All posts by Dania Putri

Reporte Enero del OCDI

INFORME: Durante el mes de enero el observatorio da cuenta de varios hechos que reflejan la orientacion de la politica sobre los cultivos y los cultivadores en Colombia

Por Pedro José Arenas García

El Gobierno Nacional y las FARC EP anunciaron el 27 de Enero de 2017, mediante un comunicado el Acuerdo que permite el lanzamiento del “Programa Nacional Integral de Sustitución de Cultivos de uso Ilícito” PNIS, el cual está enmarcado en el Punto 4 del Acuerdo de Paz.

Gobierno y FARC presentan plan conjunto para sustitución de cultivos ilícitos 

Ese mismo día sesionó en Popayán la primera Asamblea deliberativa de la Coordinadora de Cultivadores y Trabajadores de coca, Amapola y Marihuana COCCAM, iniciativa organizativa de la que se venía hablando desde 2013 y que fue concretada en una reunión de delegados de más de 100 comités cocaleros del país, los días 10 y 11 de Enero en Bogotá. El Director de lucha integral contra las drogas Eduardo Díaz, dijo a la Prensa que no compartía la creación de esta organización. Y los lideres de COCCAM respondieron con una gran manifestación pública el 28 de Enero en la capital del Cauca. Ver este video.

Mientras tanto, el Gobierno Nacional ha dispuesto que el Ministerio de Defensa lidere la eliminación de 100.000 hectáreas de coca en Colombia, para lo cual se cuenta con las unidades militares, de Policía, y el apoyo de los órganos judiciales, así como con los recursos económicos.

 

ESTE ES EL PLAN PARA ERRADICAR EN 2017 100.000 HECTÁREAS

Se establecieron ya los lugares de operación desde donde fuerzas combinadas de Ejército, Policía  (y Fiscalía) desarrollan las campañas (San José del Guaviare, Tumaco, Caucasia y Catatumbo). Dicen las FFMM que cada una de las 8 divisiones del Ejército cuenta ya con una Brigada de Antinarcóticos para un total de 20.000 hombres erradicando. El Plan piloto en su primera fase dura 65 días, los cuales ya están corriendo.

Gobierno pretende acabar con 100 mil hectáreas de coca en el 2017

 

DIRIGENTES DE ASCABRÍ PIDEN AL GOBIERNO NACIONAL REALIZAR UNA AUDIENCIA PARA DAR GARANTIAS A LA PARTICIPACION COMUNITARIA EN NORTE DE ANTIOQUIA

La Asociación Campesina de Briceño Antioquia pidieron al Gobierno nacional realizar una audiencia con todas las instituciones que tienen a cargo las garantías de protección de derechos humanos urgentemente con el propósito de definir acciones concretas que garanticen la participación en la implementación de los acuerdos de paz en particular lo relacionado con la participación en los esfuerzos voluntarios por sustituir los cultivos de coca. A esto se suma que el Fiscal General denunció en Caucasia que los paramilitares están impidiendo la vinculación de las comunidades a este tipo de programas y la situación en Sur de Córdoba ha empeorado.

‘Clan Úsuga’ impide sustitución de cultivos ilícitos en Antioquia

Los muertos de la guerra por la coca en el Sur de Córdoba

 

ASPERSION TERRESTRE Y GUADAÑA LA “INNOVACION” DE INDEFENSA

Según el Ministro Villegas al instalar el Comando Especial de Operaciones Conjuntas contra el Narcotráfico en Tumaco, los “resultados muy positivos” son al utilizar guadañadora para cortar a ras de tierra la mata y luego se fumiga con glifosato.

Aspersión terrestre y guadaña, base de nuevo esquema de erradicación

 

COMUNIDAD DE VEREDAS DEL RETORNO GUAVIARE DENUNCIAN ERRADICACION CON QUIMICOS

El Observatorio recibió testimonios en reuniones con las Juntas de Accion Comunal del Retorno que desde el 22 de Enero en varias veredas de este municipio se adelanta fumigación terrestre de cultivos afectando también cultivos de pancoger.

Erradicación Forzada A Través De Químicos en Guaviare – Campesinos de el Retorno Llaman a Gobierno a Dialogo Directo

 

COMUNIDAD DE CORREGIMIENTO EL CAPRICHO GUAVIARE DENUNCIA DETENCION DE DOS CAMPESINOS POR PARTE DE EJERCITO

El hecho se presentó en la vereda Dorado de este corregimiento el día 27 de Enero cuando dos jóvenes fueron capturados y procesados en medio de una operación militar que destruyó un cambuyon. Los detenidos fueron trasladados a San José del Guaviare según le manifestó la directiva de la Asociación de Juntas Comunales a Pedro Arenas coordinador del Observatorio el día 28 de Enero.

