A group formed by Latin American leaders and known personalities have recommended for new measures and methods in tackling cases of drug abuse. Virgin Chief Richard Branson joined the cause for consumers of illicit drugs not to be treated like criminals. The Global Commission on Drug Policies on their two-day inaugural meeting at Geneva also expressed their views on the prevalent degrading approach to drug abuse which was not doing any good both to the authorities and to the drug consumers.
Ex-politicians and other professionals, who have formed an alliance, aim to promote new ways of handling drug abuse cases which was first implemented in the Latin America. Colombia’s former president Cesar Gavina which served his term from 1994-1998 insisted that there should be new means to deal with drug producing and drug trafficking cartels. He says this of drug consumers: “You have to give up on the idea that drug consumers are criminals.”
In a report released by the United Nations, the leading cocaine-producing countries in 2009 were Colombia and Peru. An estimated 400 tons of the dangerous drugs was produced in the two countries putting them on top of the UN’s list.
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Brazil’s ex-president chairs the commission. He said that drug addicts should be treated as ill patients and should be offered health care. Joining Cardoso in the commission are former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, former Norwegian minister Thorvald Stoltenberg, ex-EU foreign affairs chief Javier Solana, and Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa and famous writer Carlos Fuentes.
In Mexico, violence and gang wars are on the rise with the emergence of powerful drug barons in recent years. In 2010, a record of 15,200 people died in the country all related to drug activities.