Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/20/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

South American summit suggests decriminalization of drug use, coordination between nations more pro-active

With millions of civilians, soldiers and criminals all dead, and no change in sight, a summit of Latin American nations has suggested that the best path may be to decriminalize drug use, while stressing cooperation between nations. The Organization of American States has suggested that Latin American countries could stop deploying law enforcement agencies to fight cartels after concluding that the human costs of the "war on drugs" is just too high.

With millions of civilians, soldiers and criminals all dead, and no change in sight, a summit of Latin American nations has suggested that the best path may be to decriminalize drug use, while stressing cooperation between nations.

With millions of civilians, soldiers and criminals all dead, and no change in sight, a summit of Latin American nations has suggested that the best path may be to decriminalize drug use, while stressing cooperation between nations.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/20/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: South America, war on drugs, decriminalization, report


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Commissioned at last year's Cartagena Summit of the Americas, the report reflects what many in Latin America feel is a much needed, new approach to the drug war. Previous hard-line policies have resulted in decades of violence in producer and trafficking nations such as Colombia, Peru and Mexico.
 
The United States is being pressured by some regional leaders for an overhaul of anti-drug policies and has suggested they might be open to legalization of some narcotics if that would reduce bloodshed.

In a 200-page review, a number of South American countries say they would break with the prohibition line. They said that they are ready to no longer deploy law enforcement and the army against drug cartels after deeming the human cost of life too high.

"The report presented by the OAS today is a vital piece in the construction of a common way to fight this problem," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said during the presentation.

Internationally, Latin America suffers the brunt of consequences of the so-called war on drugs. In Mexico alone, upwards of 70,000 people have died in drug-related violence over the past six years, while at the same time having a lower murder rate is still lower than several nations, including Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil and Venezuela.

Drug-related violence has plagued Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador as traffickers have increasingly infiltrated Central America.

Almost all the cocaine consumed in Western countries is produced in Latin America. Even worse, drug consumption is ticking up in nations such as Argentina and Brazil.

According to the OAS, about 45 percent of cocaine consumers, 50 percent of heroin users and 25 percent of marijuana smokers live in North and South America.

The nation of Costa Rica has fared better than many of its neighbors, but it worries about spillover from nearby countries.

Honduras currently has the highest homicide rate in the world, with about 7,200 people murdered last year in the tiny nation of eight million people, most in drug-related crime.

The report, which includes all 35 North and South American nations, aims to start a debate among American nations regarding anti-drug policies. It also advocates for softer policies toward drug users.

"The decriminalization of drug consumption must be considered the base of any public health strategies," the report says. "An addict is not a person with a chronic disease that should be punished for his addiction."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Americas

Ottawa terrorist attack: Lone gunman planned to fight overseas for Islamic State Watch

Image of Corporal Nathan Cirillo was

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Details are beginning to emerge in a terrorist attack in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. Corporal Nathan Cirillo was "murdered in cold blood" as he stood guard at Canada's National War Memorial. The suspected gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was later shot and ... continue reading


BREAKING: Shots fired in Canadian capital, soldier killed by gunman at war memorial Watch

Image of Armed members of Canada's Royal Mounted Police are searching for an unknown number of shooters in Ottawa, Canada's capital.

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There have been multiple gunmen and gunshots in Canada's capital of Ottawa, and at least one Canadian service man was shot in what may be-but is unconfirmed-a terrorist attack. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The shootings occurred just before 10 a.m. ET on ... continue reading


Bermuda buttons down for Hurricane Gonzalo Watch

Image of Bermuda is getting ready to get hit by Hurricane Gonzalo, which is expected to have winds up to 145 miles per hour.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bermuda is set to be hit by a strong storm on October 17, Hurricane Gonzalo, one of the most powerful on record to hit the island. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Schools on the island were closed on October 16, and many residents boarded up the windows of their ... continue reading


Sex trafficking ring that used teenaged girls, boys busted in Colombia Watch

Image of Working out of clandestine sites and massage parlors, the ring frequently used taxi drivers to bring in foreign clients looking for underage sex.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After a lengthy investigation, a joint operation between the United States and Colombia successfully led to 11 arrests across the South American nation in a large sex trafficking ring. The ring used teenaged girls and boys, one victim as young as 11 and kept ... continue reading


Dreaded Juarez drug cartel leader arrested without a shot being fired Watch

Image of Carrillo Fuentes faces a number of charges in the United States. Drug trafficking, conspiracy, money laundering, tampering with a witness and

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Feared and respected, Juarez drug cartel boss Vicente Carrillo Fuentes aided Ciudad Juarez' reputation as one of the most dangerous regions on Earth. Fuentes has now been captured and arrested without a shot being fired. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Man finds kidnapped daughter, missing for 12 years! Watch

Image of Sabrina Allen, seen here in a picture from 2002, was taken by her mother to Mexico for 12 years. She will be reunited with her father who has labored to find her for more than a decade.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sabrina Allen, the girl was kidnapped by her mother 12 years ago and taken into Mexico from Texas, is set to be reunited with her father who last saw her when she was five years old. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mexican and U.S. authorities arrested Dara ... continue reading


As Ecuador plans to drill in the Amazon, natives know their time is up Watch

Image of Oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest has caused great destruction of the once fertile and incredibly diverse ecosystem there.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is considered one of the world's most bio-diverse regions. This unique place is inhabited by more than 20 different endangered mammals, and just 2 ½ acres of this patch of Amazon rainforest contains more than 100,000 species of ... continue reading


33 million crimes per year! Despite crackdown on crime, Mexicans still doubt ability of law enforcement Watch

Image of Despite increased effort to stop crime, most Mexicans revealed they don't report crimes that affect them because they have little faith in the abilities of police or law enforcement to do anything about it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new survey from the national statistics institute (INEGI) revealed that despite claims from the Mexican government that their country is becoming safer, there were a record number of crime victims in that country last year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Eight Mexican soldiers held in shooting deaths of 22 drug gang members Watch

Image of The shooting started after soldiers came under fire from the suspected gang members, resulting in a gunfight lasting several minutes, the government said.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An army officer and seven soldiers have been detained in connection with the deaths of 22 gang members in the town of Tlatlaya, in rural southern Mexico. While originally described "as a fierce gun battle," the physical evidence at the scene suggests that the ... continue reading


Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting sexually abusive priest removed by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Pope Francis dismissed a Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people this week. Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este has been relieved of his duties.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis dismissed a Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people this week. Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este has been relieved of his duties. The Vatican said Pope Francis had taken the ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter