This debate on Thursday 25 October focusses on the impact of pollution on indigenous peoples as well as the working of national and international legal instruments, in particular The Hague Court of Arbitration. How does it operate? Who are the judges? Who benefits?
The Research Consortium on Drugs and the Law (CEDD)
09 July 2014
The Research Consortium on Drugs and the Law (Colectivo de Estudios Drogas y Derecho, CEDD) has published a new study that assesses state responses to illicitly-used drugs in eight countries in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. The study found that Latin American governments’ approach to drug use continues to be predominantly through the criminal justice system, not health institutions. Even in countries where consumption is not a crime, persistent criminalization of drug users is common.
As Ecuador’s new president, Lenin Moreno Garcés, gave his inaugural speech to the National Assembly members, and a number of invited Latin American presidents, an important question is what will change after the ten-year incumbency of his predecessor, Rafael Correa.
The 2008 Constitution of Ecuador enshrines the rights of nature and the human right to water. Juan Carlos Romero, former official at the water public utility EPMAPS, argues that guaranteeing the human right to water is not only about providing a service, but also requires mainstreaming environmental, social, financial and political sustainability into the company's activities.
Beginning his fourth year as president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa confronts a major challenge from some of the very social actors that propelled him into office, primarily over the control of the country's extractive resources.
In Ecuador, the Correa government’s comprehensive justice sector reform project includes significant changes in drug legislation. The country has one of the most punitive drug laws in the hemisphere. In a perversion of justice, those accused of drug offenses are assumed guilty unless they can prove their innocence, mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines ensure excessively long sentences and arrest quotas have led to the imprisonment of growing numbers of those at the lowest end of the drug trafficking trade.
Fifty years after signing the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and 40 years after the U.S. government declared a "war on drugs," many obstacles remain despite the partial successes of efforts to counter the problem. The Andean-United States Dialogue Forum, noted with concern how drug policy has monopolized the diplomatic and economic agenda between the Andean countries, contributing to tensions among the governments and impeding cooperation on other crucial priorities, such as safeguarding democratic processes from criminal networks.
Across the hemisphere, frustration is grow- ing with the failure of the “war on drugs.” Many Latin American countries face rising rates of drug consumption, despite harsh drug laws that have left prisons bursting at the seams.
Remarkable drug policy developments are taking place in Latin America. This is not only at the level of political debate, but is also reflected in actual legislative changes in a number of countries. All in all there is an undeniable regional trend of moving away from the ‘war on drugs’. This briefing explains the background to the opening of the drug policy debate in the region, summarises the most relevant aspects of the ongoing drug law reforms in some countries, and makes a series of recommendations that could help to move the debate forward in a productive manner.
(Quito/Amsterdam, 3 May 2017) A unique international audit commission that examined the benefits and costs of Ecuador’s investment protection treaties will publish its findings on Monday 8 May. The report is to be released 5 days after Ecuador’s National Assembly recommended the government to terminate 12 remaining Bilateral Investment Treaties.
The closure of the US military base in Manta is a huge victory for both the Ecuadorian activists who have been campaigning for a decade against the US military presence in their country, and for the international No-Bases campaign.
After 40 years of defeat and failure, America's "war on drugs" is being buried in the same fashion as it was born – amid bloodshed, confusion, corruption and scandal. US agents are being pulled from South America; Washington is putting its narcotics policy under review, and a newly confident region is no longer prepared to swallow its fatal Prohibition error. Indeed, after the expenditure of billions of dollars and the violent deaths of tens of thousands of people, a suitable epitaph for America's longest "war" may well be the plan, in Bolivia, for every family to be given the right to grow coca in its own backyard.
For 37 years Colombia has been spraying chemicals to combat illicit crops, particularly coca. These massive eradication programmes became part of the US-backed 'War on Drugs'. The fumigations are controversial for their proven inefficacy to reduce supply and demand for the use of herbicides such as glyphosate.
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.