August 25, 2001
Narco News 2001
is Narco's Greatest Ally"
Comunidad magazines, El Colombiano, El Nacional, AP
(Spanish) and EFE agencies...
by The Narco News Bulletin
From Comunidad magazines
Thursday, August 23, 2001
debate over drug legalization opens in Colombia
By Associated Press (in Spanish)
has opened the debate over the legalization
of drugs, but the government of president Andres Pastrana warned
that this initiative can not be undertaken unilaterally by Colombia.
Interior Minister Armando Estrada Villa
said that the legislation to legalize the production, distribution
and consumption of drugs, under a monopoly by the Colombia government,
is not viable at this moment.
"Legalization would pit us alone
against the world," Estrada said in the Senate last night,
recalling that Colombia has signed international agreements to
combat drug trafficking.
Senator Vivian Morales, sponsor of the
bill, said that her objective is to "create political deeds
to open a debate about legalization because the prohibitionist
alternative is not the solution for Colombia."
The legalization bill is accompanied by
another bill to suspend the aerial fumigation of coca and poppy
crops in order to avoid environmental damages and exonerate peasant
and indigenous farmers that have subsistence level farms.
From El Colombiano
Medellín, August 23, 2001
positions over legalization of narcotics
By Octavio Gómez V. Medellín
sides, without common ground, were drawn
between Congress and the government on the theme of narcotics:
One side proposes legalizing their production, distribution and
consumption and the other, headed by the government, defends
its combat through repressive means.
The new debate, coming out of the polemic
over the aerial fumigation of illicit crops, began on Thursday
when, in Cartagena, in the Andean Assembly, the candidate of
the Social and Political Front, Luis Eduardo Garzon, proposed
that "the best way to end this problem and the war it has
brought us is to legalize drugs."
In the same sense, but with a specific
goal, the Independent Senator Viviane Morales announced in front
of the entire Senate on Tuesday the presentation of a bill to
permit legalization and that also would place the government
in charge of the production, distribution and sale of narcotics.
The moment she ended her presentation,
the Interior Minister Armando Estrada Villa took the podium to
characterize the proposal as "inconvenient and harmful,"
because the government must comply with its international deals
against the traffic and consumption of drugs "and this would
leave us alone against the world." Estrada Villa recalled
the agreements signed in the United Nations and the Organization
of American States that fixed the policies of prohibition of
the consumption of drugs and combat against narco-trafficking.
In the same tenor, Senator Claudia Blum
said that legalization can only come out of a "grand international
agreement." She said that the prestige of the Congress obliges
it to bury initiatives like that of her colleague Morales "that
have political-electoral goals."
surprise, however, was delivered on Friday
by the president of the National Conservative Board, Carlos Holguin
Sardi, who said the country should construct a "national
agreement" to legalize drugs and that the initiative should
be coordinated with other Andean nations and the European Union,
although he recognized that "it is a very large task."
"The world believes that repression
is the better way to fight against this plague," he said,
advising that the real policy would be to convert it into a problem
of public health.
From El Nacional
Caracas, Venezuela, August 22, 2001
on the production, distribution and consumption
Morales, who proposed the law, argued that "prohibition
is the great ally of the narco-traffickers"
From AP and EFE agencies
bill to legalize the production, distribution
and consumption of drugs was presented by Senator Vivian Morales,
in moments during which there is a wide debate that questions
the programs of erradication of illicit crops through aerial
fumigation. "It's about legalization under a monopoly by
the government," said Morales, a Liberal Party member, before
presenting her bill to the secretary of the Senate.
Another bill to suspend the fumigation
of coca and poppy crops and exonerate small-scale cultivators
from criminal penalties will also be presented this week by Senators
Juan Manuel Ospina and Rafael Orduz. "This is a much wider
project because it goes beyond the eradication of crops through
fumigation," said Morales. "I don't know if this bill
has support in Congress, but it is right because prohibition
is the great ally of the narco-traffickers," she added.
Ospina, of the Conservative Party that
controls the government, said that his bill doesn't seek legalization,
but rather to solve the problem of the fumigations with glyphosate
that affect the environment, health and food crops of the farmers.
"Our bill only seeks to suspend the fumigations because
they are crazy and have not solved the problem of the growing
of the crops," he added. Ospina said that it is also important
to "decriminalize" the small coca growers.
(In which we forecasted
these historic events)
Plan? Which Colombia?