<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
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Al Giordano

Opening Statement, April 18, 2000
¡Bienvenidos en Español!
Bem Vindos em Português!

Editorial Policy and Disclosures

Narco News is supported by:
The Fund for Authentic Journalism

Site Design: Dan Feder

All contents, unless otherwise noted, © 2000-2011 Al Giordano

The trademarks "Narco News," "The Narco News Bulletin," "School of Authentic Journalism," "Narco News TV" and NNTV © 2000-2011 Al Giordano


A Call for Drug War Democracy

Colombians Want Same Referendum Rights as U.S. Citizens

By José Cuesta

November 6, 2002

Publisher’s Commentary: While yesterday’s marijuana legalization referendum did not win in the State of Nevada, other drug reform referenda did pass in other parts of the United States.

Authentic Journalist Ann Harrison, reporting for Agence France Presse, notes that the boldest and most significant of yesterday’s referendum questions – in which voters of the Californian city of San Francisco instructed their government to start growing marijuana – passed by a landslide of 63 percent of the vote.

Harrison, a member of our faculty at the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, reports for AFP

San Francisco, CA, (AFP) Nov. 5—The city of San Francisco may soon begin cultivating their own lush crop of world-renowned California marijuana. Voters here have enthusiastically supported a ballot measure directing their city officials to consider growing and distributing medical cannabis.

Proposition S, which passed by 63%, could make San Francisco the first city in US to provide cannabis for sick people. It will also put the city, and the state of California, on a direct collision course with the federal government.

Contrast Harrison’s report with what exiled Colombian journalist Alfredo Molano told Narco News during an interview in Barcelona three summers ago:

“Legalization is something that all the large sectors of my country support. To create a legalization movement would be very important. About two years ago a man named Carlos Alonzo collected a million signatures to put legalization on the ballot. And the government challenged it, complicated it, created legal traps to prevent this from coming to a referendum. Because it would have been a very high vote for legalization, they did not allow it to happen.”

You can read the entire Molano interview at http://www.narconews.com/exiled.html

The referendum strategy of reforming archaic and ineffective drug laws inside the United States is now having an influence beyond U.S. borders, too.

Today, Colombian citizens will be protesting outside of the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá. They want their own right to vote on the drug war, imposed upon their country by an outside power and its own “leaders” installed through “elections” that have been neither free, nor fair, and held in an atmosphere of violence and intimidation.

At the same time, they’ve asked those of us outside of Colombia to let the Colombian government know that their message is being heard.

Narco News almost never asks readers to conduct letter-writing campaigns. (The last time we did this, a year ago, the flood of emails to Bolivian officials – a volume that inadvertently shut down the State email system for a number of hours – helped get labor leader Oscar Oliveira out of prison in a snap.

Today, the Colombian people – who have a hard time gaining coverage in the commercial press of their region for their legitimate grievances – seek our help for the global email referendum for drug legalization. Email addresses of the top Colombian officials – don’t worry about what language, the narco-president and much of his team, being from the oligarchy, speak English fluently – appear below the following text.

We’re proud to translate and publish Colombian citizen José Cuesta’s articulate manifesto today, demanding the right to vote on the “drug war” that is the pretext for so much harm, as he points out, to peace, justice, human rights, the environment, clean government and authentic democracy in Colombia.

Kind readers: Lend them a hand. Send emails to the narco-president Alvaro Uribe and the rest of his team. Let them know that today’s vigil outside of the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá is joined around the world.

North Americans, in particular, who have the right to vote on referendum issues in 26 states, should protest loudly that democracy has been selectively rationed. Shouldn’t Colombia’s citizenry, which pays the high price for war-mongering drug policies imposed on their country by Washington, have the same rights exercised yesterday in San Francisco and elsewhere?

For your convenience, here are the addresses all laid out together, for convenient copying and pasting into your emails:

auribe@presidencia.gov.co, rdh@presidencia.gov.co, comunicacion@mindefensa.gov.co, contacto@fiscalia.gov.co, denuncie@fiscalia.gov.co, anticorrupcion@presidencia.gov.co, secretaria_privada@hotmail.com, ecifuentes@col1.telecom.com.co, oacnudh@hchr.org.co

(We tested the email addresses suggested by our Colombian colleagues this morning. Apparently the local campaign has already exceeded the entire email storage capacity in Colombia’s Interior and Justice Ministries already. What remains above are those official addresses still receiving mail from national and international constituents.)

From somewhere in a country called América,

Al Giordano

Colombian Manifesto for Drug Legalization

A Call for a Global Email Referendum

By José Cuesta

On Tuesday, the United States held legislative elections. In the State of Nevada there was also a referendum, whose proposal was to decide the legalization or not of marijuana for recreational use.

It’s a fatal paradox that a war on drugs is imposed on the Colombian people, while in the United States some of its citizens can use the instrument of referendum to deal with this spiny issue: through this route, democracy ends up being a strange and discriminatory privilege for the societies of the world: The anglo-saxons get citizen participation while the countries to the South get a devastating war.

Because we believe in the universal character of democracy, and because we understand that after more than four decades of the drug war its results are an absolute failure, we propose the continuation of a worldwide battle for drug legalization.

It doesn’t make any sense to continue applying the prohibitionist path: This policy has only allowed the globalization of the production, sale and consumption of psychotropic substances. Behind that are bipolar images of a world divided into a consumer North and a producer South. Today, to the contrary, the countries of the South consume synthetic drugs, whose major producers are found in the United States or in Holland. In the same manner, the United States became, during the 1990s, the world’s largest producer of marijuana, satisfying fifty percent of its internal demand.

Protected by the strengthening of the criminalization of hallucinogenic drugs, the global consumption increases at alarming rates. It’s prohibitionist character has constructed a powerful industry of death, corruption and political destabilization. Colombia, like no other nation in the world, has paid enormous human, economic, environmental and institutional costs, derived from the prohibitionist policy, founded on the logic of the double game of the Big Seven countries.

Meanwhile, Colombian biodiversity is assassinated with aerial bombings of glyphosate, launched by multinational forces. Germany, France, the United States and others continue exporting the indispensable chemical precursors for the processing of hard drugs. The fiscal paradises of the United States and Europe launder without hesitation the uncountable mass of dollars from narco-economies of the outside countries, completing the cycle of legalization in the international financial systems established by the country in the middle.

The United States speaks to us in this way: We conduct their war, we supply the deaths, we devastate the Amazon, and they consolidate their economy by incorporating millions of narco-dollars.

We seek contact with national and international networks who will support and vote in favor of this initiative for legalization to the following individuals and email addresses in Colombia:

auribe@presidencia.gov.co; rdh@presidencia.gov.co

ministro2@mininterior.gov.co; mininterior@myrealbox.com;


contacto@fiscalia.gov.co; denuncie@fiscalia.gov.co;


secretaria_privada@hotmail.com; ecifuentes@col1.telecom.com.co


Worldwide Referendum for the Legalization of Drugs, November 6 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) in front of the US Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America