This research by the Research Consortium on Drugs and the Law (Colectivo de Estudios Drogas y Derecho, CEDD) analyzes a duality facing Latin America: the prohibitionist discourse and its effects on human rights persist, alongside reforms to laws and policies related to the use of cannabis.
The Frente Amplio (Broad Front) government of Uruguay, one of the most stable, fruitful and serene experiences of the “new Latin American left”, is going through a very dramatic electoral process with likely profound impacts in the country and in the region. Daniel Chavez appraises the results of the Uruguayan experience and suggests what might be relevant for other counter-hegemonic processes in the region and the world.
The bad news streaming through our media in 2017 has been relentless. Behind the headlines, though, social movements are on the rise and scoring impressive victories. Here are 12 struggles that inspire us to act in 2018.
As corporate executives fly into Davos for the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum, more than 400 civil society organizations and 40 international networks have denounced a Strategic Partnership Agreement between WEF and the UN and have called on the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General to end it.
How fair is the investment arbitration system in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries? Are investor-state disputes balanced between national and corporate interests? LAC countries are among the most affected by the investment arbitration system, representing 28.6% of all known investor-state disputes around the world. In particular, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru account for 77.3% of the total number of claims against LAC countries. Analysis shows that the system so far heavily favours corporate interests. Investors have won in 70% of the cases brought against LAC countries. As a result, LAC States have already had to pay foreign companies 20.6 billion USD, which could cover Bolivia’s budget for health and education for four whole years.
Venezuela is passing through a period of acute political, economic and social chaos. Once one of the driving powers behind the new Latin American left, the economy has collapsed and there is a shortage of food and medicine.
What structural or historical factors have caused the current situation? Is there a peaceful and democratic way out of the crisis?
Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia and Guatemala are just some of the Latin American countries being hit by the investment protection regime in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Foreign investors are threatening to bring claims before international arbitration tribunals due to the measures states are taking to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Arbitrators are refusing to accept states’ requests to postpone ongoing arbitration cases and are obliging governments to disburse millions to investors at a time when public funds are required for more urgent priorities. Once again, the current crisis reveals the perverse consequences of the investor-state dispute settlement system and the urgent need to break free from it.
In much of Latin America, the state does not protect its citizens. This is particularly true for the popular sectors, indigenous peoples, people of colour and mestizos, who are exposed to the onslaught of drugs trafficking, criminal gangs, the private security guards of multinational corporations (MNCs) and, paradoxically, from state security forces, such as the police and the army.