August 25, 2001
Narco News 2001
Resolution by National
of Colombian Govs
El Espectador and El País...
by The Narco News Bulletin
from the daily El Espectador
Bogotá, August 24, 2001
By Élber Gutiérrez
Considering that the problem
of drug trafficking
must be resolved by common agreement between friendly countries
and not by "ineffective policies like fumigation,"
the governors of the country yesterday asked the government to
lead a grand international debate about legalizing drugs.
That is what they declared
yesterday during the 31st General Assembly of Governors in Paipa,
Boyaca, where the Interior Minister, Armando Estrada Villa, repeated
that legalization is inconvenient in the judgment of the executive
branch, but that he agrees in opening the debate over the issue.
The governor of Antioquia,
and president of the National Assembly of States, Guillermo Gaviria,
said: "We cannot keep our heads between our legs and continue
with the same strategies of 30 years ago" to combat narco-trafficking.
"Colombia must lead
the discussion of the issue in the international stage to commit
all the countries of the world without hypocrisy or double standards,"
said Gaviria. Although he recognized that there is not unanimity
over the issue, the governor said that the Congressional bill
to legalize the production, sale and consumption of drugs that
are, today, illegal, sponsored by Senator Viviane Morales, is
a good beginning point to make the world think about a true alternative
to end this plague.
"There are no magic
solutions, and legalization is not necessarily the solution,
but I believe in a controlled legalization," said the leader
Hernando Emilio Zambrano,
governor of the state of Amazonas, said: "The entire world
is asking for this solution (the legalization of drugs) because
we know that it is the only way to end the high price."
Meanwhile, the governor
Cundinamarca, Álvaro Cruz, insisted on the necessity to
open the debate, on an international level, over the issue.
Secretary Estrada Villa told the governors that he agrees with
the idea of a debate but that "we in the Government have
the obligation not to take positions about the legislation by
Senator Morales and we consider it noxious" to the national
From the daily El País
Cali, August 24, 2001
and the Governors
The discussion about legalizing
drugs in Colombia separates
the government and the governors, who took opposite sides of
the issue during the 31st General Assembly of Governors.
On the one hand, the government,
led by Interior Minister Armando Estrada Villa, reiterated in
Paipa, Boyaca, the official position, that "the government
is radically opposed to the legalization of drugs, considering
it an inopportune and noxious project for the interests of the
"Colombia can not,
unilaterally, embark upon a discussion of such a delicate theme,
without having resolved the issues of prohibition, the fumigations
and the globalization of the issue expressed by the United Nations"
said the Minister to the governors.
At the same time he declared
himself, in the name of the government, opposed to the bill proposed
by Senator Vivian Morales, and said that "we have a monolithic
position before the Congress, yet we still recognize that it
is useful to the extent it causes a merely academic discussion."
Estrada Villa insisted
that the government doesn't reject a possible opening of the
debate, but said that he would only "accept the management
of the issue of drugs in the context of interdiction, fumigations
and institutional strengthening, that are issues of high concern
for the executive branch."
For his part, the president
of the National Federation of States and current governor of
Antoquia, Guillermo Gaviria, not only supported the drug legalization
bill but also said that "Colombia must lead the internationalization
of the discussion, because this is a problem for the international
Gaviria, declaring himself
a partisan for the discussion over the issue, said "we cannot
hide our heads under the ground and continue fighting against
the plague of drugs with the same instruments that we have been
employing for 30 years."
are one of these tactics that are sent to do it, but have not
offered the hoped-for results and are an aggression against the
population and the sectors that have to live with them,"
said Gaviria, who was spokesman for the governors.
(In which we forecasted
these historic events)
Immediate History of Our América