Latin American Leaders Question US War on Drugs at UN

Outgoing Mexican President Urges Global Debate on Policy

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.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.