Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Evaluating Anti-Drug Efforts

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Evaluating Anti-Drug Efforts

Article excerpt

DESPITE CONSTRUCTIVE and growing cooperation against illegal drugs, most countries in the Americas are faced with rising domestic demand, an increase in local supply, and a trend toward more related crimes such as money laundering and firearms smuggling. Focusing efforts mainly on eradication and interdiction is insufficient; even multiton drug seizures have not affected the price or availability of illegal drugs.

These are among the observations contained in a new report on anti-drug efforts in the Americas, the first such. overview produced using a diagnostic tool called the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM). The report was adopted in December by the OAS Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).

"The fight against drugs involves heavy costs for the countries, both in terms of their economic and social development, and the human and financial resources they must devote to that fight," says the report, which looks at hemispheric trends and makes a series of recommendations to governments.

"This is an attempt for the first time to evaluate all of the states at the same time, using a common standard," CICAD chairman Lancelot Selman, of Trinidad and Tobago, told a news conference. …

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