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Addicted to Punishment: The disproportionality of drug laws in Latin America

This document describes the disproportionality of the drug-related crimes in seven Latin American countries. Even though they are punishable behavior that does not directly or indirectly harm third parties, studies of drug crime related laws show a regional tendency to increase the use of criminal law

 

This document describes the disproportionality of the drug-related crimes in seven Latin American countries. Even though they are punishable behavior that does not directly or indirectly harm third parties, studies of drug crime related laws,  since the 1950s, show a regional tendency to increase of the use of criminal law.  This is reflected in: 1) the huge increase in the criminalization of drug-related behavior, 2) the exponential growth of the penalties imposed and 3) the incomprehensible trend of punishing drug-related crimes more severally than worse offenses like homicide, rape, and violent theft. The research finds that Latin American countries are “addicted to punishment,”  because they continue to increase punishment despite the ineffectiveness of this approach.


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