 

LIDER COMUNITARIO DE LA TROCHA GANADERA DE SAN JOSE DEL GUAVIARE DENUNCIA DETENCION DE UN CAMPESINO (ADULTO MAYOR) EN ERRADICACION MANUAL

Según Carlos Coy líder comunitario de la Vereda Manglares, el día 20 de enero fue capturado un habitante de su vereda por parte del Ejército en una operación de erradicación manual de un pequeño cultivo en esa vereda. El campesino fue liberado después de haber sido llevado a San José en helicóptero. Se desconoce si tiene proceso judicial en curso.

 

POLICIA MUERE EN MEDIO DE ERRADICACIÓN EN CALAMAR GUAVIARE

Asesinan a policía en zona rural de Calamar, Guaviare

La erradicación manual continua en la Vereda La Argelia y otras vecinas de este municipio, según le comunicó al Observatorio la Cooperativa Cooagroguaviare.

 

EJERCITO NACIONAL EN ERRADICACION FORZADA 

EN TOLEDO Y SABANALARGA 

EN UNGUÍA  

EN SAN JOSE DEL PALMAR  

FEBRERO MES CLAVE PARA FUMIGACION MANUAL POR PARTE DEL EJERCITO 

 

EN ZULIA NORTE DE SANTANDER POLICIA DETIENE A LIDER DE ASCAMCAT 

La Asociación ASCAMCAT denuncia que esta captura de uno de sus lideres de Hacarí forma parte de la estigmatización y persecución contra esta organización.

Capturado dirigente campesino en Zulia, Norte de Santander

 

DETENCIONES ARBITRARIAS DE CAMPESINOS EN CAQUETA.

Campesinos de Caquetá denuncian detenciones arbitrarias

Persiguiendo campesinos y mujeres ¿esa es la lucha contra las drogas?

 

CAMPESINOS RETUVIERON A POLICIAS ERRADICADORES EN UNION PENEYA

Policías que iban a erradicar cultivos fueron retenidos por campesinos en Caquetá

Estos Policías estuvieron en medio de lo que los campesinos llamaron “un cerco humanitario” para impedir la erradicación de sus cultivos, dado que el jueves 26 de Enero habían llegado a un preacuerdo con el Gobierno Nacional para implementar un plan de sustitución, el cual consideran se ve boicoteado por el mismo Estado al usar la fuerza armada para la erradicación. La comunidad permitió el dia 3 de Febrero que los Policías salieran del cerco Humanitario gracias a la mediación de la defensoría del Pueblo.

 

FINALMENTE

El Gobierno Nacional se propone suscribir pactos de sustitución en los alrededores de las 27 zonas veredales transitorias de Normalización, al amparo del PNIS, el cual estará dirigido desde el Ministerio del Postconflicto por Eduardo Díaz Uribe. A las comunidades se les ofrecerán los beneficios del PNIS, pero en todos aquellos lugares donde las familias no se acojan a dicho programa se erradicará forzadamente de forma inmediata. Este condicionamiento sobre comunidades que derivan ingresos de la coca, la amapola o la marihuana es lo que me ha llevado a caracterizar el propósito de la sustitución como otra forma más de uso de la fuerza, perdiendo así el carácter voluntario, el cual al estar presionado por la sanción penal contra los cultivadores y la amenaza de la eliminación de sus cultivos se puede caracterizar como de SUSTITUCION FORZADA.

 

Del Observatorio de cultivos y cultivadores declarados ilícitos OCDI GLOBAL-INDEPAZ. Bogotá DC. Febrero 3 de 2017.

Nota de Prensa: Erradicacion Forzada A Traves de Quimicos en Guaviare

Erradicacion Forzada A Traves De Quimicos En Guaviare: Campesinos De El Retorno Llaman A Gobierno A Dialogo Directo

Fuente: Observatorio de cultivos y cultivadores declarados ilícitos (OCDI GLOBAL-INDEPAZ)

Por Sandra Yanneth Bermudez Marin
San José del Guaviare, Enero 25 de 2017

Dirigentes de 17 Juntas de Accion Comunal se manifestaron este miércoles 25 de Enero en San José del Guaviare ante el Gobernador de ese Departamento y demás autoridades debido a los impactos de la erradicación forzada que comenzó el Ministerio de Defensa en esta región. En una carta dirigida al Presidente de la República señalan:

“Con sorpresa hemos tenido que ver el desembarco de miembros de la fuerza pública que llegan en calidad de erradicadores a fumigar y erradicar manualmente los cultivos de coca, afectando no solo ésta, sino los cultivos de pancoger que se encuentran próximos.

