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  1. Ómar with his coffee plants

    Coca and the Colombian Peace Accords

    Martin Jelsma, Coletta Youngers
    11 August 2017
    Article

    Getting to the Briceño region in the heart of Antioquia requires an excellent vehicle, and a lot of time and luck. The week before our journey there in mid-July, heavy rains wiped out part of the road between Briceño and Pueblo Nuevo, stranding folks on one side or the other. We were lucky on the day of our journey – no rain. But it took a six-hour drive to get from Medellín to Briceño, and another three hours of sometimes harrowing curves to Pueblo Nuevo. The dirt-road drive itself was a stark reminder of the challenges Colombia faces as it seeks to eliminate 50,000 hectares of coca this year through the crop substitution program, Programa Nacional Integral de Sustitución de Cultivos de Uso Ilícito (National Comprehensive Program for the Substitution of Illicit Crops), known by the acronym PNIS.

  2. Ómar with his coffee plants

    La coca y el Acuerdo de Paz en Colombia

    Martin Jelsma, Coletta Youngers
    11 August 2017
    Article

    Para llegar hasta Briceño, en pleno corazón de la región de Antioquia, se necesita un buen vehículo, mucho tiempo y algo de suerte. La semana antes de nuestro viaje, previsto para mediados de julio, unas lluvias torrenciales destruyeron parte de la carretera entre Briceño y Pueblo Nuevo, y dejaron a la gente aislada a uno y otro lado. Tuvimos suerte, y el día en que viajamos a la zona no llovió. Pero necesitamos seis horas para cubrir el trayecto entre Medellín y Briceño, y otras tres de angustiosas curvas hasta Pueblo Nuevo. La misma carretera sin asfaltar nos hizo pensar en los retos que enfrenta Colombia con su plan de eliminar 50.000 hectáreas de coca este año, a través del Programa Nacional Integral de Sustitución de Cultivos de Uso Ilícito, conocido por el acrónimo PNIS.

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    Un nuevo enfoque en anticipación a la histórica Cumbre Global de Políticas de Drogas

    Coletta Youngers
    07 November 2013
    Other news

    kofi-annanEn anticipo a una histórica cumbre de las Naciones Unidas para examinar el sistema de fiscalización internacional de drogas, el ex Secretario-General de la ONU, Kofi Annan, junto con el ex Presidente de Brasil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, en nombre de la Comisión Global de Políticas de Drogas, resaltan el fracaso de las estrategias actuales en un pionero artículo de opinión que alienta a los líderes a "cambiar de rumbo".

  4. santos-unga

    Latin American leaders bring drug policy debate to the United Nations

    Coletta Youngers, Heather Haase
    29 September 2013
    Other news

    At the annual UN General Assembly meeting held in New York, presidents from around the world have the chance to state their views on the key international issues of the day. Not surprisingly, the crisis in Syria, Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and the Millennium Development Goals took center stage this year.  Yet a careful viewing of the speeches of the Latin American presidents illustrates the growing voice of Latin American leaders calling for meaningful reform of drug control policies.

  5. idpc-latin-america

    The drug policy reform agenda in the Americas (Version 2)

    • Coletta Youngers
    15 August 2013

    At the root of the drug policy debate in Latin America is growing recognition that present policies have failed to achieve the desired objectives, the extremely high costs of implementing those policies paid by Latin American countries, and the need to place higher priority on reducing unacceptably high levels of violence. Of particular concern is the spread of organized crime and the resulting violence, corruption and erosion of democratic institutions.

  6. Launching the debate

    • Coletta Youngers
    30 June 2013
    Policy briefing

    In April 2012, most of the hemisphere’s presidents gathered at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia and held a closed-door meeting where drug policy was the only topic discussed. Following that meeting, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced that the Organisation of American States (OAS) was being tasked to analyse the results of hemispheric drug policies and to “explore new approaches to strengthen this struggle and become more effective”. Thus began a one year process led by OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, with the support of OAS staff from the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), as well as a range of independent experts.

  7. oas

    Latin American leaders chart course for drug policy debate

    Coletta Youngers
    20 June 2013
    Article

    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.

    Latin American leaders chart course for drug policy debate

     

  8. Líderes latinoamericanos trazan el rumbo del debate sobre políticas de drogas

    Coletta Youngers
    20 June 2013
    Article

    Este año, el encuetro de la Asamblea General de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), que reune a los ministros de asuntos exteriores, marcó un hito en el debate latinoamericano sobre políticas de drogas. Por primera vez, los temas sobre políticas de drogas fue el tema primordial del encuentro hemisférico y en una reunión a puerta cerrada de los ministros de asuntos extranjeros se presentó una propuesta para continuar con la discusión que culminó en una Sesión Especial de la Asamblea General que se llevará a cabo en 2014.

    Líderes latinoamericanos trazan el rumbo del debate sobre políticas de drogas

  9. idpc-latin-america

    The drug policy reform agenda in the Americas

    • Coletta Youngers
    30 April 2013

    Latin America has emerged at the vanguard of efforts to promote debate on drug policy reform. For decades, Latin American governments largely followed the drug control policies and programs of Washington’s so-called war on drugs. Yet two parallel trends have resulted in a dramatic change in course: the emergence of left-wing governments that have challenged Washington’s historic patterns of unilateralism and interventionism and growing frustration with the failure of the prohibitionist drug control model put forward by the US government.

  10. UN International Guiding Principles on Alternative Development: Part II

    Coletta Youngers
    20 November 2012
    Article

    The International Guiding Principles on Alternative Development approved last week at an international meeting in Lima, Peru, represents a lost opportunity to promote equitable economic development in some of the world’s poorest regions. The final document on the Guiding Principles bears little resemblance to the document that was originally drafted in November 2011 in Thailand by a group of more than 100 governmental and non-governmental experts.

