V Latin American Conference on Drug Policy 

and I Central American Conference on Drug Policy

September 3rd and 4th, 2014.

Radisson Hotel, San José, Costa Rica


 Wednesday, September 3

 7.30 to 8.30am. - REGISTRATION

 8.30 to 9.45 am. – OPENING CEREMONY

  • Giselle Amador Muñoz (Costa Rica). Executive Director of the Costa Rican Association for Drug Study and Intervention (ACEID)
  • Yoriko YasukawaUnited Nations Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Costa Rica.
  • Amado Philip de Andrés. Regional Representative for Central America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • Jorge Luis Prosperi. Pan American Health Organization and world Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Representative in Costa Rica.
  • Cesar NúñezDirector of the Regional Support Team for Latin America, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
  • Paul SimonsExecutive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).
  • Ana Gabriel Zúñiga Aponte. Vice Minister of the Presidency and President of the Board of the Costa Rican Drug Institute.
  • María Elena López Núñez. Minister of Health of the Republic of Costa Rica.
  • Luis Guillermo Solís. President of the Republic of Costa Rica.
  • Graciela Touzé. Social worker.  President of Intercambios Civil Association. Professor and researcher at the University of Buenos Aires.

9.45 to 11.45 hs. – PANEL: Regulated Drug Markets

We support the growing consensus that the current international system for supervising and controlling drugs based on drug prohibition is a failure. As a resultof this, we are witnessing a new path from the production, transit, and consumption of currently illegal drugs towards forms of legal regulation. What opportunities and risks are confronted in the transition from criminal markets to regulated markets? In what way do locally adopted policies impact the rest of the region?

  • Augusto Vitale (Uruguay). Coordinator of the Regulation and Control of Cannabis Institute of Uruguay.
  • Carmen Rosa de León. Notary (Guatemala). Executive Director of the Teaching for the Sustainable Development Institute (IEPADES).
  • Manuel Seminario Bisso (Perú). Psychologist, journalist and businessman dedicated to the elaboration and commercialization of whole wheat food enriched with native flours.
  • Norton Arbeláez (United States of America). Founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group of Colorado.
  • John Collins (United Kingdom). Coordinator of the International Drug Policy Project of The London School of Economics (LSE).

Comments by: Catalina Niño Guarnizo (Colombia). Coordinator of the Cooperation on Regional Security Program (PCSR) of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Moderator: Jorge Hernández Tinajero (México). President of the Collective for a Comprehensive Drug Policy (CUPIHD). CONFEDROGAS.

11.45 am. – Video Message by Jimmy Carter 39th President of the United States. Organized by the  the Carter Center.

12.00 to 13.30pm. – BREAK

13.30 to 15.00 pm. – PANEL: Drug Consumption and the Focus on Public Health in Latin America

There is a growing concern in the region regarding drug consumption within populations of high vulnerability, along with  recognition of the necessity of generating responses from a public health perspective. What are the needs of the most affected populations? Which are some of the responses implemented by the State and social organizations? Are the current resources and trainings sufficient?

  • Myres Maria Cavalcanti (Brazil). Coordinator of the Technical Area of Mental Health, Alcohol and other Drugs of the city of San Pablo.
  • Catalina Pérez Correa González (México). Professor and Researcher of the Juridical Studies at the Economic Research and Teaching Center (CIDE) and member of the Research Consortium on Drugs and the Law (CEDD).
  • Cipriano Tix Lucas (Guatemala). Mayor of San Andrés Sajcabajá, Departament of Quiche.
  • Denise Tomasini – Joshi (United States of America). Deputy Director of the International Harm Reduction Development Program at the Open Society Foundations (IHRDP/FOS).

Comments by: Manuel Antonio Molina Brenes (Costa Rica). President of the Executive Board of the Alcohol and Drug-dependency (IAFA).

Moderator: Coletta Youngers (United States of America). Principal Consultant in WOLA (Washington Office on Latin America).CONFEDROGAS.

15.00 to 15.30 pm. – BREAK

15.30 to 17.30 pm. PANEL: Drugs and Social Inclusion

Latin America is the most inequitable region in the world. The inequality expresses itself not only through a lack of access to resources and services but also discrimination based on gender, age, ethnicity, and other conditions. How does the included-excluded dialectic express itself in subjective and social ways? What experiences have favored more inclusive processes?

  • Rosa Julia Leyva (México). National Security Commission, Secretariat of the Interior of Mexico.
  • Anamelva Esther Felix Sotelo (Perú). Coordinator of the project “Promoting a listening and welcoming space for women deprived of their liberty” of the Annex-Chorrillos women’s prison. Member of the American Network of Interventions in Situations of Social Suffering (RAISSS).
  • Jose Luis Zarate Zárraga (Bolivia). Head of the Community Center of the Munasim Kullakita (“quiérete hermanita”) Foundation. Member of the American Network of Interventions in Situations of Social Suffering (RAISSS)
  • Nischa Pieris (CIM/OAS). Researcher and Analyst of  the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM)

Commentaries byJulita Lemgruber (Brazil). Coordinator of the Center for Studies on Public Security and Citizenship at University Candido Mendes.

