RIO DE JANEIRO
Tuchinha was once a drug lord in Rio de Janeiro’s Mangueira favela. But today he is helping youngsters in this Brazilian city turn their lives around and leave behind crime, prison and the likelihood of an early death.
In Libya, a dose of LSD or the painkiller tramadol costs 78 cents, and a joint of cannabis is 7.80 dollars. Here, drugs are affordable to the poor for a simple reason. “Slashing prices is a way to create demand and open up a market,” a Western diplomat tells IPS in Tripoli, the capital.
Each scarf represents a life cut short. Each stitch, a tear. Each thread, a cry of frustration about death and impunity.
When the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which advocates an end to what it says has been a failed ‘war on drugs’, held its latest working meeting in Warsaw last month, the choice of venue was apt.
Conservative outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderón is to face a ballot again - not to compete for public office but to receive the verdict of a citizens' trial that is accusing him of violating the constitution.