Mar 6, 2012

Drug Policy Debate: We are not close to winning the war against the narcos: Head of OAS

La Jornada: "The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, said that "we need to try something else" in the fight against drugs that is being let loose on the continent, because "we are not close to winning" this war: "How many more things have to happen for this to end, how many more prisoners, what quantity of drugs should be confiscated?" he asked.

He said it is necessary to seek other strategies that place greater emphasis on demand in the drug-consuming countries and on the attack on bank secrecy and hidden money flows.

At the conference, "The Inter-American Order Faces the Challenges of Globalization: old and new actors in the world order," held at the Autonomous Metropolitan University of Xochimilco, Insulza pointed out: "We have many prisoners in the Americas resulting from the war against organized crime and we have also confiscated much wealth, but for some reason it doesn't appear that we may be having much success." He said that the drug war grabbed hold of President Nixon at the beginning of the decade of the 70's." And he asked if, after more than 40 years of this struggle, the outcome is a failure.

"To use the word failure properly, one has to understand that in 2010, according to estimates by international agencies, nearly half the cocaine shipments in the world were seized, and of the 3,600,000 people throughout the Americans (outside the U.S.) who are in prison, one third is for drugs. "That is, more than 1,200,000 people in (Latin) America are locked up because of drugs...." Spanish original

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