The Drug War Debate In Latin America
Joe | Mar 05, 2012 | Comments 0
Vice President Biden traveled to Latin America this week amid fierce debate over current drug policies against the backdrop of the global drug war.
Presidents of Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia and Mexico, all grappling with the extremely violent fallout of a failing drug war, have said in recent weeks they’d like to open up the discussion of legalizing drugs. Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Mexico already allow the use of small amounts of marijuana for personal consumption, while political leaders from Brazil and Colombia are discussing alternatives to locking up drug users.
Business leaders are weighing in as well: in February, a group of banking, medical and legal experts sponsored a drug policy conference in Mexico City which concluded that current drug control policies aren’t working and need reform.
“It’s a different moment when you have actual heads of state talking about the need for a thorough debate on this,” said John Walsh, a drug policy expert at the Washington Office on Latin America, an independent think tank. “It’s certainly different for sitting presidents to be uttering those words. You wouldn’t have thought it possible just a few years ago.”
It’s amazing what widespread violence and corruption will do to a country; minds are changed quickly. 12,000 people a year die in Mexico alone in a useless bloodbath.
And who is enriched? Drug cartels and corrupt officials and Big Pharma. Everyone else is made to suffer.
And who keeps the suffering going? You guessed it, the U.S Government.
Dan Restrepo, the top Latin America official in the White House, briefing reporters about Biden’s upcoming trip, said the vice president does expect a “robust conversation” about the security problems Latin American countries face as drug traffickers battle to control the lucrative U.S. sales. But he said Latin American leaders shouldn’t expect a shift in policy.
“The Obama administration has been quite clear in our opposition to decriminalization or legalization of illicit drugs,” said Restrepo.
That’s because The Obama Administration doesn’t care who dies and gets campaign contributions from those who benefit the most from The War on Drugs.
When will enough people stand and make their voice heard to stop the killing?