The government of President José Mujica achieved its main objective when it proposed legalizing marijuana: to spark a broad national debate regarding drugs, prohibitionist policies, and the repressive measures used to date. The motives set out to explain the proposed legislation criticize prohibitionist policies for aggravating the drug problem and establish assert “users not be stigmatized or treated under penal law, but instead create conditions to work with them and with society as a whole.”
In less than a week the foreign policy of the U.S. suffered two defeats on two closely related issues: the triumph of Hugo Chávez and the failure to impose the Pentagon’s objectives at the Tenth Conference of Ministers of Defense.
Fifteen brave Guatemalan women from the indigenous qeqchí people testified before the High Risk Court in Guatemala City on Sept. 24-28, as part of the first criminal trial for sexual slavery and rape during the armed conflict. This legal action is historically transcendent, not only for being the first time that sexual violence during the armed conflict in Guatemala has come to trial, but also because it is the first trial for sexual slavery that has been brought to a national court. Previous cases have been presented in international courts.
It potentially affects half the U.S. population, men and women whose lives could be disrupted forever from one day to the next. It costs billions of dollars, at a time when schools are closing down and essential public services disappearing. It deepens the nation’s racial divide and tears families apart. It kills tens of thousands of people, in the U.S. and abroad.