Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina recently declared that he will present a proposal for drug legalization in Central America at the Summit of the Americas next month. Guatemalan Vice-President Roxana Baldetti began a tour to discuss the proposal with regional leaders and garner support for it, starting with Panama, Costa Rica and Salvador on February 29th.
Unsurprisingly, the move was greeted by a quick rebuke from the U.S. government. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is in Latin America this week attempting to silence the drug legalization movement that is drawing increasing support among various heads of state.
President Molina’s initiative is unprecedented and marks the first time since the launching of the “war on drugs” by Richard Nixon in 1971 that a foreign head of state has actively challenged the US-led policies of drug prohibition and tried to build a coalition against drug prohibition.
We all need to show our support to President Molina and his potential Latin American allies. We also need to put pressure on the Obama administration to ensure that it doesn’t stall Molina’s proposal, and that it allows a truthful debate at the April 14-15 Summit of the Americas and beyond.
Major Neill Franklin (Ret.)
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