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Drug Policy

We seek to incorporate stronger, more flexible mechanisms in existing policies to better protect human rights

Smart Law Enforcement Responses

The prohibition of drugs, as a public policy, is a wrongheaded answer that does not resolve the structural problems that give rise to drug trafficking, and it exacerbates the vulnerabilities of numerous groups. We work to progressively substitute the State’s criminal justice response to the problem of drugs and, instead, propose an answer based on public health, human development, and attention to vulnerable populations.

Public Health & Human Rights

Public policies to attend to problems that arise from the consumption of psychoactive substances, as well as mechanisms for the eradication of illegal crops, must have a perspective of respect for the public health and human rights of the people who consume and produce these substances.

Peace Agreement & Drug Policy

In the context of the implementation of the Peace Agreement between the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP, we work to ensure an adequate implementation of the policies agreed to in that document, respecting the human rights of producers, and favoring the construction of a stable and lasting peace.

Research & Publications

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Fiscal policy in the regulation of adult-use cannabis in Colombia

Drugs are not the Devil, but nor are they child’s play. A drug policy that would be respectful of human rights and safeguard public health must lie at an intermediate point between full liberalization and the prohibition currently in place.

Fraught with Pain: Access to Palliative Care and Treatment for Heroin Use Disorder in Colombia

This books seeks to facilitate linkages between discussions on the right to health and discussions on drug policy reform. The populations we talk about here are the noes most in need of a change whereby drug culture measures cease to stand in the way of a life free from pain.

Sobredosis carcelaria y política de drogas en América Latina

El CEDD publica su estudio sobre los impactos de las políticas de drogas en el sistema penitenciario de 10 países de América Latina. El uso excesivo del derecho penal y de sanciones privativas de libertad, tiene consecuencias sobre la vida de las personas en los sistemas penitenciarios de Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Estados Unidos, México, Perú y Uruguay.


Decree that created the National Comprehensive Program for Crop Substitution is constitutional

In an intervention before the Constitutional Court, Dejusticia argued that this norm conforms to the Constitution. However, the organization warned that the deadline to determine the beneficiaries should be reconsidered because it could leave out a group of peasants living in poverty.

Intervention before the Constitutional Court in the revision of Decree-Law 249 of 2017, which regulates a specific hiring process for manual eradication for the implementation of the peace process

Dejusticia asked the Constitutional Court to declare invalid Decree-Law 249 of 2017 (DL 249/2017), for two reasons: in issuing this rule, the President of the Republic exceeded the special powers for peace because it did not demonstrate the strict necessity to regulate this subject by this extraordinary way; and the contracting procedure that regulates DL 249/2017 violates the constitutional principles governing public procurement.

Dejusticia presents on precautionary principle to the Constitutional Court in case of illicit crops fumigation with glyphosate

In a Constitutional Protection (tutela) case, Dejusticia argued for the precautionary principle to protect the rights to health, the environment, ethnic territories, peasant territoriality, and water resources in rural communities.

Columns &

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The immigration policy of the United States and its implications in Latin America

The United States has implemented different measures to prevent the entry of migrants and refugees into its territory, including extending its immigration policy to Latin American countries.

The binationality of the Wayuu people: the pending debt of Venezuela and Colombia

The Wayuu arrive in Colombia to seek refuge but crashes with a wall that prevents them from accessing social services and fundamental rights: the Colombian State has not recognized the binationality of the Wayuu people in practice.

The binationality of the Wayuu people: the vision from their cosmology

The Wayuu people have demanded the recognition of their binationality, appealing to the legal and political link that unites them with Colombia and Venezuela, which should translate into a full guarantee of rights and citizenship in both countries.

Project Highlights

Photo: Piyushgiri Revagar

Collaborating Transnationally: Dejusticia is part of the Research Consortium on Drugs and the Law (Colectivo de Estudios Drogas y Derecho, CEDD) brings together researchers from nine Latin American countries with the goal of analyzing the impact of criminal law and legal practice surrounding illicit drugs

The Colectivo de Estudios Drogas y Derecho (CEDD) was created amid growing evidence that international drug control policies have not decreased drug use, stopped the cultivation of plants for illegal markets or reduced drug trafficking. Rather, the evidence shows that the weight of drug laws fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged population groups and has the undesired consequence of overwhelming criminal justice systems. The group’s main objective is to generate information about the characteristics and costs of drug policy in Latin America, whether they be social or economic, and to encourage an informed debate on the effectiveness of current policies.

CEDD includes researchers from various countries including Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United States, Peru and Uruguay.

Photo: AFPMB

Palliative care focuses on health, prioritizes dignity and quality of life and of death, both for the patient and for her family. The lack of information for health care professionals and the barriers of access and availability to opioid medications for pain management and relief are obstacles for many people in the region to access these services.

In this report, we study the situation of palliative care in eight countries in Latin America, with special attention to human rights and the right to health as tools to improve the adoption of the palliative care focus in health care.


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