WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
4 Nov 2005 | Publication

Drugs and Democracy in Latin America: the Impact of U.S. Policy

WOLA is pleased to announce the release of a groundbreaking new book on the U.S. international drug war, Drugs and Democracy in Latin America: The Impact of U.S. Policy. The ten-chapter study, edited by Coletta Youngers and Eileen Rosin, is the culmination of a three-year project which incorporates the work of over twenty researchers from the U.S. and Latin America. The Executive Summary is now available and the book can be ordered through Lynne Rienner Publishers.

The volume provides the first comprehensive review of U.S. drug-control efforts in the region and analyzes why they have failed to reduce the supply of cocaine and heroin entering the United States. The book also shows how, in country after country, U.S. drug control policies have caused widespread and often profoundly damaging harm to citizens’ lives as well as to their nations’ democracies. Divided into country-by-country case studies, the book documents how drug policies have fueled social conflict, undermined democracy, violated human rights and civil liberties, and altered civil-military relations in countries that have not completely left behind their authoritarian and abusive pasts.

In launching the new book, WOLA also presented new data on prices of illicit drugs in the United States, explained at length in WOLA’s new Drug War Monitor, “Are We There Yet? Measuring Progress in the U.S. War on Drugs in Latin America,” . The new data covers 1981 through mid-year 2003, and represent the first comprehensive look at prices and purity since mid-2000, before implementation of Plan Colombia began.  See charts of latest drug price and purity statistics.

Drugs and Democracy in Latin America: The Impact of U.S. Policy calls on U.S. policymakers to begin a new, more honest debate about U.S. drug policy. It is time to construct a smarter, more effective and less damaging drug policy, both domestically and in Latin America.

Download the Executive Summary here

Purchase the book directly from Lynne Reinner