Desde el pasado 11 de enero de 2017 han ingresado a las veredas Japón, Chaparral Medio, La Nueva Primavera y Caño Pavas, miembros de la policía antinarcóticos en helicópteros quienes desembarcaron en los cultivos de coca para erradicar las plantas.

El día 24 de enero descargaron en cinco ocasiones personal de la fuerza pública para que se desplacen vía terrestre y continúen la erradicación a familias que carecen de las condiciones mínimas para poder subsistir, sin que las entidades del Estado hayan realizado las acciones pertinentes y que les corresponde para garantizar el derecho a una vida digna.

Los campesinos de esta región no contamos con vivienda digna, luz eléctrica, agua potable, alcantarillado, proyectos productivos, vías carreteables en buen estado, condiciones mínimas de seguridad que nos garanticen libre y tranquilo transito (se presentan atracos). Por el contrario seguimos siendo receptores de veneno y maltrato por parte del Estado, situación que se constituye en un detonante que puede desembocar en acciones de hecho que no queremos repetir.”

Los líderes comunales le piden al Presidente que se mantenga el proceso de construcción de un plan de desarrollo rural integral a través de una mesa de trabajo que han llamado GuaviareesPaz, la cual viene siendo acompañada por la Oficina de Eduardo Diaz Uribe, quien es el funcionario que lidera el tema sustitución de coca desde la Presidencia.
Estos hechos se registran precisamente cuando cocaleros de todo el país están adoptas de reunirse en Popayan Cauca este fin de semana próximo para hablar de su papel en la implementación de los acuerdos de paz.

De otra parte, el Observatorio de Cultivos y cultivadores declarados ilícitos OCDI GLOBAL-INDEPAZ se reunió este miércoles con la Asociación de Juntas del Retorno y pudo conocer que los campesinos del sector La Paz ubicado en la parte alta de la cuenca del Rio Inírida también están reclamando que se instale una Mesa en ese sector del Guaviare. Justamente hace un año los cocaleros de esa zona resistieron durante 3 meses los intentos de la Policía Antinarcóticos por erradicar forzadamente.
Para el campesinado es paradójico que mientras se está hablando de un acuerdo de paz y se está llamando a la comunidad a apoyar la implementación y a realizar acuerdos de sustitución voluntaria al mismo tiempo el Gobierno Nacional ordene operaciones que agravan los problemas sociales, generan desplazamiento forzado, rompen las economías campesinas sin ofrecer alternativas y se hacen mediante el uso de la fuerza en contra de poblaciones humildes”.

The Global Forum of Producers of Prohibited Plants: Full Report

The voices of affected communities involved in the cultivation of coca leaf, opium poppy and cannabis plants are lacking in the global debate on drug policy reform in general and were at risk of being excluded from the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) 2016 on The World Drug Problem. In January 2016 the Transnational Institute (TNI) gathered a group of approximately 60 farmers and farmers’ representatives in the Netherlands for the Global Forum of Producers of Prohibited Plants (GFPPP), facilitating a discussion of their views on and experiences with illicit crop control policies.

The Heemskerk Report – English (pdf)

Informe Heemskerk – Espanol (pdf)

The Heemskerk Report – Burmese (pdf)

For two full days all participants were asked to contribute to discussion about the four thematic areas listed below, which had been defined previously by the Steering Committee:

• Crop control policies and forced eradication;
• Traditional, medicinal and modern uses of controlled plants;
• Sustainable rural development;
• Drugs and conflict.

The participants were divided into four working groups. All groups were expected to discuss the themes mentioned above. Every group had support from a translator (English/Spanish and vice versa), two moderators and two minute takers. The group division took into account a balance in terms of region or country of origin, language, gender and plant grown.

The outcome of the deliberations at the GFPPP, titled the “Heemskerk Declaration”, was presented to the UN through the Civil Society Task Force, and by some representatives of the Forum present at the UNGASS in New York, between the 19th and 21st of April 2016.

This report presents the discussions at the GFPPP in Heemskerk in detail, supplemented with images of the dialogue process.

Paraguay: The cannabis breadbasket of the Southern Cone

Paraguay is the principal producer of cannabis in South America, though nobody knows for certain how many hectares are planted with this crop, probably on account of its concealment and a prevalent climate of corruption. National authorities and international control agencies estimate an area between 6,000 and 7,000 hectares, with an annual production of 16,500 tonnes. At present, according to estimates of the Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat (Secretaría Nacional Anti Drogas – SENAD), some 20,000 farmers are involved in cannabis cultivation, boosting the microeconomy of the north-eastern region of the country.

