An estimated 300 people attended The First Latin American Legalization Summit, or Out from the Shadows Mérida, at the Autonomous University of the Yucatan in Mexico, February 12-15, 2003, including Mexican activists, national legislators and advocates throughout Latin America, Americans, Europeans, and numerous students and interested members of the community -- an historic, first of its kind, global summit calling for and end to drug prohibition. Though the event's primary focus was on legalization, the coca issue was also dealt with extensively. Among the important leaders from the cocalero movement were Felipe Quispe of the Bolivia Parliament and Nancy Obregon of Peru. Other events in this international legalization conference series included an institutional two-day event at the European Parliament in Brussels in September 2002 and a press conference with Canadian Sen. Pierre Claude Nolin in Washington in April 2003.
This program is currently inactive due to lack of funding. If you are interested in supporting an international legalization conference, please contact us! Seed costs for the next conference should be in the neighborhood of $50,000US.
Please view video footage and photographs from Mérida online! Our thanks to Jim & Ellen Fields of Eclectech Media in Mérida, and to Radio Radicale, for their outstanding work documenting this historic event, as well as Jeremy Bigwood for photography. View or listen to Eclectech video or audio of most of the conference, English and Spanish versions available. Visit Radio Radicale for video as well as interviews from the conference, in the original language of the presenters.
Check out our "Road to Mérida" interview series:
Mario Menéndez, Publisher of !Por Esto!, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
Dr. Jaime Malamud-Goti, former Argentine Solicitor General
Dr. Francisco Fernandez, Anthropologist and Former Rector of Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán
Gustavo de Greiff, Former Prosecutor General of Colombia
Luis Gómez, Andean Bureau Chief for Narco News
Ricardo Sala, ViveConDrogas.com (Live With Drugs), Mexico
Dr. Silvia Inchaurraga, Argentine Harm Reductionist
María Mercedes Moreno of Mama Coca
Luiz Paulo Guanabara, Brazil, Executive Director of Psico-Tropicus
Click here for further background on DRCNet and Out from the Shadows.
Organizations participating in the Out from the Shadows campaign:
ABRAÇO • Ale Yarok • Asociación Civil DRIS • Asociación Mexicana de Estudios del Cannabis • Asociación de Reducción de Daños de la Argentina • Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy • Centro de Investigación de la Comunicación Social • Centro de Mídia Independente Belo Horizonte • Cocachasqui • Common Sense for Drug Policy • Criminal Justice Policy Foundation • DEBED vzw • DieCannabisKampagne • Drug Policy Alliance • Drug Reform Coordination Network • Droleg • Drug Policy Forum of California • Drug Users Advocacy Group of Amsterdam • Efficacy • Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform • Forum Droghe • Fuoriluogo • Grupo Ekologiko Ayün • International Antiprohibitionist League • International Coalition of NGOs for Just and Effective Drug Policies • JES Rhein-Main • John Mordaunt Trust • Law Enforcement Against Prohibition • Mild Green Media Centre • Movimiento Canábico de Perú • Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies • National Association for Public Health Policy • Netherlands Drug Policy Foundation • November Coalition • Parliamentarians for Antiprohibitionist Action • Por Esto! • Psicotropicus • ReconsiDer: Forum on Drug Policy • Red Latinoamericana de Reduccion de Daños • SOMA Associação Portuguesa Antiproibicionista • Students for Sensible Drug Policy • Transform - the Campaign for Effective Drug Policy • Transnational Radical Party • Trebach Institute • Tri-State Drug Policy Forum • Unitarian Universalists for Drug Policy Reform • Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán • Virginians Against Drug Violence