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    Principios Guía Internacionales de las NN.UU. sobre Desarrollo Alternativo

    Coletta Youngers
    12 November 2012

    icad-peru-logoEn noviembre de 2011, fui invitada por el gobierno de Tailandia a formar parte de una delegación internacional para desarrollar un conjunto de Principios Guía Internacionales de las Naciones Unidas sobre Desarrollo Alternativo. Nuestro trabajo empezó con un viaje de cinco días de duración a través de la frontera entre Tailandia y Birmania, para trabar contacto directo con programas de desarrollo que han tenido éxito en eliminar virtualmente la producción de amapola en ese país.

  12. UN International Guiding Principles on Alternative Development

    Coletta Youngers
    08 November 2012
    Article

    In November 2011 I was invited by the Thai government to take part in an international delegation to develop a set of UN International Guiding Principles on Alternative Development. Our work began with a five-day journey along the Thai-Burma border to see first-hand the development programs that have been successful in virtually eliminating poppy production in that country. Over 100 government officials and experts from 28 countries visited the Thai “Royal Project,” which has research stations and development projects in five Northern provinces of the country.

  13. International 'anti-drug' summit in Peru attempts to maintain drug war status quo: Will it succeed?

    Coletta Youngers, John Walsh
    22 June 2012
    Article

    The global debate on drug policy is getting more interesting, due in no small part to initiatives from Latin America. The Uruguayan government’s June 20 announcement that it will propose legislation to create a legal, regulated market for marijuana is just the latest development to challenge business as usual in the “war on drugs.” The question of alternatives to the drug war took center stage at the Summit of the Americas in Colombia in April, which culminated in an announcement by President Santos tasking the Organization of American States (OAS) with evaluating present policies and laying out other possible options.

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    Cumbre 'Anti-Drogas' en el Perú intenta mantener el status quo de la guerra contra las drogas

    Coletta Youngers, John Walsh
    22 June 2012

    hasta-la-madreEl debate global sobre políticas de drogas se está poniendo más interesante debido, en gran medida, a iniciativas que provienen de América Latina. El anuncio formulado el 20 de junio por el gobierno uruguayo de que propondrá legislación que cree un mercado legal y regulado para la marihuana, es sólo el último cuestionamiento a la manera en que hasta ahora se ha venido librando una “guerra contra las drogas”.

  15. Uruguayan government announces unprecedented plan for legal, regulated arijuana markets

    Coletta Youngers
    21 June 2012
    Article

    In the latest challenge from Latin America to drug war orthodoxy, on June 20, 2012, the Uruguayan government unveiled a proposal that, if adopted by the country’s legislature, would create legal, government-controlled markets for marijuana, as part of a broader strategy to improve citizen security and focus greater attention on the use of harder drugs. The market would be highly regulated, with strict age limits and prohibitions on public use.

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    El gobierno uruguayo anuncia plan sin precedentes par crear mercados legales y regulados de marihuana

    Coletta Youngers
    21 June 2012

    legalizar-uruguay-2012cEn lo que constituye el último desafío proveniente de América Latina ante la ortodoxia de la “guerra contra las drogas”, el 20 de junio de 2012 el gobierno uruguayo dio a conocer una propuesta que, de ser adoptada por el Poder Legislativo de ese país, crearía mercados legales y controlados para la venta de marihuana, como parte de una estrategia más amplia para mejorar la seguridad ciudadana y enfocar mayor atención en el consumo de drogas más duras. El mercado de esta sustancia se encontraría altamente regulado, con estrictos límites de edad y prohibición de consumo público.

  17. Drug-law reform genie freed from bottle at Summit of the Americas

    Coletta Youngers
    19 April 2012
    Article

    Present international drug control policies are deeply-rooted and change will no doubt come slowly. However, as a result of the Cartagena summit, for the first time a meaningful debate on developing and implementing drug control policies that are more humane and effective is underway. The genie is out and will be very hard to put back in the bottle, as much as U.S. officials might try.

  18. Drug Policy in the Andes

    • Coletta Youngers, Socorro Ramírez
    15 December 2011

    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.

     

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    La Política de drogas en los Andes

    • Coletta Youngers, Socorro Ramírez
    15 December 2011

    politicas-drogas-andesCincuenta años después de la firma de la Convención Única de las Naciones Unidas sobre Estupefacientes y cuarenta años después de que el gobierno de Estados Unidos declarara la "guerra contra las drogas", varios obstáculos persisten a pesar de los éxitos parciales que han tenido los esfuerzos emprendidos para abordar el problema. El Foro de Dialogo Andino Estadounidense ha señalado con suma preocupación cómo las políticas sobre drogas han monopolizado la agenda diplomática y económica entre los países, contribuyendo a generar tensiones entre los gobiernos e impidiendo la cooperación en torno a otras prioridades de importancia crucial, como salvaguardar los procesos democráticos de las redes criminales.

    application-pdfDescargar el texto completo (PDF)
    Descargar el application-pdfResumen Ejecutivo (PDF)

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    Repensando la erradicación forzosa

    Coletta Youngers
    15 November 2011

    Hoy está más claro que nunca que la llamada “guerra contra las drogas” ha fracasado. En los Estados Unidos el consumo reciente se ha mantenido estable, mientras que en otras partes del mundo, incluyendo a América Latina, ha aumentado de modo significativo. Según la Oficina de Naciones Unidas contra la Droga y el Delito (ONUDD), la producción potencial de cocaína no ha variado mucho en los últimos años. Mientras tanto, la amenaza del crimen organizado y la violencia asociada se incrementan incesantemente en toda la región.

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