US: Can Washington Still Dictate Drug Policy in the Americas? / Coletta A. Youngers and Adam Schaffer

Washington has succeeded in creating an entrenched drug-war bureaucracy across Latin America. But the momentum in favor of reform is building in unexpected places.

For decades, the U.S. government has imposed its repressive drug-control policies across Latin America and the Caribbean, using diplomatic, political, and economic pressure as needed. Long-simmering resentment to this approach, combined with waning U.S. political influence, has led to a dramatic turning of the tide: Latin American countries are now driving an unprecedented international drug policy debate.

A disconnect between U.S. drug policies at home and abroad has also played a role in motivating the opposition to U.S.-dictated drug policies. While this disconnect is most visible in state-led initiatives to create legal, regulated cannabis markets (now approved in four states and the District of Columbia), the Obama administration has also undertaken two significant domestic initiatives: It has placed greater priority on a public health approach, and has dramatically expanded access to drug treatment through the Affordable Care Act. SEE MORE…

 

Drugs, Security and Democracy Fellowship. Supporting research in Latin America and the Caribbean to inform drug policy

Open for applications, next deadline is March 2nd 2015. Apply Now

The Drugs, Security and Democracy (DSD) Program fellowship is designed to support short-term research that contributes to the literature on drugs in Latin America and the Caribbean on topics and countries that are central to drug policy discussions in the region and beyond.

The competition is open to applicants conducting research in Latin America or the Caribbean who are fully embedded in and committed to the region, and whose research focus has a clear and central connection to the field of drugs and to formulating sound drug policy. Successful applicants will be those whose work and interests best match, and who demonstrate a long-term commitment to, these program goals.

In addition to conducting individual research, DSD fellows should contribute to the development of a global interdisciplinary network of researchers engaged with drug policy and communicate their findings to relevant audiences over the course of their careers. MORE…

Brazil: Stray Bullets Are No Accident / Robert Muggah

Thirty-two bullets. That’s all it took to shatter the lives of just as many innocent men, women and children in metropolitan Rio de Janeiro last month. It is an unspeakable tragedy. The victims consist of toddlers and senior citizens — all of them going about their own business. Most of them are residents of low-income neighborhoods, especially the city’s sprawling north zone.

The blame game is in full swing. The state’s Secretary for Public Security has condemned drug trafficking groups, alluding to a “nation of criminals” with brazen disregard for human life. Meanwhile, human rights activists say that the military police are also to blame. Caught in the crossfire, locals are throwing up their hands in resignation. Yet there is nothing accidental about these incidents — they are indicative of a failure of public policy. SEE MORE…

Global: Las 50 ciudades más violentas del mundo 2014

Acapulco ocupa el tercer lugar en el ranking global elaborado por la organización Seguridad, Justicia y Paz, los números públicos arrojan una disminución de la violencia en México, sin embargo, los creadores de este organismo advierten que hay riesgos de distorsión de la información.

Ocho ciudades mexicanas figuran en el ranking de las 50 ciudades más violentas del mundo elaborado por la organización Seguridad Justicia y Paz.

Por cuarto año consecutivo, con 1,317 homicidios, la ciudad hondureña de San Pedro Sula ocupó el primer lugar entre las 50 ciudades de más de 300,000 habitantes contabilizadas por la organización.VER MÁS…

Global: Fixing Fragile Cities. Solutions for Urban Violence and Poverty / Robert Muggah

In the decades to come, the city, not the state, will decide stability and development. People around the world have been converging on cities for centuries, and more than half of them live in one today. Western cities have grown so dominant that commentators now speak of “the triumph” of cities and call on mayors to rule the world.

The direction of urban population growth is shifting dramatically, as Africans and Asians, not Americans or Europeans, flock to cities in unprecedented numbers. According to the latest UN estimates, more than 90 percent of all future population growth will occur in the cities and sprawling shantytowns of the developing world. Meanwhile, urban population growth in most developed economies will slow; in some places, it could even shift into reverse. SEE MORE… 

América Latina: El desafío de la seguridad social / Elizabeth Tinoco

América Latina cuenta con una sólida tradición en programas de seguridad social y ha logrado avances en los últimos años, pero aún tiene que superar importantes obstáculos para lograr un nivel de cobertura adecuado, en especial para hacer frente a los cambios demográficos que vive la Región y que se van a acentuar en el futuro.

La protección social es un elemento clave de las estrategias nacionales dirigidas a promover el desarrollo humano, la inclusión social, la estabilidad política y el crecimiento económico. Sin embargo, hoy al menos la tercera parte de los trabajadores urbanos de América Latina, la mayoría de ellos mujeres, se encuentran completamente fuera del paraguas de los sistemas formales de protección social. VER MÁS…

México: Estados Unidos ofrece más ayuda antinarco

Caso Iguala preocupa a la Casa Blanca. Refrendamos nuestro compromiso de apoyar a México para frenar la violencia, dijo Obama.

Estados Unidos refrenda su compromiso de apoyar los esfuerzos de México en la lucha contra el narcotráfico, según le expresó Barack Obama al presidente Enrique Peña Nieto.

En el encuentro que tuvieron ayer en la Oficina Oval de la Casa Blanca, ambos mandatarios revisaron los avances en los temas de la agenda bilateral: seguridad fronteriza, migración, intercambio comercial y educativo. VER MÁS…

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