Alternative Development (AD) must not be part of a militarised security strategy, which is the predominant approach in Colombia. Instead of simply attempting to reduce the area planted with illicit crops, Alternative Development programmes should operate within the framework of a rural and regional development plan.
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.
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).
A radically different approach to the current War on Drugs must be developed and integrated into the Peace Plan for Colombia otherwise the drug circuit and armed conflict will continue to undermine the prospect of realizing the goals of the Peace Process ultimately bringing to an end the war in Colombia.
While escalating civil conflict in Colombia is attracting increasing international interest and concern, the complex relationships between drug trafficking, political violence, and the many actors involved in the social conflict in Colombia are often absent from the debate.
As a result of continuing violence in Colombia and violation of human and labour rights, and the weakening of the Andean Community through individual EU trade agreements rather than bloc-to-bloc relations, the ETUC and TUCA call for legislators to oppose the EU-Colombia/Peru FTA. We reaffirm our joint statement in 2011 calling for a vote against the FTA on these grounds.
By ratifying the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia, the European Parliament committed itself to give a special follow-up to the “respect of human rights and the environment” by implementing the “road map” agreed upon for these issues.
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.
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.
For years, TNI’s work in Colombia has largely focussed on how public policies and political processes have affected (rural) communities and their collective efforts to democratise access to land, water, and other natural resources. In doing so, TNI has collaborated with local organisations and researchers, while simultaneously building bridges between grassroots movements and policymakers at the national and international level.
TNI has long been an advocate for trade and investment policies that prioritise people and the environment over corporate interests. In the case of Colombia, TNI has worked closely with local activists and researchers in analysing and proposing alternatives to free trade agreements that are implemented at the expense of basic human and environmental needs, mainly in relation to the FTA EU-Colombia. In doing so, TNI works on different sectors and communities that are affected by bilateral and multilateral agreements.
After more than four years of peace talks in Havana, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have taken important steps towards a definitive agreement to end the decades-long armed conflict in the country. This page provides some background information as well as TNI’s most recent analyses and advocacy work in relation with various social and economic issues that are essential factors in creating territorial peace in Colombia.
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.
TNI’s Drugs & Democracy programme has dedicated a large share of its attention on (national and international) drug control policies towards crop cultivation and alternative development. In doing so, the programme works closely with - representatives and/or families of - producers of cannabis, opium, and coca, whose voices are often left out from the policymaking arenas. Furthermore, the programme aims to build bridges between crop producing communities and important stakeholders such as civil society or nongovernmental organisations, community leaders, and policymakers - as an integral part of the programme’s efforts to advocate for more humane and inclusive approaches guided by the principles of human rights, development, and harm reduction.