Cooperation needed for drug war?

Colombian police personnel watch over packages containing some five tons of seized cocaine.

One of the most prominent fighters in the war on drugs is calling for the world to get tougher.
President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos wants world leaders to take a much stronger, more coordinated approach in dealing with trafficking narcotics and the use of hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin. In an exclusive one-to-one interview with Metro, Mr. Santos says legalizing softer drugs such as cannabis could be a way forward, if done globally.

“The world needs to discuss new approaches,” Santos says. “We are basically still thinking within the same framework as we have done for the last 40 years.”

Colombia’s war on drug cartels has made huge progress over the past 20 years. The killing of notorious drug baron Pablo Escobar in 1993 and then the arrest and conviction in 2006 of the Rodriguez Orejuela brothers, founders of the Cali Cartel, did much to dismantle the powerful cartels and spark the decline of drug-related violence that had plagued the country. Santos hopes that the world too can build on this success story.

Colombian leader: Legalize marijuana

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos on his country’s efforts in the war on drugs.  Santos opens up on drug legalization as a means to stop violence.  Says legalize soft drugs, but only if entire world agrees.

Do you think legalizing softer drugs could be a way forward?

Yes, that could be an answer, provided everyone does it at the same time.

Is that something you would support?

If the entire world does it, yes.

But somebody has to take the first steps?

Yes, and it won’t be me.

Why?

Because for Colombia, this is a matter of national security. Drug trafficking is what finances the violence and the irregular groups in our country. I would be crucified if I took the first step. We need to insist on more multinational actions on drug trafficking and innovate the ways we are dealing with it.

How is this different in other countries?

In other countries [Europe and the U.S.] this is mainly a health and crime issue. We need to look at all components, one of them being targeting the assets in this business. But we need to do so on a global level.

What do you think we’re doing wrong?

We must discuss a new approach, looking at all the components: The profit and the crime that follows drug trafficking, the fight against money laundering, trade with arms and so on. These are all effects of drugs.

What about Latin America?

We have something that the U.S. and Europe don’t have: A young population and a lot of optimism. When you ask the population of a country, ‘Will your children have a better life than you?’ and a majority answers ‘No,’ then the enthusiasm of that country is limited. The latest poll in Colombia from Thursday [last week] shows that 79 percent of our population believes that we are on a great path.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.