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The Wilson Center’s Latin American Program is pleased to present a new report, “Local Markets for Illegal Drugs: Impacts, Trends, and New Approaches.” The report, also available in Spanish, examines the public health, social development and citizen security impacts of retail drug markets in major urban areas in the Americas and how traditional law enforcement approaches have altered and, at times, exacerbated the security situation.  The report also looks at  new approaches for dealing with this troubling phenomenon.

The report is based on the proceedings of the April 28, 2014, “side event” organized at the Wilson Center as part of the biennial meeting of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States.  This side-event, the second of its kind, was organized by the Latin American Program in cooperation with Colombia’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and Justice and Law, as well as with significant support from CICAD.  (The first such meeting was held in Bogotá in December 2013.) As chair pro-tempore of CICAD, the Government of Colombia invited the Latin American Program to organize the forum  to complement the official proceedings among Member States, and provide insight into a phenomenon that is having a major impact on youth throughout the region. Participants in the meeting included representatives of 12 countries in the hemisphere, members of 10 nongovernmental organizations, and independent experts. The discussions focused on two key issues: a) current impacts, trends, and challenges related to retail drug distribution; and b) new responses to local markets for illegal drugs. The event concluded with a brainstorming sessions that resulted in a series of recommendations for addressing the impacts of retail drug markets in the hemisphere.

About the Author

Juan Carlos Garzón

Juan Carlos Garzón

Global Fellow;
Security and Conflict Resolution Expert; Former Consultant, United Nations Development Program and Organization of American States
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Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

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