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Colombian president urges rethink on drugs war

Juan Manuel Santos says he’s open to discussing the legalisation of marijuana as well as other substances in an effort to tackle the drugs trade in a new way.

Colombian police stand guard over seized packages of cocaine in Puerto Gaitan, Colombia on 13 October 2011.
Colombian police stand guard over seized packages of cocaine in Puerto Gaitan, Colombia on 13 October 2011.
Image: AP Photo/William Fernando Martinez/PA Images

COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT Juan Manuel Santos has called on international governments to rethink their position on controlled substances, suggesting that some should be widely legalised.

Speaking to John Mulholland of the Observer, Santos said he is willing to discuss the legalisation of marijuana “and more than just marijuana” in an effort to cut profitability from the illegal drugs trade.

He said Colombia has paid a high price for being the source of drugs for the west, losing “out best judges, our best politicians, our best journalists, our best policeman” in the continuing war against drugs. Santos said that huge progress had been made against the country’s drug cartels, but that the situation requires an international review of how the war on drugs is fought.

Colombia isn’t the only country taking a stand on the supply of drugs issue: Mexican President Felipe Calderón recently criticised the US for failing to deter its citizens from buying drugs though Mexico.

The Mexican government lost one of its top security officials Francisco Blake Mora in a helicopter accident this weekend. Interior Minister Mora was largely seen as the government’s face in its war against drug trafficking.

Earlier today, Brazilian security forces stormed Rio’s largest slum as part of its ongoing efforts to quash drug trafficking and cartels ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Read more: Brazil: Rio’s most-wanted trafficker caught>

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