Download link:

DPB Nr. 46 – Paraguay: The cannabis breadbasket of the Southern Cone – English (pdf)

Key Points

  • Paraguay is the principal producer of cannabis in South America. Despite its importance as a supplier of cannabis in South America, there has been a surprising absence of serious studies of its impact on its own society, and on the play of offer and demand in neighbouring countries.
  • After 40 years of an intense “war on drugs”, there are now eight departments involved in the business, with spiralling homicide rates, an absence of state policy intervention, drug traffickers infiltrated into local political structures, and millions of dollars which are shared out by terrorist organizations, a new chain of services connected to the illicit trade, and – to a much lesser extent – small farmers suffocated by repeated crises.
  • Contradictions in productive structures, the lack of agrarian policies, poverty and the absence of perspectives for the rural population led to a gradual, and progressively more blatant, adoption of cannabis cultivation by young. Over time, growing cannabis became one of the few viable economic prospects for large sectors of the population.
  • Intermediaries who manage contacts with the buyers on the border with Brazil, employ young people to grow, protect, harvest, dry, press, package and even transport the cannabis – not just within Paraguay, but even into nearby countries, using the limited means at their disposal, such as their shoulders, bicycles and motorbikes.
  • The use of cannabis is looked down on by the general population, particularly in rural areas, and even in the communities where it is grown, it is commonly referred to as the “demon weed” (hierba maldita). Lifetime use of cannabis in Paraguay is the second lowest in all Latin America, only 0.4% admitting to having tried it.
  • Some politicians, government officials, civil society organisations and farmers’ organisations see the benefit of the regulation of the cannabis market in Paraguay, but the debate is still incipient.

2015: the Year of Ganja in Jamaica

Will 2016 be the year for Ganja internationally, as we move towards the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) 2016?

Written by Vicki Hanson


The issue of ganja played very prominently in our society in 2015 with some advocates trumpeting the dawn of a “new green golden kingdom”, while some opponents predicting the doom of our youths to the “green demon”. However, a sober analysis of the situation will reveal that even though there were indeed some victories in relation to how we treat with ganja in Jamaica, there is still a lot more to achieve and pitfalls to be mindful of in relation to our policy on establishing a fully legally regulated ganja industry.

Ganja strides in 2015:

The beginning of 2015 saw the inaugural “International Cannabis Investors Conference being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre from January 28 to 29. This saw a number of international cannabis (ganja) business enthusiasts’ descending on the Conference Centre to scope out potential for investing in Jamaica’s ganja industry even though they were not sure what was happening with the Draft Bill to amend the Dangerous Drugs Act, that would allow for ganja to be used for medical, therapeutic or scientific purposes.

Then in February the Houses of Parliament 2015 passed “an Act to Amend the Dangerous Drugs Act so as to provide for, among other things, the modification of penalties for the possession of ganja in specified circumstances, and for a scheme of licenses, permits and other authorizations for medical, therapeutic or scientific purposes”.

In April, the “Ganja Law” as it is commonly referred to, was gazetted with the publishing of a list of recommendations on how the Amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) would be effected in relation to the herb. What was important to note and to continually highlight here, is that the amended law didn’t legalize ganja, but instead decriminalized the possession of small quantities (2 ounces or less) and recognized the sacramental use of the plant by the Rastafarian community. The amendment also made way for the medicinal, therapeutic and scientific use of the plant, thereby recognizing a provision that was always available under the United Nations Conventions on Narcotic Drugs. In this same month on April 20, the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona was granted a Ministerial Order by the Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, under Section 7 (d) of the newly amended DDA to cultivate cannabis and engage independent growers of the plant for research purposes. This led to the historic signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the UWI (Mona) and the Ganja (Future) Growers and Producers Association on April 24. The period also saw the Cabinet granting approval for a 16 member Cannabis Licensing Authority, with the mandate to regulate the planned hemp and medicinal ganja industry.

