WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
28 Sep 2012 | Publication | News

The Research Consortium on Drugs and the Law

The Research Consortium on Drugs and the Law (Colectivo de Estudios Drogas y Derecho, CEDDbrings together researchers from eight Latin American countries with the goal of analyzing the impact of criminal law and legal practice surrounding illicit drugs. The CEDD seeks to foster a debate about the effectiveness of the current drug policies and recommends policy alternatives that are more balanced and effective.

The CEDD was created in the context of the growing evidence that international policies on drug control have not decreased drug use, have not stopped the cultivation of crops for illicit markets, and have not reduced drug trafficking.

The effects of drug laws fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged peoples, and have the undesired consequence of overwhelming the criminal justice system.

The Consortium’s creation was driven by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Transnational Institute (TNI) after the publication of a 2010 study on the impact of drug laws on prison systems in eight Latin American countries.

This series of studies critically examine whether the principle of proportionality is applied in drug related crimes and punishments. The studies find that punishment for drug offenses and the treatment of offenders is disproportionate, which often generates more harm than the intended benefit.

To visit the official CEDD site, please click here.

Eight-country study on state responses to drug consumption

In Search of Rights: Drug Users and State Responses in Latin America: This study finds that even in Latin American countries where drug consumption is not a crime, drug use continues to be predominantly through the criminal justice system, not health institutions.

To view the Executive Summary and Recommendations, please click here.

Comparative study on disproportionate sentencing for drug-related crimes:

Addicted to Punishment: The Disproportionality of Drug Laws in Latin America: This study compares and contrasts drug policy and sentencing in seven Latin American countries: Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, and Argentina.

WOLA/TNI study on drug laws and incarceration levels in Latin America:

Systems Overload: Drug Laws and Prisons in Latin America

Country-Specific Case Studies:

Focused analyses of drug policy and sentencing in six Latin American countries. Please note that these analyses are only available in Spanish.





The Human Cost of the Drug War

These videos feature individuals who have spent years in prison enduring harsh sentences that are disproportionate to the crimes they committed. These people represent the human side of the war on drugs, and their stories illustrate the unjust impact of current drug laws.

The videos are part of a TNI/WOLA study investigating the prison systems of eight countries in Latin America. To view the videos, please click here.