Drug legalization in Central America merits a “serious” debate as a solution to the crime and violence coursing through the region even if it runs up against U.S. opposition, said Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla.
“If we keep doing what we have been when the results today are worse than 10 years ago, we’ll never get anywhere and could wind up like Mexico or Colombia,” Chinchilla said yesterday in an interview in San Jose.
Recently there has been a string of top government officials throughout Latin America calling for a serious look at drug legalization as the solution to the violence caused by huge illegal profits created thanks to prohibition.
Last month Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina said the drug war can’t be won through force alone and he will try to win support from other Latin American leaders for adopting drug legalization as a way to defund the cartels. Similarly, this past November Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that the legalization of marijuana would be a way forward as long as it was done at a global level.
In addition to the currently serving President, several previous leaders, such as former President Vicente Fox, have called for the legalization of drugs to end deadly violence in Mexico caused by the current drug war.
There appears to be an important shift of attitudes in the region. As the drug war continues to become a deadlier and more costlier failure, the political leaders in Latin American have become increasingly willing to talk openly about a solution through legalization.