In early May the members of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) were announced by the Minister of Information, along with the mandate to ensure that the Jamaica’s ganja regulations do not contravene our international obligations. In addition to the announcement of the CLA, there was also a significant contribution made to the international community by the Minister of Justice, Senator the Honourable Mark Golding. On May 7, Senator Golding participated in a plenary session with several member states at the United Nations in a High Level Thematic Debate on International Drug Policy in preparation for the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) scheduled for April 19-21 2016. Minister Golding highlighted Jamaica’s perspectives called for open and inclusive discussions, including the creation of an expert advisory group to review the United Nations drug policy control architecture. Senator Golding’s statement can be viewed as indicative of the leading role that Jamaica is expecting to take in the Caribbean region on the issue of international drug policy. While on May 14, the University of Technology (UTech) was also issued a Ministerial Order by the Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining at its Medical Marijuana Integration Day.Under the theme “Cannabis Reclaimed” the President of the UTech outlined the intent of the institution to reap the “social benefits” of ganja that was highly anticipated from the emerging industry.

In June the Cannabis Licensing Authority held its first meeting while there was growing anxiety amongst advocates and potential investors as to the development of the industry and requirements for licenses.

In July the Minister of Justice signed the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) (Automatic Expungement of Convictions) Order 2015 to allow for the expungement of the records of persons with previous convictions for smoking ganja and possession of ganja where the sentence imposed was a fine not exceeding J$1,000 and the possession of pipes or other paraphernalia used for the smoking of ganja. This Order became effective on July 9.

In August the Minister of Industry Investment and Commerce at a press conference announced that the work on the ganja regulations for the industry was proceeding in eagerness and that consultants from the US-based research company BOTEC Analysis were engaged to assist with the development of recommendations for the country’s regulatory framework. The Minister also stated that recommendations to guide the development of the regulations for the ganja industry would be completed by the end of the following month.

The First National Congress of the Ganja Growers and Producers Association (GGPA) was held on September 12, where a majority of the members voted to accept a resolution to elect a President and two Vice Presidents tasked with representing the interest of the growers island wide. The GGPA also presented and adopted a Position Paper calling for the Government of Jamaica to establish two new legislations, namely the Cannabis Industry Development Act and the Rastafarian Sacramental Rights Act to govern the new approach to the ganja industry. The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) in September issued a statement outlining the eight (8) point guiding principles for the sector. The Chairman of the CLA stated that these principles are intended to provide assurance, transparency and structure for persons seeking to operate in the official ganja industry.

In October, Jamaica for the first time had a representative to the Civil Society International Drug Policy training session on the United Nations Drug Conventions and drug control systems, held in The Netherlands by the Transnational Institute (TNI). This training was in preparation for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs to be held in April 2016 in New York.The participants in this very important drug policy training were from Bolivia, Guatemala, Jamaica and Nicaragua.

The month of November proved to be the acme to the 2015 ganja year in Jamaica. The month began with the Department of Government (UWI, Mona) in collaboration with the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (UWI, Mona) Chapter, hosting the inaugural “Caribbean Students Drug Policy Conference”, that had presentations from not only students of the university, but also members of the local ganja community and the wider Caribbean. There was also the presentation of a Position Paper put forward by the students to be included in the discussions towards UNGASS 2016.

Another very historical event that took place from November 12 -15 was the Rastafari Rootz Fest, “Hightimes 2015 Jamaican World Cannabis Cup”. This was the first event to be granted exempt status under the amended DDA, Section 7D (8). The key features of the event were the display of various products made from ganja, “reasonings” on history and struggles of the Rastafarian community to achieve the acceptance of the use ganja for their sacramental rights. The “Jamaican Cannabis Cup” competition had several growers being recognized for cultivation in various categories, such as the “Best Indica Flowers”, with A.P.M by Junior Gordon capturing 1st place, and 2nd place going to Hawaiian Kush by Ziggy of Orange Hill, Westmoreland, while 3rd place to Milly Strain by St. Bess (St. Elizabeth) Ganja Growers. In the category of “Best Sativa Flowers”, 1st place went to Orange Hill Lemon by Juna Johnson of Orange Hill, Westmoreland, 2nd place to Skunk Ice by St. Bess (St. Elizabeth) Gowers, Devin Foss, and 3rd place to Cole #2 by St. Ann Botanical and Agro Processing Co-op. These awards demonstrated that the Jamaican ganja growers have the ability to compete with many excellent cannabis growers throughout the world.

During the November 18 – 21 International Drug Policy Reform Conference there was international recognition of Jamaica for its leadership in the Caribbean as it relates to the changing approach to ganja policy.Our Minister of Justice, Sen. Mark Golding was given the Kurt Schmoke Award for Achievement in the Field of Law at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference held in the Washington D.C. area. The International Conference also had seminal presentations from representatives of the Rastafarian Youth Council and the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) UWI, Mona Chapter.

