Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/20/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

South American summit suggests decriminalization of drug use, coordination between nations more pro-active

With millions of civilians, soldiers and criminals all dead, and no change in sight, a summit of Latin American nations has suggested that the best path may be to decriminalize drug use, while stressing cooperation between nations. The Organization of American States has suggested that Latin American countries could stop deploying law enforcement agencies to fight cartels after concluding that the human costs of the "war on drugs" is just too high.

With millions of civilians, soldiers and criminals all dead, and no change in sight, a summit of Latin American nations has suggested that the best path may be to decriminalize drug use, while stressing cooperation between nations.

With millions of civilians, soldiers and criminals all dead, and no change in sight, a summit of Latin American nations has suggested that the best path may be to decriminalize drug use, while stressing cooperation between nations.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

5/20/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: South America, war on drugs, decriminalization, report

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Commissioned at last year's Cartagena Summit of the Americas, the report reflects what many in Latin America feel is a much needed, new approach to the drug war. Previous hard-line policies have resulted in decades of violence in producer and trafficking nations such as Colombia, Peru and Mexico.
The United States is being pressured by some regional leaders for an overhaul of anti-drug policies and has suggested they might be open to legalization of some narcotics if that would reduce bloodshed.

In a 200-page review, a number of South American countries say they would break with the prohibition line. They said that they are ready to no longer deploy law enforcement and the army against drug cartels after deeming the human cost of life too high.

"The report presented by the OAS today is a vital piece in the construction of a common way to fight this problem," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said during the presentation.

Internationally, Latin America suffers the brunt of consequences of the so-called war on drugs. In Mexico alone, upwards of 70,000 people have died in drug-related violence over the past six years, while at the same time having a lower murder rate is still lower than several nations, including Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil and Venezuela.

Drug-related violence has plagued Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador as traffickers have increasingly infiltrated Central America.

Almost all the cocaine consumed in Western countries is produced in Latin America. Even worse, drug consumption is ticking up in nations such as Argentina and Brazil.

According to the OAS, about 45 percent of cocaine consumers, 50 percent of heroin users and 25 percent of marijuana smokers live in North and South America.

The nation of Costa Rica has fared better than many of its neighbors, but it worries about spillover from nearby countries.

Honduras currently has the highest homicide rate in the world, with about 7,200 people murdered last year in the tiny nation of eight million people, most in drug-related crime.

The report, which includes all 35 North and South American nations, aims to start a debate among American nations regarding anti-drug policies. It also advocates for softer policies toward drug users.

"The decriminalization of drug consumption must be considered the base of any public health strategies," the report says. "An addict is not a person with a chronic disease that should be punished for his addiction."


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Americas

The unbelievable thing 2,000 Cuban immigrants did at the Costa-Rican Nicaragua border Watch

Image of Long lines of trucks and buses have piled on both sides of the border as migrants have refused to let traffic pass, authorities say.


In what threatens all transportation and trade to Central America, 2,000 Cuban immigrants have thrown themselves against the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Buses and trucks are halted on both side of the border. The Cuban migrants have taken a stand ... continue reading

See this Nazi? Why did the CIA protect 'The Butcher of Lyon' after WWII? And why did the Vatican help? Watch

Image of Klaus Barbie.


The U.S. government has a poor record of managing people that it protects and builds up. A new case came to light recently as the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail featured the story of Klaus Barbie, the Nazi who killed hundreds of people during the war, only to enjoy CIA ... continue reading

Central American refugees streaming in to U.S. quickly reaching crisis levels Watch

Image of Far more worrisome is the fact that unescorted immigrant children, those who travel with other children without adult supervision are steadily increasing.


While immigration remains a very hot button topic in the 2016 presidential debates, the number of refugees illegally crossing into the United States from Mexico - and further south, is quickly reaching crisis levels. The number of illegal refugee families ... continue reading

The heartbreaking true story of a Mexican human trafficking survivor who was raped 43,000 times since 12-years-old Watch

Image of Karla Jacinto survived severe sexual, physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her pimp (CNN).


Twenty-three-year-old Karla Jacinto has stepped forward to share her horrifying survival story after suffering sexual abuse for seven years, then enduring four years as a prostitute and victim of human trafficking in Mexico. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Her tale ... continue reading

Ancient Mayan sinkhole believed to be former altar for human, animal sacrifice Watch

Image of Scuba instructor Troy Iloski is the man behind the photos. Iloski travelled with local tour guides Antonio Molina Piquard, Anna Nicolaus and Bernardo Miranda to capture these stunning pictures.


Spectacular color photographs of an ancient Mayan sinkhole in Quintana Roo, Mexico have captivated a global audience. The beauty holds a dark and terrifying secret, as many believe the sinkhole to be an ancient sacrificial Mayan site - for human and animal ... continue reading

Guatemala's corruption reaches all-time high: Can a comedian save them? Watch

Image of


The Guatemalan government has come under fire yet again with several counts of corruption. In an attempt to combat the increasingly untrustworthy government, comedian and former actor Jimmy Morales quickly went from zero to hero in a landslide victory with 70 percent ... continue reading

22 people arrested, 12 tons of marijuana seized in 'super tunnel' sting in San Diego Watch

Image of The raid was the culmination of a six-month undercover investigation. The operation was triggered after an undercover agent with the U.S. Tunnel Task Force met with two suspected traffickers at a San Diego restaurant.


A sophisticated super tunnel in San Diego, California has been busted by federal agents as part of a drug sting. Twenty-two people have been arrested - and 12 tons of marijuana was seized in the raid. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A nondescript cinder-block ... continue reading

Discovered Bahamian fossils give astonishing 'unparalleled snapshot' into Ice Age life in Caribbean Watch

Image of Isolated islands make it far easier to determine what factors contributed to a species' development -- or extinction, in the same manner in which Charles Darwin established his theories at the Galapagos Islands.


New fossils discovered in the Bahamas give "us an unparalleled snapshot at what the Ice Age life would have been like on a Caribbean isle," lead author David Steadman, curator of ornithology at the Florida Museum of Natural History says. It's believed that ... continue reading

Justin Trudeau swept to victory as Liberals ride elections in Canada Watch

Image of Leading the Liberal party to a sweeping victory on many sides, Justin Trudeau will be Canada's new prime minister.


Leading the Liberal party to a sweeping victory on many sides, Justin Trudeau will be Canada's new prime minister. Conservative Stephen Harper, making his fourth consecutive mandate, will step down as party leader. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading

Amazing 400-year-old church re-emerges from Mexican reservoir Watch

Image of The Temple of Santiago (AP).


The 400-year-old Temple of Santiago, also called the Temple of Quechula, has reemerged from Mexico's Nezahualcoyotl reservoir. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The colonial-era church became visible following a drought that decreased the water level of the ... continue reading

All Americas News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. James Intercisus: Saint of the Day for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS!
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Friday, November 27, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 6:12-28
12 These men came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74
68 Bless the Lord, dew and snow-storm, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you must realise ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2015 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at ... Read More