Moderator: Ernesto Cortés Amador (Costa Rica). Advocacy Coordinator of the Costa Rican Association for Drug Study and Intervention (ACEID)

Thursday,  September 4

8.00 to 10.00 am. – PANEL: Drugs and Violence

Various countries in the region are confronting extraordinary levels of violence that tend to be associated with drug trafficking. Paradoxically, one of the contributing factors to the growing violence is the law enforcement response practiced by the authorities. What strategies would decrease the current rates of violence? What lessons are offered by the local experiences in violence prevention?

  • Mike Trace  (United Kingdom). President of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC).
  • Martha Guzmán de Castro (El Salvador). Community Leader. Youth Counselor  from communities of high vulnerability on violence prevention.
  • Xiuh Guillermo Tenorio Antiga (México) General Director of Civic Participation for the Social Prevención of violence and Crime of the Ministry of Governance of Mexico.
  • José Miguel Cruz (El Salvador). Professor of Policy and International Affairs Department of the Florida International University (FIU).

Comments by: Juan Carlos Garzón (Colombia).  Global Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center and Consultant for the Ministry of Justice of Colombia.

Moderator: Adriana Beltrán (United States of America). Researcher on Citizen Security at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). CONFEDROGAS.

10.00 to 10.30 am. – BREAK

10.30 to 12.30. – PANEL: Drug Policies and Human Rights

In Latin America, drug policies commonly promote situations which encourage discrimination, rejection and violence and lead to human rights violations. What institutional resources exist and what actions can be taken to promote the protection and defense of human rights?

  • Mario López-Garelli (Paraguay).Officer at the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (CIDH).
  • Mary Price (United States of America). Juridical Consultant at Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM).
  • Marta Iris Muñoz Cascante (Costa Rica).Director of the Public Defender’s Office and member of the Executive Board of the Inter-American Association of Public Defender’s Offices’ (AIDEF).
  • Jorge Paladines (Ecuador). National Missionary Coordinator of the Public Defender’s Office and Member of the Research Consortium on Drugs and the Law (CEDD).

Comments by: Rodrigo Uprimny (Colombia). Director of the Center of Law, Justice and Society (DeJuSticia).

Moderator: Luiz Paulo Guanabara (Brazil). Executive Director of Psicotropicus -  Brazilian Center of Drug Policy. CONFEDROGAS.

12.30 to 14.00 am. – BREAK

14.00 to 16.00 pm. – PANEL: Looking to UNGASS 2016

The United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs convened for 2016 offers an opportunity to bring the Latin American debate to the global arena. What opportunities and obstacles are on the horizon? Is it possible to reach an agreement between countries in the region in order to move towards reform proposals?

  • Eugenia Zorbas (UN).  Focal point on drug trafficking and organized crime issues at the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) at UN Headquarters in New.
  • G. Isaac Morales Tenorio (México).  Assistant General Director for Development Challenges, External Affairs Secretary.
  • Paul Simons (OEA). Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).
  • Sonia Aiscar (Argentina). Undersecretary of Design, Monitoring and Evaluation of Territorial Approach, International Relations and Control of Chemical Precursors of the Secretariat of Planning for the Prevention of Drug Addiction and Action against Drug Trafficking (SEDRONAR).
  • Sonia Matilde Eljach Polo (Colombia). Consultant on Drug Policy issues for the Minister of External Affairs.

Comments by: José Alberto Briz Gutierrez (Guatemala). Director General of International, Multilateral and Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala.

Moderator: Pien Metaal (Netherlands). Coordinator of the Latin America Drug Law Reform Project at the Transnational Institute (TNI). CONFEDROGAS.

16:00  to 16.30 pm. – BREAK


Awards Ceremony


  • Statement by the Regional Meeting of Latin-American Cannabis Activists
  • Statement by the Latin-American Network of People who use Drugs  (LANPUD)
  • Statement by the young people of Latin-American
  • Statement by the Interamerican Association of Public Defenders (AIDEF)
  • Statement by the Growers of poppy, coca and cannabis
  • Submission to the General Director of International, Multilateral and Economic Affairs, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs  of Guatemala, of the Statement “Contributions from civil society to the governments for the Special Meeting of the OAS on the global drug problem, September 19 in the City of Guatemala, Guatemala”.

-  Ana Helena Chacon. 2nd Vice-President of the Republic of Costa Rica.

Moderator: Pablo Cymerman. Coordinator of the Organizing Committee. Psychologist.  CONFEDROGAS.