In addition to having representatives at International Drug Policy conference, Jamaica was also invited through the St. Catherine Ganja Growers and Producers Association to participate in the International Conference on Alternative Development 2 (ICAD2) held in Thailand from November 19 – 24. The main benefit of participating in this conference was the gaining of a first-hand view and knowledge regarding how previously illicit crops can be utilized in a manner that leads to greater development as was the case with Thailand and their opium poppy cultivation.

The year culminated with a very important meeting between the Chairman of the CLA and the Executive members of the Ganja Growers and Producers Association (GGPA) from across the island. At the December 19 meeting some members of the GGPA outlined their concerns about the slow pace of the regulations and licensing system for the potential ganja industry, while the Chairman stated the importance of getting the regulations right, in order to prevent any breach of our international obligations.

The other side of the story

However, amidst all these activities there was still a great level of scepticism and fear about the country’s new approach to ganja.  So much so that the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) in July, launched an aggressive public education a campaign against the use of ganja, in which they never failed to remind the Jamaican populace that “ganja was still illegal”.  There was also a proliferation of articles forecasting the doom and gloom that would be brought on by the impending ganja industry.  Articles such as “Lives going up in (ganja) smoke” published in August, highlighted stories of young men being “damaged irreparably by the weed”, and articles such as “Is ganja a saviour or seducer?” published in September which stated that the amended DDA was giving “law-breaking young people a bly”.  These serve as examples that there are many persons in the Jamaican society that have very strong reservations regarding the changing of policy approach to ganja and the development of the potential ganja industry.  It therefore means that there is a lot of work to do locally as well as internationally in relation to changing the attitudes of people towards ganja in 2016.

What is “High” on the Ganja Agenda 2016?

The UNGASS 2016 on the World Drug problem, which is to be held in April will provide an opportunity for Jamaica to present its new approach to the policy on ganja regulation and also influence the international discourse on the subject.  But before getting to the UNGASS in New York, there will be the need for advocates such as the Rastafarian Community, GGPA and other civil society groups to become engaged in a meaningful way in the international discussions relating to the approach to regulation of illicit plants such as cannabis.  It is hoped that the “2nd Cannabiz Business and International Investors Conference” scheduled for January 27 – 28, 2016, will discuss the international drug policy framework in relation to the UNGASS 2016.  It would similarly be important for civil society groups to participate in the “Informal Interactive Stakeholder Consultation for the General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) 2016, so as to get a better understanding of the international discourse while putting forward their positions. So in the final analysis it can be stated that for 2016, the issue of ganja regulations and a potential industry will not only be “high” on the local agenda, but also that of the international community.

 

Vicki Hanson is a PhD candidate in public policy at the Department of Government, University of the West Indies, Mona, and a ganja reform lobbyist. She is also a member of the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce (CCMRT) and a committee member of Ganja (Future) Growers & Producers Association. Send comments to: vicki.hanson@gmail.com


 

Featured photo: Vicki Hanson at the Global Forum of Producers of Prohibited Plants, Heemskerk (Photo credit: Floris Leeuwenberg)

Hacia el II Foro Mundial de Productores de Plantas Prohibidas

Texto: Pien Metaal (7th December 2015 por Cáñamo)

Una de las poblaciones en el mundo más afectadas por las irracionales políticas de drogas hoy en curso es la comunidad de cultivadores de las plantas de cannabis, coca y amapola, consideradas de uso ilícito. Esta población es también la menos visible y escuchada, tanto dentro del mundo agrícola como en la esfera de los reformistas de las políticas sobre drogas. 

Photo credit: Transnational Institute

La prohibición y la limitación del cultivo de estas plantas para usos científicos y médicos, establecidas por los tratados internacionales de drogas desde 1961, coinciden con una época en que la demanda para sus usos, tradicionales y modernos, estaba en aumento. Los resultados de esta prohibición se han hecho sentir en las regiones rurales en muchas formas negativas, y sus principales víctimas han sido las familias campesinas, que sustentan sus precarias economías con esos cultivos.

La principal intervención estatal en las zonas de producción, que en su mayoría son las zonas rurales más subdesarrolladas y que sufren un mayor abandono del estado, es la erradicación a la fuerza. Estas operaciones son ejecutadas en su mayoría por tropas militares o policiales armadas, con un despliegue de fuerza tan desproporcionado que raya en el absurdo, sabiendo que los adversarios no son más que plantas y campesinos pobres. Cuando las comunidades ofrecen resistencia a este tipo de violencia, la respuesta estatal es más violencia con un saldo de muertos, heridos, detenciones y desplazamiento de la población. La otra conocida receta que se aplica a los cultivos es la erradicación aérea a través de aspersiones químicas, con consecuencias igualmente nefastas para las comunidades.

