A comparative study on the impact of drug policies on the prison systems of eight Latin American countries – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay – reveals that drug laws have contributed to the prison crises these countries are experiencing. The drug laws impose penalties disproportionate to many of the drug offenses committed, do not give sufficient consideration to the use of alternative sanctions, and promote the excessive use of preventive detention. The study Systems Overload: Drug Laws and Prisons in Latin America, published today by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), found that the persons who are incarcerated for drug offenses tend to be individuals caught with small amounts of drugs, often users, as well as street-level dealers.
In Brazil, possession of drugs for personal consumption is punished with educational measures and community service, not prison. In this video, a young man tells of the disparity in sentencing between the wealthy and the poor.
An unprecedented one-year comparative study of the drug laws and prison systems in eight Latin American countries - Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay - will be released on December 9, 2010, by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).
Systems Overload: Drug Laws and Prisons in Latin America is the first major study to explore the way drug laws have contributed to prison overcrowding, analyze who is imprisoned on drug charges, and evaluate the impact of incarceration on people's lives, their families and their communities. Based on the available data, each country-study presents and analyzes statistics on the situation in the prisons, including levels of over-crowding; the percentage of prisoners behind bars on drug charges; the percentage of those who are consumers, low-level offenders or bigger traffickers; and the level of involvement in the drug trade of those in jail.
Debate between leading European and Asian analysts on the decline of European power, the economic rise of China and India, the likelihood of global recession, climate change and proposed alternatives to the current global economic model.
Residents in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, are caught between the drug-related violence and the human rights violations committed by the security forces, concludes a report published today by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center (Center Prodh).
Interview with Richard Falk, UN Rapporteur on Palestine, and Cindy Piester of Pulse TV in Montecito, CA on July 9, 2010. Discuss the attack of Israel on the humanitarian flotilla bound for Gaza at the end of May and future prospects for the Middle East, the U.S., Israel and Palestine.
Campaigners call on the EU to change trade policies which lead to human rights and environmental crimes in developing countries, as the EU trade commissioner meets with the European Parliament (22 June) to discuss ongoing policy.
UN expert and TNI contributor Richard Falk talks live on GritTV about the illegal raid in which nine humanitarian aid workers were murdered by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) in international waters after boarding their ship in the dead of night.