. The proposal would replace current laws, which ban cocaine and marijuana, although people are not prosecuted for possessing small amounts. Colombia's legislation is being re-assessed in an attempt to tackle drug use, trafficking and related issues.

  15. Defying U.S., Colombia halts aerial spraying of crops used to make cocaine

    13 May 2015
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    The government of Colombia rejected a major tool in the American-backed antidrug campaign — ordering a halt to the aerial spraying of the country’s vast illegal plantings of coca, the crop used to make cocaine, citing concerns that the spray causes cancer. The decision ends a program that has continued for more than two decades, raising questions about the viability of long-accepted strategies in the war on drugs in the region.

  16. Colombia court upholds no jail time for drug use

    28 June 2012
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    Colombia's Constitutional Court has ruled that people cannot be jailed for possessing cocaine and marijuana for personal use. The decision ratifies a previous Supreme Court ruling that said people cannot be jailed for possession of a so-called personal dose. A 2009 law placed the dose at up to 20 grams of marijuana and one gram of cocaine.

  17. Colombian president tells U.N. the drug war has not been won

    24 September 2013
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    The "war on drugs" has not been won, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told the United Nations, exhorting the world body to add teeth to the Special Session on Drugs in 2016, proposed by Mexico and accepted by the world body. The Organization of American States was commissioned to study new approaches to combating illegal drugs. The studies were delivered in May proposing that the United Nations give them serious consideration in time for the special session on drugs.

  18. Colombian President Santos backs medical marijuana use

    13 August 2014
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    Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said he supports the legalisation of marijuana for medical use. He said the measure - which is due to be voted on by Colombian lawmakers - would be a "compassionate response" to pain experienced by people with terminal illnesses. "We look favourably on the initiative on the medical and therapeutic use of marijuana," Santos told a drugs forum in the Colombian capital, Bogota. "It's a way to stop criminals from acting as intermediaries between the patient and a substance that is going to ease their suffering."

  19. With marijuana price down 70%, Colombia growers are bailing

    13 July 2015
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    On a farm in the central Andean mountains of Colombia, workers are digging up marijuana bushes and replacing them with avocados.

  20. Juan Manuel Santos: 'It is time to think again about the war on drugs'

    13 November 2011
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    Santos spelled out the radical ideas which he hopes will create a fresh approach. He said: "A new approach should try and take away the violent profit that comes with drug trafficking… If that means legalising, and the world thinks that's the solution, I will welcome it. I'm not against it." But he is clear that any initiatives need to be part of a co-ordinated international plan of action and he rules out any unilateral action by Colombia. "What I won't do is to become the vanguard of that movement because then I will be crucified."

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