Hasta la fecha, estas estrategias no han tenido ningún o muy poco impacto en la disponibilidad en el mercado mundial de las drogas producidas a partir de estas plantas. Los proyectos del mal llamado “desarrollo alternativo”, diseñados más para neutralizar los efectos de las erradicaciones que para ayudar a los productores –pues hasta ahora no han logrado generar un verdadero desarrollo sostenible rural–, en la mayoría de los casos ni siquiera han conseguido prevenir la resiembra. Hablando con un representante gubernamental de Tanzania durante el debate temático de la Comisión de Estupefacientes en marzo del 2015, me dijo: “Todos los años es la misma historia, volvemos a las comunidades para erradicar sus plantas de cannabis y los dejamos sin ingresos, sabiendo que el próximo año volverá a suceder lo mismo”.

Con el fin de que los puntos de vista de los productores agrícolas formen parte también del debate mundial –particularmente ahora, dada la proximidad de la celebración de la sesión especial sobre drogas de la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas, UNGASS 2016–, el TNI organizará un Foro Mundial de Productores de Plantas Prohibidas a principios del 2016. Con el antecedente del I Foro Mundial de Productores de Plantas Declaradas Ilícitas (FMPDI), celebrado en Barcelona en enero del 2009, otra vez se reunirán alrededor de setenta representantes de campesinos de todo el mundo. La reunión será de tres días, durante los cuales trataremos de llegar a un pronunciamiento respecto de la situación que se vive en las regiones productivas y sus habitantes, para presentarlo en la UNGASS.

Para tal fin, se ha conformado un comité de impulso, compuesto por miembros de Asia, América Latina, el Caribe y África, el cual se reunirá por vez primera en la Conferencia Internacional sobre Desarrollo Alternativo, que tendrá lugar en Bangkok (Tailandia), en noviembre del 2015. Durante esta conferencia, que tiene un carácter gubernamental, organizaremos un evento paralelo para discutir y encontrar modos de influenciar las posiciones tomadas por los gobiernos en esta temática.

En el Grupo de Trabajo de la Sociedad Civil (Civil Society Task Force, CSTF), creado por los comités de ong de Viena y Nueva York, el TNI asumió la representación de la población campesina involucrada en el cultivo de uso ilícito, con miras a la cumbre de Naciones Unidas en Nueva York, en abril del 2016. A pesar de las limitaciones obvias de una iniciativa como esta –el CSTF tiene miembros de distintas convicciones y, como consecuencia, sus recomendaciones tendrían que tener el visto bueno de todos sus integrantes–, merece la pena usar cada espacio disponible para argumentar la necesidad urgente de cambiar las políticas nocivas actuales desde la perspectiva campesina de los productores de plantas prohibidas.

Growers Forum Working Groups: Photo Gallery

The working groups were formed in order to ensure each participant’s contribution and involvement in the discussion of the forum’s four thematic issues: forced eradication, different uses of plants declared illicit, sustainable rural development, and drugs & conflict. Read the Heemskerk Declaration to view the results of these discussions.

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Featured photo: Opening plenary session (Photo credit: Floris Leeuwenberg)

The Heemskerk Declaration

Heemskerk, 21 January 2016


Today in a meeting in The Netherlands, small scale farmers of cannabis, coca and opium from 14 countries* discussed their contribution to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS), to be held in New York from 19 to 21 April 2016. The UNGASS will discuss all aspects of global drug control policies, including the worldwide ban on the cultivation of coca, poppy and cannabis, an issue the Global Farmers Forum demands that their voices be heard and taken into account.

The Heemskerk Declaration – English (pdf)

Declaración de Heemskerk – Espanól (pdf)

Photo credit: Floris Leeuwenberg
One of the four working groups discussing drug policy issues in Heemskerk (Photo credit: Floris Leeuwenberg)

 Considering:

  1. To date representatives of small farmers of prohibited plants and affected communities have not been adequately taken into account in international debates on drug policy.
  1. Inherent contradictions and inconsistencies exist in the application of international drug control, including Alternative Development programs and human rights treaties, which take precedence over the drug control treaties. UN agencies and UN member states are all bound by their obligations under the Charter of the United Nations to promote “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
  1. A previous Farmers Forum provided input to the UN evaluation of the missed target of reaching a drug-free world by 2009. The UN Political Declaration adopted at the time established 2019 as a new target date to “eliminate or reduce significantly and measurably” the illicit cultivation of opium poppy, coca bush and cannabis.
  1. Taking into account the problems faced by the communities where these plants are cultivated the Farmers Forum discussed the following issues
  • Crop control policies and forced eradication;
  • Traditional, medicinal and modern uses of controlled plants;
  • Sustainable rural development;
  • Drugs and conflict

