Latin America has long promoted a war on drugs approach. However, the significant levels of violence, as well as other health and social harms related to repressive drug control have led several countries across the region to call for an open debate on drug policy across the region. Uruguay has moved a step further by legally regulating its cannabis market.
The fact that Colombia’s decriminalization law and apparent progressiveness from the current government has not translated into on-the-ground implementation raises questions of how the cultural shift away from criminal justice solutions to the issue can begin.
Human Rights Watch describes how overcrowding in the prisons of the north-eastern state of Pernambuco is among the worst in the country and is a part of a prison system responsible for numerous human rights abuses.
A recent trip to Brazil prompted the author to question the US’s role in perpetuating drug myths and the “war on drugs” and the impact this is having on the human rights of US citizens and those in other countries whose governments continue to follow the US example.
The Mexican Supreme Court opened the door to legalizing marijuana on Wednesday, delivering a pointed challenge to the nation’s strict substance abuse laws and adding its weight to the growing debate in Latin America over the costs and consequences of the war against drugs.
A new law allowing the United States to extradite drug producers from across the globe has recently been approved by the U.S. Senate, raising concerns in Colombia that the legislation could be used to target small-scale drug producers.
The Congress ‘Drugs, Politics and culture: Perspectives from Brazil-Mexico’ (5th-6th October 2015) has concluded with a strong statement against the ‘unintended consequences’ of the current drug control regime.
Suppressing the market for illegal substances has created distortions in this institution’s responsibilities, had a negative influence on its relationship with citizens, dispersed limited state resources, and generated perverse incentives.
Ecuador's National Council for Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances (Consep) has announced a new scale to use to differentiate between drug users, microtraffickers and large scale traffickers when handing down prison sentences.
While many countries have in recent years eased restrictions on access to vital medicines for pain relief, Guatemala has bucked the trend with a new initiative, a move which will lead to the unnecessary suffering of patients in the country.