Security & Strategic Review - October 2023

COLOMBIA: Petro unveils long-awaited drugs policy

Drug policy in Colombia is changing fast. Two months after the US dropped its satellite surveillance of the country’s coca harvest [SSR-23-09], President Gustavo Petro’s government unveiled a counter-narcotics plan on 9 September that it hopes will lead the war on drugs in a vastly more progressive direction over the next decade. Some elements of the plan, such as the envisioned relationship between the government and coca growers, build upon pre-existing trends in Colombian counter-narcotics. In other areas, however, it marks a dramatic break with the past through proposals such as the creation of a regulated coca market, reduced sentences for drug-related crimes, and more innovative approaches towards drug rehabilitation.

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