Wednesday, 8 February 2017

President Duterte Is Repeating My Mistakes -

Cesar Gaviria was president of Colombia 1990-1994. He took down the narco-Lord Pablo Escobar, immortalized by Mexican actor Raul Mendez in the excellent Netflix series "Narcos".
Here in the International New York Times, Gaviria argues that the "War on Drugs" has failed and continues to fail. That much is obvious to the sentient and honest observer.
Gaviria promotes alternative policies through The Global Commission on Drug Policy of which he is a founding member (His Wikipedia entry needs updating with that position...).
These proposals include making drug taking a public health issue, not a criminal one, squeezing out the corrupting profit motive from illegal production and distribution.
That's been often proposed. The group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition that I've often quoted here, are an example and they too know the WOD from the front line.
But Gaviria is different: he's been president of THE major cocaine producing country in the world, right on the front line, in the thick of the toughest Narco wars in the world.
So Gaviria knows whereof he speaks. Unlike most people on the Right, the "law and order", the "jail 'em and throw the key away" crowd. The likes of Bill O'Reilly & Co on Fox who are pretty much all ignoramuses on this issue (not sure about Gutfeld, but certainly O'Reilly, Carlson and Hannity are all harmful idiots about our drug scourges).
Taking a hard line against criminals is always popular for politicians. I was also seduced into taking a tough stance on drugs during my time as president. The polls suggest that Mr. Duterte's war on drugs is equally popular. But he will find that it is unwinnable. I also discovered that the human costs were enormous. We could not win the war on drugs through killing petty criminals and addicts. We started making positive impacts only when we changed tack, designating drugs as a social problem and not a military one.
Read on....