Among the group's proposals ahead of a special United Nations ministerial meeting in Vienna to evaluate global drug policy is a call to decriminalize the possession of cannabis use.
The former presidents said the U-S-led war on drugs has failed and urged President Barack Obama to consider new policies, including decriminalizing marijuana. U.S president Richard Nixon declared "war on drugs" in 1971. More than 5,300 people were killed in drug-related violence in Mexico last year, and Mexican lawmakers have said the U.S holds some responsibility for the bloodshed because demand for narcotics has made the cartels powerful.
Gaviria said he hoped Obama invest in harm reduction and prevention efforts that would relieve Latin America of the burden of fighting drug traffikers." It makes no sense to continue a policy on moral grounds without getting the desired results, Obama, being a pragmatist,should recognize these failures".
The group was created last year to focus the global drug debate on harm reduction and prevention efforts and away from policies based on the eradication of production and the criminalization of consumption.
Ernesto Zedillo (Mexico 1994-2000) Director of the Yale Center for study of Globalization. He earned his Bachelor's degree from the School of Economics of the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Yale University. From 1978-87 he was with the Central Bank of Mexico; from 1987-88 he served the National Goverment of Mexico as Undersecretary of Budget; from 1988-92 as Secretary of Economic Programming and Budget. was appointed Secretary of Education in 1992. He served as President of Mexico from 1994-2000. In 2007-2008 he was asked by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, to chair a Commision to reccomend the future course of the IAEA. in May of 2008 the Commission published its report, Global Nuclear Order for PeReinforcing the ace and Prosperity. Along with former US under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Thomas Pickering Dr. Zedillo serves as co-chair of the Parnership for the Americas Commision. Along with Canadian Prime minister Paul Martin, He co-chaired the Commision on the Private Sector and Development, wich presented its report Unleashing Entrepreneurship. He co-chairs the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy along with former presidents Cesar Gaviria and Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
Cesar Gaviria Trujillo (Colombia1990-1994) Known in Latin America as a conflict mediator, and advocate of democracy. He began his career at age 23, immediately after obtaining his degree in Economics. During his four-year term, he enacted policies to strengthen democracy, promote peace and reintegred rebels into civilian life. In 1991 through a plebiscite and elected constitutional assembly, Colombia drafted a new, more democratic Constitution, President Gaviria Also undertook economic reforms to modernize and enhance Colombia'scompetitiveness in the world market.
Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Brazil 1995-2003) Building on a successful academic carer, he became deeply involved in Brazil's struggle for democracy to overcome its authoritarian military regime (1964-1985). Elected Senator in 1982, He was a founding member of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB). Mr Cardoso served as Minister of Foreign Relations from 1992-1993 and Minister of Finance from 1993-1994. Mr Cardoso serves as a professor at-large at Brown University and is the older of the "cultures of the South" chair at the library of Congress.