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OAS Secretary General briefs Caricom leaders on recent report on Drug Trafficking in the Americas – 5th Jul 2013

Police crime lab technicians prepare toThe Organization of American States Secretary General Miguel Insulza was clear that countries of the Caribbean cannot fight the problem of drug trafficking and the use of drugs if corruption continues to compromise the systems which should stem the flow.

Mr. Insulza said that the drug problem is one of the most important challenges facing the Americas, with its impact on public health and the cost incurred by States, and with the tremendous amount of violence that it brings.

However, he said that in some parts of the Americas, like in his country Chile, drug use does not necessarily mean more violence if there is a robust Police service and a cooperative Judicial system.

The United States is said to take in most of the drugs that passes through the Caribbean. Studies by the OAS have shown that the retail market for drugs in the Americas is estimated at 151 billion US dollars annually, with much of that being sold in the United States. Caribbean Governments have been urging the US and other western nations to help fund strategies to combat drug trafficking. The OAS Secretary General agrees, though he said there are new trends in drug use and policies in the United states.

In Trinidad, Mr. Insulza has briefed regional leaders on the recently released report of the Drug Problem in the Americas. The Report raises the possibility of decriminalizing drug use as a real alternative to be studied and considered, because if drug addiction is considered as a health problem, it is not consistent to consider addicts as suffering from an illness while at the same time punishing them.

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