August 25, 2001
Narco News 2001
Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, join
Call for Regional Policy Change
from the daily EL TIEMPO
Bogotá, August 18, 2001
Translated by The Narco
about drug legalization
Opening the door, once
and for all, to the
debate about the legalization of illicit drugs, the Andean Parliament,
upon ending its 28th congress in Bogota, made its call.
Peru Congressman Carlos
Infanta, president of the Third Commission of Parliament, that
analyzes issues like narco-trafficking and illicit crops, said
that the regulation of the commerce of drugs must begin and will
contribute to solving the problems of corruption and violence.
"We have to stop
speaking in whispers and confront the issue frankly. There are
authoritative opinions, including in the United States, that
are proposing legalization. And it is not possible that we in
the Andes would be more papal than the Pope," he said.
To spur the discussion,
the members of the Andean Parliament will seek to open the debate
in the congresses of their respective countries (Colombia, Venezuela,
Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru). Also, the issue must be one of the
key points of the Andean Summit on Drug Trafficking that will
be held in Caracas at the end of this month.
The proposal by 25 members
of Parliament was made known as the presidential candidate Luis
Eduardo Garzon proposed the theme during his presentation before
the National Chamber of Commerce (ANDI) in Cartagena.
Meanwhile, Senator Carlos
Holguin, president of the National Conservative Board, said yesterday
tat he has backed the legalization of drugs for several years.
He said that a National Agreement must be promoted so that official
diplomatic channels can make gestures to the international community
with the goal of arriving at legalization formulas.
"Today the country
is in a position of moral authority, that the past government
did not have, to propose this theme," explained the ex governor
For his part, the Venezuelan
Congressman Mario Arias, Vice President of the Third Commission
of the Andean Parliament, said that although he is not a partisan
of legalization, he thinks the debate should happen, and for
that reason the Parliament should take advantage of the presence
of five United States Congress members at the Caracas Summit
so that they will "propose the discussion in their country."
Arias also said that another
crucial theme for the Caracas meeting will be the analysis of
the strategy of aerial fumigation of illicit crops.
In relation to this issue,
the Parliament yesterday approved a proposal that asks for suspension
of aerial spraying by the governments that currently do it in
the Andes region. The recommendation is especially directed at
Colombia, where the strategy has generated a polemic.
"We believe that
rigorous scientific studies must be made to determine what is
the real impact of the herbicides over people and the environment,"
To analyze the effect
of products like glyphosate, the Parliament charged the Andean
Council of Environmental Authorities with studying the effects
of this herbicide and formulate alternatives to eradicate illicit
Although the decisions
by Parliament are not strictly binding, its political proposals
go directly to the presidents of their countries during the meetings
of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN).
(In which we forecasted
these historic events)
Authentic "Andean Initiative"