Breakthroughs on the public policy front were a major highlight of 2006 for TNI. At the hugely successful Enlazando Alternativas in Vienna, attended by over 1,500 delegates from Europe and Latin America, we had the presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia and the vice-president of Cuba join us for the final session, with follow up invitations from these and other Latin American governments to further dialogue.
In March 2008, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) provoked outrage in Bolivia by calling for the elimination of traditional uses of coca, such as chewing coca leaves and drinking coca tea. A new briefing urges to address the current erroneous classification of coca under the UN conventions. It also notes an apparent shift on the issue by the US government and urges the US to formally clarify its position.
2011 was marked by a sense of crisis, but also resistance to the measures being taken. Popular movements surged to the forefront worldwide, protesting the hollowing out of democracy that is a legacy of decades of neoliberal economic policy. TNI drew on its strong relationships within transnational networks to help push a countervailing power from below that might help shape a better world for us all.
This year’s annual General Assembly meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS), which brings together the hemisphere’s foreign ministers, marked a milestone in the Latin American drug policy debate. For the first time, the drug policy issue was the primary theme of a hemispheric meeting and, in a closed-door meeting of the foreign ministers, a process was laid out for continuing the discussion, culminating in a Special Session of the General Assembly to be held in 2014.
Findings reveal that lawlessness (in some cases), ignorance of the law, evictions and unlawful relocations, increasing pressure and conflicts emerging in fishing communities, as well as neighbouring farming communities are all leading to communities losing access to the land and fishing grounds on which they have survived for many years, leading to unemployment and loss of livelihoods among the fisher folks.
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.