Latin America and the Caribbean is considered to be the most violent region in the world. Despite widespread gains in education, poverty reduction, and living standards, Latin American countries continue to have disproportionately high rates of violent crime. Some may find this puzzling, since many of these countries have particularly powerful military and police forces. This then raises the question: Why haven't new policing strategies in the region had any impact? Is Latin America in a 'Security Trap'?
In terms of drug policy, harm reduction is broadly defined as a range of pragmatic and evidence-based policies, which primarily attempt to reduce the negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm reduction strategies target a variety of risks associated with drug use and misuse, including adverse health, social, and economic consequences. Harm reduction’s defining features include a focus on preventing harm, rather than preventing drug use, and a commitment to respecting users’ human rights.
The Colombian government and the left-wing rebel group, the FARC, have been participating in peace talks for the last year in Havana, Cuba. The drug regulation plan was proposed by the FARC during these talks, now in the 19th round.
Part One of this series examines how marijuana arrived in the Western Hemisphere, who cultivated it locally, and why. Part Two looks at prohibitionist 20th century marijuana policies in Latin America and the Caribbean and their devastating social effects. Part Three looks at recent pro-marijuana activist efforts around the continent, as well as examples of progressive legislation that have begun to decriminalize the plant.