No Health, No Help: Abuses in Drug Rehabilitation Centers in Latin America & The Caribbean
Chaining, public humiliation, abduction, and prayer. If these were treatments offered for diabetes or heart disease, we would see them as cruel and abusive. Yet these are tactics used widely in centers for the “treatment and rehabilitation” of people who use drugs in Latin America and the Caribbean.
These abusive centers often operate unlawfully and without medical or governmental supervision. Their practices run counter to evidence-based drug treatments recommended by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and reveal how often drug dependency is treated as a moral failing rather than a medical condition. As regional governments prepare for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in April, defining what truly constitutes a “public health approach” to drug policy is increasingly important.
Join the Open Society Foundations and the Washington Office on Latin America for the launch of a new report documenting the abuses in drug rehabilitation centers in Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, and take an unprecedented look inside these often overlooked and undocumented institutions.
- John Walsh is senior associate at the Washington Office on Latin America.
- Dr. Rafael Torruella is director of Intercambios Puerto Rico.
- Carlos Zamudio Angles is a researcher for the Consortium for a Comprehensive Drug Policy.
- Francis Taylor is director for drug policy, human rights coordinator for vulnerable populations, and director of community resilience at the Center for Integral Research and Education.
- Denise Tomasini-Joshi (moderator) is deputy director of the Open Society International Harm Reduction Development Program.
The event will be in English and Spanish, and simultaneous interpretation will be provided. A reception with refreshments will take place following the presentation.
The Consequences of Rising Female Incarceration Rates in Latin America
Punitive drug laws are the driving force behind women’s imprisonment, but two organizations are working together to reverse the trend.
The Future of Coca Industrialization in Colombia
A new report looks at the coca leaf as a legal agricultural product and presents challenges, opportunities, and parameters for a legal system to expand coca industrialization.
Latin America’s Fake News Problem
In advance of the 2018 democratic presidential elections in five Latin American countries, experts discussed how Brexit, the 2016 U.S. election, and the alarming rise of post-truth politics might affect the outcome.