This Saturday, the two heads of state will receive the initiatives and proposals issued by the Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Drugs: “For Life, Peace and Development”, which has been held since Thursday in Cali, the capital of the Valle province. Cauca.
The two leaders will be responsible for the outcomes of the meeting, which is expected to be the beginning of a regional process of dialogue and participation based on the principle of joint and shared responsibility.
Let it be an example to the international community with a new vision that places life, peace and development above war.
The Declaration of the Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Drugs: “For Life, Peace and Development” was made by Petro in Argentina during the seventh summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) last January.
During his speech at that supreme meeting of the countries of the region, he reiterated his view on the “complete failure” of the war on drugs promoted by US President Richard Nixon (1969-1974).
The Colombian president said that since then, one million Latin Americans have died and another million Americans, especially blacks, have been imprisoned because of this phenomenon.
He stressed that countries in the region and the world must also come together around a new anti-drug policy characterized by education and prevention to end violence and death on the continent. Likewise, last July, in the context of the third EU and CELAC summit, Petro stressed that the time had come to evaluate and propose new, and perhaps more effective, strategies.
When confirming the holding of this conference, the Head of State said: “Mexico and Colombia, which have been profound victims of this type of policy, have every right to meet and here we are.”
Petro also pointed to the consequences of “the so-called war on drugs over 50 years.”
In this sense, he said, it caused “a million deaths, millions of prisoners, a fatal change in the structure of consumption in the United States, and now with fentanyl; 100,000 deaths per year with profound democratic destabilization in many countries.”
Also four years ago, López Obrador emphasized that the main function of his government was to ensure public security and not the operational strategy to arrest drug lords.
“That’s what concerns me, the reduction in the number of murders, the reduction in the number of robberies, the fact that there are no kidnappings. That’s the basic, not the amazing. A lot of time has been wasted on it and nothing has been solved,” the president said of the fight against drug trafficking in Mexico. “.
Since the start of the War on Drugs in the 1970s, the United States and some European countries have provided the Colombian government with logistical and financial assistance to implement anti-drug trafficking plans.
The most prominent program was the controversial Plan Colombia, which aims to combat illegal armed groups.
However, Colombia remained the world leader in cocaine production with approximately 70% of all global distribution and 90% of processing, according to a 2004 US State Department report.
Even the cultivation, production and trafficking of drugs reached higher levels, and one of the results of Plan Colombia was the return of coca cultivation for illegal use to Peru and Bolivia, and to change routes to other countries such as Mexico.
According to Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president of defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, a “think tank” based in Washington, D.C., this phenomenon occurs because these activities are illegal and actors have to change their ways to survive.
In this sense, it can be noted that countries such as Mexico are victims of the war against drugs in Colombia.
Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela are participating in the Cali event, and they are joined by a group of observer countries.
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