In Colombia, Presidente Álvaro Uribe Vélez’s government
(2002 – 2006), emphasizes three aspects as part of his “antidrug policies":
- Expanding fumigation (with reinforced Glyphosate). This is undoubtedly a war measure whose direct target is the country’s civilian population. It leads to the forced displacement of the peoples living in these areas, the destruction of their food sources, endangers their health and violates their right to a healthy environment and other of their Human Rights and goes against International Humanitarian Law.
- A proposal —to be included in the referendum— to further criminalize small growers of crops which have been declared illegal.
- A proposal, —also to be included in the referendum— to penalize consumption and posesion of marihuana for personal consumption, in opposition to the worldwide acknowledgement regarding the need to substitute penalization by prevention and “harm reduction.
"There’s no turning back” is Uribe’s favorite catchphrase to refer to these and other measures, including his “state of emergency measures” which, according the the United Nations Human Rights Office, lead to Human Rights abuses and contravene International Humanitarian Law.
Within the framework of the Citizens’ Roundtable Discussions for a Peace Agenda, in forums and regional meetings of social organizations and debates held in the Colombian Congress, some of the proposals have insisted on the need to:
1) Ban once and for all chemical fumigation of all crops
2) Exclude forced eradication methods and threats of biological war against the region’s peasants.
3) Stop incrimination of peasant and indigenous growers.
4) Halt penalization of consumers.
(See summaries of conclusions of Workshops on “Agrarian Conflict, Food Safety, and Crops Declared Illegal” –in Spanish)
Lula’s Victory in Brazil Raises Expectations in All of Latin America.
Within the current Latin American context, Lula’s election is a mayor event which can be extremely positive for the whole continent. As refers to Colombia, under Lula, Brazil might become actively and positively engaged in finding a peaceful solution to Colombia’s armed conflict.’ The Brazilian Labor Party (PT) has offered its support in the search for peace in Colombia and has warned that it will not back any type of “military initiatives” to solve Latin America’s problems.
For more information on Brazil’s Labor Party see: http://www.pt.org.br
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