The “war on drugs” has not been won, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told the United Nations on Tuesday, exhorting the world body to add teeth to a special session on drugs in 2016.
“Right here, in this same headquarters, 52 years ago, the convention that gave birth to the war on drugs was approved. Today, we must acknowledge, that war has not been won,” Santos told world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, referring to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961.
“And I say this as the president of the country that has suffered more deaths, more bloodshed and more sacrifices in this war, and the country that has also achieved more results in the fight against this scourge and the mafias that underpin it.”
Colombia is the world’s largest exporter of illegal cocaine, despite an intense crackdown on guerrilla armies that have intertwined themselves with drug cartels.
Armed conflict in Colombia has killed more than 220,000 people in the past 50 years, Santos said.
He challenged Colombian guerrillas who have joined forces with drug traffickers to respond to his government’s overtures to end the armed conflict through dialogue and said failure would condemn his South American country to many more years of bloodshed and pain.
– Read the entire article at Reuters.com.