Mexico is new outpost for Transform Drug Policy Foundation
This week Transform Drug Policy Foundation opens a new office in Mexico City. It will be run by Transform’s first overseas staff member, with partner organisation Mexico Unido Contra la Delincuencia (MUCD).
As the failures of global drug prohibition become ever more obvious and the collateral damage grows, new actors, including the private sector in Mexico, are now keen to see policy alternatives on the mainstream political agenda. The 50,000 turf war deaths in Mexico over the last four years are a graphic demonstration of the failure of an enforcement-led approach, and underlines how terribly the policy has impacted across all sectors of Mexican society. A number of alternatives to prohibition are now emerging across the Latin American region, including in Uruguay, Guatemala, Colombia and Brazil.
In recognition of this fact, Transform has appointed Lisa Sánchez as its first Latin American Programme Manager to work with policymakers, groups and experts in Mexico and the region, using MUCD’s on-the-ground experience in Mexico and Transform’s groundbreaking resources and 15 years of experience advocating for the legal regulation of drugs.
Lisa Sánchez said: “With countries in Latin America no longer willing to blindly support a war on drugs that has cost them so dearly, the region is rapidly becoming the crucible where global change is being forged. Transform aims to contribute to, and support the work of all those in the region already fighting to bring about a just and effective approach to drugs, based on strict legal regulation.”
Armando Santacruz, board member of MUCD, said: “Just as the disastrous war on drugs operates internationally, so must groups campaigning for reform. That is why we are delighted to combine our expertise with Transform’s, to help ensure that the global market in illegal drugs that is destroying so many lives in Mexico is replaced by government regulation and control.”
1. Transform Drug Policy Foundation: www.tdpf.org.uk
2. Mexico Unido Contra la Delincuencia: www.mucd.org.mx
3. Lisa Sánchez has worked in the fields of HIV, harm reduction and drug policy for the past six years. She served as programme leader for the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States, where she was responsible for the design and implementation of the first Mexican training and certification programme for addiction counsellors, and is co-founder of the Drug Policy and Harm Reduction Programme of Espolea, a youth-led organisation based in Mexico City. Lisa has also collaborated with the Mexico City Institute against Addictions, the Academic Unit on Development Studies of the University of Zacatecas and worked for the International AIDS Society and the Mexican Consulate in Paris. As a young advocate, Lisa engaged in various initiatives concerning drug policy, HIV/AIDS, gender equality and SRHR. She has a degree in international relations from Tec de Monterrey and Sciences-Po Paris, and a graduate degree in political science from Sorbonne University in France.
4. In March 2012 the Organization of American States, including the US, committed to review all the alternatives to the war on drugs, including legal regulation. See: 'How the OAS drug policy review will work', Transform Drug Policy Foundation blog.
5. Transform Drug Policy Foundation is an NGO with special consultative status with the United Nations.