Dec 6, 2011

Drug Reform: Mexico and Central American Countries Demand that the U.S. Either Curb Drug Consumption or Act to Regulate Their Sale

Translated by AMB from the Spanish in El Universal

The presidents of  the Latin American countries attending the eighth summit meeting of the Tuxtla System for Dialogue approved a formal request to the United States and other drug consuming countries that they curb drug consumption or, if they are unable to do that, act to regulate the drug market.

The declaration also included a demand that the U.S. stop the transit of arms to the criminals that provoke violence and the deaths of civilians and members of the security forces in Latin American and Caribbean nations.

The declaration, read by Alejandro Poiré, the recently appointed Secretary of the Interior of Mexico, pointed out that the majority of the criminals use arms sold by the consuming nations. In addition to aggravating the situation in recent years, this has generated an immense cost in lives, civilian as much as those of security forces.

What would be desirable, it stated, "would be a significant reduction in the demand for illegal drugs. Nevertheless, if that is not possible, as recent experience demonstrates, the authorities of the consuming countries ought then to explore the possible alternatives to eliminate the exorbinant profits of the criminals, including regulatory or market oriented options to this end. Thus, the transit of substances that continue provoking high levels of crime and violence in Latin American and Caribbean nations will be avoided."

The countries also demanded that, "the Congress of the United States and other countries that produce and sell arms establish effective means to register, regulate and impede the transit of assault arms and other highly dangerous arms to criminal groups in the region."

The member countries of the Tuxtla System include Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvado, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, Panama, Columbia and the Dominican Republic. This summit was also attended by the president of Chile.

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