This month, IDPC, the Washington Office on Latin America, the International Doctors for Healthy Drug Policies and Harm Reduction International wrote to Peruvian government officials to express our condolences for the recent tragedy at “Cristo es Amor” rehabilitation center, last January 28th during which 27 people died.

The letter also urged Peruvian authorities to diminish the likelihood of such events through licensing of drug treatment facilities and measures to protect against involuntary and inappropriate long-term detention of those dependent on drugs. Such measures are in keeping with international standards on drug dependence treatment as expressed by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Health Organization, and with Peru’s own constitutional and legal health and human rights commitments.

The practices reported at “Cristo es Amor” did not meet minimum international standards.  Offering patients religious instruction and a regime of physical discipline rather than medication and evidence-based treatment is neither appropriate nor effective in addressing drug dependence.

The letter is available below in English and Spanish.

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