Latin American leaders gathered in Cartagena Tuesday.
Colombia, Latin America: Week in Review, Mexico

Latin American Leaders Criticize Prop 19; Says California Sends Wrong Message

October 27, 2010 By Staff

Latin American leaders gathered in Cartagena Tuesday.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Several Latin American leaders criticized California’s controversial Proposition 19, saying that if passed the measure would send a contradictory message from the United States.

The measure was a major talking point Tuesday during a three-day summit hosted by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Presidents Felipe Calderón of Mexico, Porfirio Lobo of Honduras, Álvaro Colom of Guatemala and Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica attended the summit.

“How can I tell a farmer in my country that if he grows marijuana, I’ll put him in jail, when in the richest state of the United States it’s legal to produce, traffic and consume the same product?” Santos told Colombia’s Caracol radio, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Santos, who last month asked U.S. President Barack Obama to support a regional strategy to help lower violence related to the drug trade, said that the world’s governments need to act consistently. Santos added that if the measure passed, then a review of the principles that have long aided efforts in combatting the drug trade with support from the U.S. would be in order.

“It’s confusing for our people to see that, while we lose lives and invest resources in the fight against drug trafficking, in consuming countries initiatives like California’s referendum are being promoted,” Santos said, according to The Miami Herald.

The Obama administration has emphasized that the federal government will continue to pursue its counter-drug policies and is looking into ways to respond to the measure if passed. The measure conflicts with U.S. federal law that classifies marijuana as an illegal drug.

The Proposition 19 initiative would allow people 21 years and older to possess as much as an ounce of marijuana and allow local governments to regulate and tax sales of the substance.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

  • Peruvian presidential candidate Ollanta Humala outlined his nationalist program on Thursday in New York, saying it would transform Peru from a mineral exporting country to an industrialized country that privileges the internal market.
  • With it the nation’s toughest state immigration law, Arizona has taken center stage in the national debate about immigration as the midterm elections approach. Molly O’Toole reports from Arizona in a three-part series.
  • The threat to freedom of the press posed by Mexico’s drug cartels begs a bilateral response, a panel of journalists and press freedom groups said in New York Tuesday. Andrew O’Reilly has more.
  • Protesters demand restraints on federal involvement in immigration enforcement in New York City jails, reports Alison Bowen in Beyond Borders.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America


Central America


Southern Cone

Image: Gobierno de Guatemala @ Flickr.

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unknown says:

US Government owned patent # 6630507 (Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants) is a contradictory message from the United States.


Mexico just legalized small amounts of all drugs, so neither Government has any room to talk.

[…] Latin American countries are criticizing Prop 19, the ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana in California. Colombian President Manuel […]

[…] the popular drug would lead to a reduction in incarceration rates in the United States, Mexican President Felipe Calderón and other Latin American leaders have said that decriminalizing marijuana sends a contradictory message to countries that are battling drug […]

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