Gabriel García Márquez

Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez has once again called publicly for the legalization of drugs. In a message sent by video hook-up from Mexico City, García Márquez told a conference convened Saturday to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the University of Antioquia en Medellin that it was impossible to end the violence in his home country without ending drug prohibition. "It is impossible to imagine an end to the violence in Colombia without the elimination of the drug trade, and it is unimaginable to end the drug trade without the legalization of drugs, which become more dear the more they are prohibited," said the author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude."

Comparing Colombia's current bloody, multi-sided civil war with La Violencia, the deadly upheaval that wracked the country in the 1940s and 1950s, García Márquez noted that last

 

Gabriel García Márquez

Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez has once again called publicly for the legalization of drugs. In a message sent by video hook-up from Mexico City, García Márquez told a conference convened Saturday to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the University of Antioquia en Medellin that it was impossible to end the violence in his home country without ending drug prohibition. "It is impossible to imagine an end to the violence in Colombia without the elimination of the drug trade, and it is unimaginable to end the drug trade without the legalization of drugs, which become more dear the more they are prohibited," said the author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude."

Comparing Colombia's current bloody, multi-sided civil war with La Violencia, the deadly upheaval that wracked the country in the 1940s and 1950s, García Márquez noted that last year there were "about 400,000 Colombians who had to flee their houses or plots because of the violence, just as 3,000,000 had to do for the same reason a half-century ago. The displaced are the embryo of another country -- almost as populous as Bogota, perhaps more so than Medellin -- that goes in search of a place to survive with nothing more than the shirt on its back," García Márquez said. "The paradox is that those fugitives are victims of a violence sustained by two of the most profitable businesses in the world: the drug traffic and the illegal arms trade."

As for the United States effort to wipe out the drug trade and the country's leftist guerrillas, García Márquez said such policies showed an "imperial voracity" toward Colombia. President Alvaro Uribe, whose hard-line policies are strongly backed by Washington was in attendance at the conference, but his reaction to García Márquez' remarks is unknown.

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Issue #288, 5/23/03 Editorial: Outrage at Outrages | No Marijuana Possession Law in Ontario, Court Rules -- Cops Vow to Keep Arresting Users Anyway | Hip Hop Nation Set to Rock the Rockefeller Laws -- Mass Protest Set for June 4 if Laws Not Repealed | GOP Effort to Let Drug Czar Propagandize Against Reform Stalled in House Committee | Drug Testing Has No Impact on Student Drug Use, Study Finds | Stop the Murder of Thai Drug Users -- International Day of Action, June 12 | CNN Special Report on "Killing Pablo" | Newsbrief: Rosenthal Loses Motion for New Trial, Sentencing Date Looms | Newsbrief: Medical Marijuana -- Yes in Maryland, No in Connecticut | Newsbrief: "States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act" Reintroduced | Newsbrief: "Smoke a Joint, Lose Your Student Loan" Bill Introduced in Wisconsin | Newsbrief: House Committee Takes Slap at Needle Exchange | Newsbrief: Garcia Marquez Says Legalize Drugs to End Colombian Violence | Newsbrief: Scotland Yard Chief Says Legalize It | Newsbrief: British Government to Issue Guidelines for Heroin Prescriptions, Pilot Programs Coming Soon | Newsbrief: Australian State to Do Medical Marijuana Trials | Newsbrief: "Indian Hemp" Farmers Shoot It Out With Nigerian Narcs | Media Scan: Cockburn on Rosenthal, Forbes on Buying Initiatives, CNN on Bad Drug Raid | The Reformer's Calendar
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