The First Latin American Conference on Drug Policies was held last week in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This was a high-profile event sponsored by the United Nations, the Pan-American Health Organization, the Anti-Drug Latin American Initiative on Drugs and Democracy, the Open Society Foundation Institute, and the Dutch and British embassies. Among the participants were high ranking government officials and experts from Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.
According to the Buenos Aires Herald, the main conclusion of the conference was that:
The tough approach adopted by Latin America and the US over the past two decades to combat drug trafficking and consumption has failed miserably and a new, more humanitarian view focused on decriminalizing possession for personal consumption and helping addicts while concentrating efforts in fighting large traffickers must be adopted.
My colleague Ian Vásquez and I have written before on how Latin Americans are increasingly getting fed up with the War on Drugs. A serious and open debate about the future of drug policy in Latin America seems to be underway. The question remains on whether Washington is paying any attention to this.