The Organization of American States (OAS) agreed last Thursday a route to renew the fight against drug trafficking from 2016 and it convened a special session in 2014 to define a new strategy.
In the 43rd session of the General Assembly of the OAS, in the city of Antigua, Guatemala, the strategy of Washington, merciless war, failed, but with serious disagreements on the decriminalization of drugs, proposed by several Latin American countries.
Ministers agreed in the Declaration of Antigua for the need of a “comprehensive” strategy beyond the military and police repression that the U.S. promotes against drugs for 40 years, and to include “respect for human rights,” “public health, education and social inclusion,” and preventive actions against organized crime.
The Assembly, which was attended on Wednesday by the U.S. secretary of state, John Kerry, ended with after nearly five hours of delay, because the ministers were locked in discussions on motions of Ecuador against mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
Peru’s Chancellor – second largest cocaine producer after Colombia- declared: “We are at a turning point. It’s time to make decisions.” Kerry reaffirmed to the foreign ministers that a comprehensive policy should not give up the repression and persecution of drug trafficking.”
It is the first time that Latin American governments speak seriously to change the strategy of Washington. Thousands of people die from causes related to drug trafficking: in Mexico alone, over 70,000 since 2006 and about 20,000 annually in Central America.
“The price we are paying in transit countries is unfair and intolerable. Our governments are overwhelmed,” said Mireya Agüero, Chancellor of Honduras, a country with a world record in homicides.