Mexico, D.F. (apro). 6-26-2012. During the PAN administrations of Fox and Calderon, heroin production increased 340%, and so did the number of HIV-infected persons, according to the Global Commission on Drug Policy, of which (Mexican) ex-president Ernesto Zedillo is a member.
According to the study, "The War Against Drugs and HIV/AIDS: How criminalization of drug use feeds the global pandemic," all of the world's governments have failed in their battle against illegal drugs and their actions have triggered an HIV pandemic among drug addicts. This evaluation was made by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which has as members six former presidents, among them Ernesto Zedillo, from Mexico, Ricardo Lagos, from Chile, Fernando Enrique Cardoso, from Brazil, and Cesar Gaviria, from Colombia, in addition to the former Spanish minister and high ranking European Union official, Javier Solana, and the Spanish-Peruvian writer Mario Vargas-Llosa.
In its report, the commission points out that the global war on drugs has been a "failure" because nonviolent drug addicts are imprisoned and steered away from public health systems, causing an increase in HIV infections due to syringe sharing. They make specific reference to opiates like heroin, for which demand has increased 380% between 1980 and 2010, while its price shows a tendency to drop, according to the commission's own findings, which declares that there is "a notable failure of the policies (used) in the war against drugs." Specifically, the commission criticizes the United States, China, Russia and Thailand for "ignoring scientific evidence and the recommendations from the World Health Organization, and resisting the implementation of HIV prevention programs," which has had "devastating consequences."
Experts say that a fourth of U.S. residents infected with HIV have been imprisoned at least once in their life.
In contrast, (the commission) praises the work of countries such as Australia, Portugal and Switzerland, where addiction "is treated as a health problem" and, as a result, HIV infection among drug addicts has almost been eliminated.
With respect to Mexico, where for the past six years the government has been engaged in an open war with drug cartels, the study asserts that President Calderon's strategy has only spurred organized crime and has taken the lives of more than 50,000 people and caused the disappearance of 10,000 more.
The authors emphazise that the war against drugs has not slowed down the production of Mexican heroin, which has increased 340% in the last decade. Because of that, they propose reforms that will "break the taboo" of drug addiction and instead of putting addicts in jail provide them health services and detoxification programs. Other measures they propose are to decriminalize cannabis, provide access to sterile syringes, provide hygienic (drug) injection locations and (doctors') prescriptions for heroin.
Publication of this study takes place in the context of the International Day Against Improper Use and Illegal Trafficking of Drugs, and a month before the World Conference on AIDS, which will bring together the greatest number of experts on that subject from July 22 to 27, 2012, in Washington (DC).