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  1. Colombia: elections, war and peace

    Danilo Urrea, Lyda Fernanda Forero
    16 June 2018
    Article

    On 17 June, the second round of presidential elections for the 2018-2022 period will be held in Colombia. After the first round, the candidates still in the race are Gustavo Petro, representing Colombia Humana, a coalition of democratic and progressive forces, and Iván Duque for the Centro Democrático, an extreme right-wing party led by former president Álvaro Uribe Vélez.

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    INCB: controversial statements on coca leaf

    05 March 2008

    mate de coca forbiddenRead here the full text of the controversial statements on coca leaf included in this year's Annual Report of the INCB. Some highlights:

    > "The Board calls upon the Governments of Bolivia and Peru to initiate action without delay with a view to eliminating uses of coca leaf, including coca leaf chewing" and "each party to the Convention should establish as a criminal offence, when committed intentionally, the possession and purchase of coca leaf for personalconsumption".
    > "The Board again calls on the Governments of Bolivia and Peru to consider amending their national legislation so as to abolish or prohibit activities that are contrary to the 1961 Convention, such as coca leaf chewing and the manufacture of mate de coca (coca tea)".

    See also: Abolishing Coca Leaf Consumption? The INCB needs to perform a reality check, Transnational Institute Press release, March 5, 2008

  3. 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).

  4. All Eyes on California

    • John Walsh
    29 October 2010

    Registered voters in California will be the ones voting next Tuesday on whether to legalize marijuana under state law.  But the ballot initiative in question – Proposition 19 – has sparked debate far beyond the state’s borders. The fate of Prop 19 is being watched especially closely in Latin America, and for good reason.  Proximity to the United States – still the world’s major market for illicit drugs – has helped to stimulate robust illicit drug production and distribution networks in the region.  And U.S.-backed militarized enforcement to suppress the drug industry, combined with harsh laws to punish drug users, have made the “war on drugs” more than metaphorical in many Latin American countries.

  5. Colombia’s new president should call for a dialogue on drugs

    Coletta Youngers
    18 August 2010
    Article

    In June 1998, Juan Manuel Santos signed a letter delivered to Kofi Annan, then the Secretary General of the United Nations, calling for “a frank and honest evaluation of global drug control efforts"….as “we believe that the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself." Now that Santos is President of Colombia, he has the power to implement – in his own country – the letter's proposals for meaningful debate and an evidence based-approach to drug policy.

  6. Drug Laws and Prisons in Colombia

    03 December 2010

    During the 20th century, drug policies in Colombia were increasingly repressive, largely ineffective, and heavily influenced by the international legal framework that was put in place. In effect, in just a few years Colombia went from having a scattered set of regulations, with an emphasis on prevention and medical-administrative treatment, to having legislation abundant in definitions of criminal conduct and sanctions that included the full drug cycle, from production through marketing and trafficking to consumption.

     

  7. Alternative Developments, Economic Interests and Paramilitaries in Uraba

    • Moritz Tenthoff
    01 September 2008

    The following document analyses how the Forest Warden Families Programme and the Productive Projects of the Presidential Programme Against Illegal Crops in Colombia have been used to legalise paramilitary structures and implement mega agro-industrial projects in the Uraba Region.

     

  8. Colombia Takes Step Towards Drug Decriminalization

    Elyssa Pachico
    25 August 2011
    Article

    Colombia's Supreme Court ruled against harsh punishments for small-time drug offenders, in a move towards easing up Colombia's zero-tolerance drug laws, which have achieved little in the fight against organized crime.

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    Useful Narcoterrorism

    01 March 2005
    Article
  10. The drug legalization debate

    Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes
    17 October 2010
    Article

    Foreign minister Maria Angela Holguín’s statement of last Sunday 10 October is of great importance. According to this statement, Colombia should take the discussion about the drugs policy to a global level and to the UN’s Security Council. According to her criteria it doesn’t make sense that whilst certain developed countries decriminalize and legalize certain use, we continue to “imprison peasants who own half a hectare of coca leaf cultivation”.

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    The Victims and Land Restitution Law in Colombia in context

    • Paula Martínez Cortés
    13 January 2014
    Report

    Law 1448 has been promoted as a demonstration of ‘good will’ by Santos' government in Colombia. The law’s main objective is to provide recognition to the victims of the Colombian armed conflict. This stands in contrast to the policy of denial enacted by the previous government.

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    Colombia: Banacol

    • Interchurch Justice, Peace Commission
    27 May 2012
    Report

    Banacols business benefits from paramilitary structures, the promotion of land invasions for banana production, and contracts with individuals who do not have the approval of the communities. These activities are pursued to advance agreements concerning the use of the land, against Colombian laws.

  13. Last flight looms for US-funded air war on drugs as Colombia counts health cost

    05 May 2015
    Other news

    For more than two decades crop dusters have buzzed the skies of Colombia showering bright green fields of coca with chemical defoliant as part of a US-funded effort to stem the country’s production of cocaine. Farmers across the country have long complained that indiscriminate spraying also destroys legal crops, and that the chemical used – glyphosate – has caused everything from skin rashes and respiratory problems to diarrhoea and miscarriages.

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    Coca, Petroleum and Conflict in Cofán Territory

    • Moritz Tenthoff
    01 September 2007
    Policy briefing

    Under the guise of the war on drugs and terror, the way is being cleared for major economic interests in the Lower Putumayo (Colombia). This paper examines the impact of coca cultivation, petroleum activity and the armed conflict on the ancestral territory of the Cofán community.

  15. Background briefing on UNGASS

    22 February 2008
    Article

    Background on the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drug Control
    Martin Jelsma
    TNI Briefing, March 1998

     

  16. Colombian president calls for legalisation of marijuana

    26 October 2011
    Other news

    Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian president, has called for the global legalisation of marijuana to help combat the trafficking of harder drugs and related violence. "The world needs to discuss new approaches ... we are basically still thinking within the same framework as we have done for the last 40 years," he said. Asked if making marijuana legal could offer a way forward, Mr Santos said it could and that he would support it "provided everyone does it at the same time".

  17. Colombia to ban coca spraying herbicide glyphosate

    09 May 2015
    Other news

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

  18. Alternative development from the perspective of Colombian farmers

    • Susana Ojeda
    15 May 2011
    Policy briefing

    Alternative Development programmes have been widely discussed from the point of view of experts, technocrats, politicians and academics, with advocates and detractors debating whether such programmes contribute to decreasing the cultivation of illegal crops. However, little is known about the opinions of the people targeted by these programmes and the implications that they have for their daily lives.

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    Dossier on EU-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

    • Laura Rangel
    12 September 2012
    Report

    The EU-Colombia Free Trade Agreement implies violations in human rights, and trade unionists in particular. Read about the possible implications in three sectors; mining, palmoil and dairy.

  20. The problem of glyphosate spraying

    Pedro Arenas
    13 April 2015
    Article

    An article published recently in El Espectador commented on the two issues that underpin the Colombian discourse on the subject of drugs. To be precise, the government’s discourse is far from reflecting what goes on in practice, or the actions that are still being carried out in the country. Colombia is seen as the star pupil in complying with the United Nations drug treaties and it continues to do things that many other countries would avoid.

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