On 28th May 2009, Chatham House hosted the UK launch of Drugs and Democracy: Toward a Paradigm Shift – the report of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy. The event was led by Fernando Henrique Cardoso*, former president of Brazil, joined by Mike Trace, IDPC Chair, as discussant and chaired by Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas, Associate Fellow, Americas, Chatham House.
The report of the Commission – constituted by former presidents César Gaviria of Colombia, Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and Mr Cardoso of Brazil and supported by 17 independent luminaries – puts forward the findings of their impact assessment on the ‘war on drugs'. The conclusion is that the ‘war on drugs’ is ‘a failed war’ and calls for acknowledgment of this fact and the engagement of civil society and public opinion so that a debate on safer, more efficient and humane drug policies can take place.