Latin American Leaders Question US War on Drugs at UN

Outgoing Mexican President Urges Global Debate on Policy

by Jason Ditz, September 26, 2012

Several leaders of Latin American nations have delivered speeches to the UN General Assembly today critical of the US “war on drugs,” saying that it is time for a “global debate” about the conflict.

Mexico’s outgoing President Felipe Calderon was perhaps the most surprising of the speakers, as he is being replaced by someone seen much more critical of US drug policy, but he too urged a rethink of the “prohibitionist” approach of the US.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos also urged the world to explore “better options” than the multi-decade US approach, which has spawned massive violence across both South and Central America, while Guatemala’s Otto Molina said the “basic premise” of the current policy is proven to be lacking.

The growing disquiet across the region about the US-dictated policy was first hinted at during April’s Summit of the Americas, at which President Obama shrugged off the complaints, saying simply that changing the policy “isn’t a valid option.”

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