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  1. Growers' voices at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

    Sai Lone, Pedro Arenas
    24 November 2019
    Declaration

    From 16 to 18 October 2019, representatives of member states, intergovernmental organisations, and civil society attended the 6th Intersessional Meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. On 17 October 2019, representatives of coca and opium growers from Colombia and Myanmar delivered statements highlighting the situation of communities involved in the illicit cultivation of coca and opium in both countries. Below are their full statements.

  2. Thumbnail Amapola, opio y heroína

    Poppies, opium, and heroin: Production in Colombia and Mexico

    • Guillermo Andrés Ospina, Jorge Hernández Tinajero, Martin Jelsma
    16 April 2018
    Report

    Poppy cultivation in Mexico and Colombia is part of a local economy geared almost exclusively toward the illegal market abroad: it is driven by demand for heroin, primarily in the United States.

  3. Report illustrates dynamics of Colombia's domestic drug trade

    Michael Lohmuller
    25 February 2015
    In the media

    A recent analysis on the relationship between local drug markets and violence and crime in Colombia illustrates the dynamics driving the domestic drug trade, and provides recommendations for comprehensive government interventions designed to result in long-lasting security improvements.

  4. About drug law reform in Colombia

    30 August 2014
    Primer

    This page was originally published in August 2014, and last updated in June 2016.

    Although the legislative trend in Colombia has tended towards the criminalization of possession and consumption of psychoactive substances, decriminalization prevailed when it comes to jurisprudence. In addition, while the government of former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez (2002-2010) insisted on prohibiting, persecuting and punishing drug consumption through legislative and judicial channels, the country’s health sector, influenced by more progressive trends for dealing with consumption, made important progress in the areas of risk and harm reduction.

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    Colombia and Drugs recommended links

    17 November 2005
    Article

    Useful websites and documents on Colombia, drugs and conflict.

  6. Thumbnail

    Colombia: Drugs & Security

    02 January 2005
    Policy briefing

    The consequence of associating the 'war on drugs' with the 'war on terrorism' is that the failure of the former could end with the failure of the latter. The predominant military approach to 'narcoterrorism' fails to recognise the complex factors underlying both the drug problem and the violence; it assumes that the drug problem can be solved by force and that the armed conflict can be resolved by intensifying the conflict - that is, more war on war; and it has facilitated the consolidation of conventional drug-trafficking structures.

  7. 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.

  8. Drugs on the agenda of Colombian peace talks

    Drugs and Democracy
    10 December 2012
    Article

    Inclusion of the drug issue on the agenda of the peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC, which are being held in Havana, Cuba, is a smart move.

  9. 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.

     

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    The illicit drugs market in the Colombian agrarian context

    07 February 2013
    Policy briefing

    The distribution of land and its unjust use are the major causes of violence in Colombia. For this reason land issues are the starting point of current peace talks between the Santos government and the FARC guerrillas

  11. Urban drug markets and zones of impunity in Colombia

    • Isaac De León Beltrán, Juan Carlos Garzón Vergara
    09 December 2014
    Policy briefing

    The interaction of local drug markets with violence and crime is complex, and it is very difficult to separate it off from other types of criminal economies.

  12. brief40

    The illicit drugs market in the Colombian agrarian context

    • Amira Armenta
    31 January 2013

    The distribution of land and its unjust use are the major causes of violence in Colombia. For this reason land issues are the starting point of current peace talks between the Santos government and the FARC guerrillas. Remedying these structural problems at the heart of rural Colombia is the best guarantee of progress of the current peace negotiations that could bring an end to a half-century-old violent conflict.

  13. 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.

  14. Colombia Takes Step Towards Drug Decriminalization

    Elyssa Pachico
    01 September 2011
    In the media

    The rate of overcrowding in Colombia's prisons reached nearly 39 percent in 2009, much of it due to the excess number of small-time drug offenders, according to the WOLA and TNI report.

  15. State of Power 2019 cover thumbnail

    Cocaine on Wall Street, The War on Drugs, and Peace in Colombia

    • Jorge Andrés Forero-González , Miranda D. Mosis, Diana María Peña-García
    08 February 2019
    Paper

    This essay connects cocaine, the financial system and global economies through the experience of the war on drugs and peace process in Colombia.

  16. Drugs and Peace in Colombia

    01 January 2015
    Topic

    After more than four years of peace talks in Havana, the Colombian government and the FARC have taken important steps toward a definitive agreement to end the conflict. Addressing the issue of drugs – crops for illicit use, production, consumption and drug trafficking– is key to achieving sustainable peace in the country. Violence linked to the drugs economy and the financing of armed groups have been central to the country's conflict, while the illicit drugs market has also served as a survival economy and safety net. Rethinking the war on drugs is therefore critical to building peace throughout the rural regions of Colombia.

  17. Colombia: A successful case for the war on drugs?

    Ricardo Vargas
    17 January 2011
    Article

    Is Colombia's narcotrafficking situation comparable to that of Mexico, including the strategies needed to combat it?

  18. Colombian President Santos, OAS Chief Insulza to present new study on drug policy alternatives

    12 May 2013
    Press release

    This Friday, May 17, in Bogotá, Colombia, Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General José Miguel Insulza will present Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos with the outcomes of the hemispheric drug policy review that was mandated by the heads of state at the 2012 Summit of the Americas in Cartagena.

  19. Colombian President Santos, OAS Chief Insulza to Present New Study on Drug Policy Alternatives

    14 May 2013
    Press release

    Washington, D.C.—This Friday, May 17, in Bogotá, Colombia, Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General José Miguel Insulza will present Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos with the outcomes of the hemispheric drug policy review that was mandated by the heads of state at the 2012 Summit of the Americas in Cartagena.

  20. brief41-bisbis

    Drugs as war economy and the peace process in Colombia: dilemmas and challenges

    • Ricardo Vargas
    28 October 2013

    The fourth item on the agenda of talks “to end the conflict,” on the issue of drugs, seems to reflect rather a flat and simplistic view of the classic circuit of drug production, processing, trafficking and use. The relationship between drugs and armed conflict in Colombia is in fact much more complex. This report analyses the challenges that drug trafficking poses to the development of a sustainable peace.

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