 

CONCLUSIONS

  1. Forced eradication – chemical, biological, manual or any other form – of crops produced by small farmers is contrary to human rights, causes diverse forms of conflict, expands countries’ agricultural frontier, leads to environmental degradation, causes food insecurity and destroys rural economic survival strategies. It aggravates social problems – as well as problems related to health and internal security — increases poverty, leads to displacement of affected populations, delegitimizes state institutions, militarizes local communities and is a form of undemocratic intervention, forcing those impacted to seek survival strategies in other informal or illicit economic activities and in some cases pushes people to take more radical positions. Finally, forced eradication is counterproductive with regards to sustainable development.
  1. The inclusion of the three plants in the international treaties impedes the recognition of both traditional, and modern uses** and the ability to obtain them legally. Not all people have access to medicinal uses and the market is controlled by the pharmaceutical industry. In some countries, laws recognize traditional and medicinal uses. Nutritional uses and other forms of industrialization of these plants have not been widely promoted, despite the fact that there are many examples of community and institutional initiatives that demonstrates the benefits of such use. Recreational use of these plants is completely prohibited even as an increasing number of countries seek to regulate these markets. Producers and users and their organizations, communities and leaders continue to be stigmatized, criminalized and incarcerated.
  1. Rural development strategies must promote small-scale agriculture. Most participants in the Farmers Forum have not been beneficiaries of Alternative Development or other forms of assistance. Those who have had experiences with Alternative Development programmes affirm that these have largely failed to improve the livelihood of affected communities. The main problems have been the lack of community involvement in the design, planning and execution of the interventions; short-term time-frames; inadequate technical assistance; foments corruption and funding does not reach the intended beneficiaries; failure to take into account a gender perspective; the use of alternative crops negatively impact the environment and do not promote food sovereignty but focuses on mono-cropping, fostering land grabbing for big companies, and a lack of sustained access to land, markets and technologies. The conditioning of development assistance on prior eradication leaves people without sources of income, pushing people back into illicit crop cultivation. Present Alternative Development programs do not envisage the cultivation for licit purposes.
  1. The prohibition of coca, cannabis and opium poppy generates conflicts, as the people that grow them are criminalized, their human and cultural rights are violated, they are discriminated against and legally prosecuted. The different levels of conflict that exist have their origins in both drug control policies and the drugs market itself. Conflicts and violence are caused by the interventions of state authorities (police and armed forces), through eradication acts or other interventions; the presence of armed groups and internal wars; ethnical divisions and territorial and border disputes; access to and control of land; access to water and other natural resources/common goods; corruption; migration and displacement; the overload of the judicial system; the illegal trade in arms and precursors and illicit logging; unemployment, amongst others.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. We reject prohibition and the war on drugs.
  1. We demand the removal of coca, cannabis and opium poppy from the lists and articles in the 1961 UN Single Convention and the 1988 Convention. No plant should be a controlled drug under the UN Conventions or national legislation. We claim the right to cultivation for traditional and modern uses of these plants.
  1. We call for the elimination of all forms of non-voluntary eradication.
  1. We demand that all affected communities should be involved in all stages of drug policies and development, from the design to its implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
  1. In case crop reduction is desirable and feasible it needs to be gradual and reached in dialogue and agreement with the affected communities, based on mutual respect and confidence.
  1. The conditioning of development assistance on prior eradication is unacceptable. The proper sequencing of development interventions is fundamental to its success.
  1. Integrated sustainable development should be the main intervention for crop producing communities. Such development should promote and protect the livelihoods of small scale farmers and rural workers, and should guarantee access to and control over land and common goods.
  1. The state and its institutions will need to assume responsibility to address the needs of the communities involved in cultivation of coca, cannabis and opium poppy.
  1. We demand that the farmers and their families involved in the cultivation of coca, cannabis and opium should not be prosecuted by criminal law, or discriminated against.
  1. Coca, cannabis and opium poppy and their use should not be criminalized.
  1. The expansion of licit markets of coca, cannabis and opium poppy should become part of development strategies.
  1. We support the peace process in Colombia and Burma, which should be inclusive.

 

*Albania, Bolivia, Colombia, Spain, Guatemala, Indonesia, Jamaica, Morocco, Mexico, Myanmar, Paraguay, Peru, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and South Africa.

**Traditional use understood as ceremonial, religious, traditional medicinal. Modern is recreational, alimentary, and self-medication.