Lessons from Colombia's War on Drugs

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Noon (Luncheon to Follow)

Opening remarks:
Carlos Urrutia, Ambassador, Republic of Colombia.

Panel discussion:
Featuring Daniel Mejía, Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Research Center on Drugs and Security, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia and Peter Hakim, President Emeritus, Inter-American Dialogue; moderated by Juan Carlos Hidalgo, Policy Analyst on Latin America, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.

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For more than 30 years, Colombia has been at the forefront of Washington's international war on drugs. Cocaine production has fueled illegal armed groups and drug cartels whose wars against the government, Colombian society, and each other have cost the lives of tens of thousands of Colombians. However, since the implementation of Plan Colombia in 2001, violence has decreased significantly and the government has made great inroads in demobilizing or defeating the armed insurgencies. Drug production is nevertheless still high and much of it has been displaced to neighboring countries. The speakers will discuss the extent to which drug prohibition has fueled violence in Colombia, the effectiveness of interdiction and eradication efforts in tackling the illicit drug trade, and whether Colombia's experience can be replicated in other countries such as Mexico.

This event is done in coordination with the Inter-American Dialogue.

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