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10 Latin American Cities Sign Declaration Criticizing Global Anti-Drug Efforts


November-December 1997

On October 8 in Medellin, Colombia, 10 Latin American cities signed the "Medellin Declaration," which criticizes global anti-drug efforts for failing to emphasize drug treatment and prevention (Associated Press, "Latin Cities Sign Drug Declaration," October 9, 1997).

"International cooperation prioritizes halting the cultivation and trafficking of illegal psychoactive substances, while minimizing prevention and treatment," the declaration states. It says that treatment for "drug addicts should not depend on making total abstinence the lone objective. Intermediate objectives that achieve a dignified life for the individual can also be reached."

Signatories of the Medellin Declaration include representatives from Bogota, Colombia; Santiago, Chile; Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Asuncion, Paraguay; La Paz, Bolivia; Havana, Cuba; and Jalisco, Mexico. The declaration was modeled after a 1990 resolution signed by more than 30 European cities that advocates harm reduction approaches to drug problems. The document was the product of a two-day conference, organized by the City of Medellin, called "First International Summit: Large Urban Cities and Drug Plans."

Contact Luis Calle - Deputy Director of Drug Policy, City of Medellin, Colombia, Tel: (011) (574) 385-5310, Fax: (011) (574) 262-0062.