Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Failing WOD and Latin-America

On April 14-15, 2012 the Sixth Summit of the Americas was held in Cartagena , Colombia. The 34 Heads of State of all OAS member countries, addressed the central theme, “Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity", which focuses on the role of physical integration and regional cooperation as a means to achieve greater levels of development and to overcome the Hemisphere’s challenges in several key areas including poverty and inequalities, citizen security, disasters and access to technologies. The Summit, which occurs every three years, offers the opportunity for countries to jointly define a hemispheric agenda at the highest level to address urgent challenges and propel positive change. One of the hottest issues (but that wasn't presented as such on the agenda) was the negative effects of the War On Drugs, that is destabilizing a growing number of OAS states. Quite a number of Latin American countries have decriminalized the use of illicit drugs in the last years. A few have even said they would like to legalize production and transport of some illicit drugs. In the last months pressure has been built up on the US to start discussions on the failing WOD. On March 6-7, 2012 US Vice President Joe Biden visited Mexico and Honduras to discuss the WOD. In Honduras Biden also met the presidents of El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala (It's said the presidents of Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua stayed away because the US asked them to).