WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

The Drug War and Grave Human Rights Violations

10:00 A.M. Wednesday, 9 March 2022


The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) cordially invites you to a discussion on the grave human rights violations arising from the ‘War on Drugs’, the sixth installment of our series Decades of Damage Done: the Drug War Catastrophe in Latin America and the Caribbean

In 2019, governments comprising the 53-member UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)including the United States and 11 Latin America and the Caribbean countries where more than 80 percent of the region’s citizens residemet in Vienna and adopted a consensus declaration. The declaration affirmed a  ringing “commitment to respecting, protecting and promoting all human rights, fundamental freedoms and the inherent dignity of all individuals and the rule of law in the development and implementation of drug policies.” 

But there is a titanic gap between governments’ stated commitment to drug policies that respect human rights and the lived realities of people worldwide. For the citizens of Latin America and the Caribbean, the “war on drugs” is no mere metaphor, but an ongoing catastrophe with devastating consequences—the brunt of the harms felt by the most vulnerable communities, whether in the form of brutal repression, callous abandonment, or both.

Forced crop eradication pushes some of the hemisphere’s most vulnerable communities into even deeper poverty. Militarized enforcement results directly in human rights violations and prompts waves of lethal violence as criminal organizations fight one another, displace local communities, and fend off and infiltrate enforcement. And mirroring what has occurred at a huge scale within the United States itself, the drug war in Latin America and the Caribbean stigmatizes and marginalizes people who use drugs and fuels dramatic increases in incarceration.

Fifty years after U.S. President Richard Nixon declared an “all-out offensive,” the drug war has exacted an incalculable toll on the region and its people. Please join WOLA for the sixth and final installment in a webinar series examining the consequences of prohibition and the drug war for Latin America and the Caribbean, and identifying alternative approaches consistent with protecting human rights, promoting public health and security, and achieving social justice.


Event Details: 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 


Miriam Miranda

Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH)


Alexandra Montgomery

Amnesty International


Carla Palacios Flores

Centro de Derechos Humanos Paso del Norte


 José Santos Caicedo

Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN)



Gimena Sanchez

Director for the Andes, WOLA

Simultaneous live interpretation will only be available through Zoom. This event will be live streamed via the WOLA YouTube page.