The conflict affects these countries disproportionately due to their location between the large drug producers in the south and the world’s foremost consumer, the USA. Among the earliest and most vocal advocates of reform was then-President of Guatemala, Otto Pérez Molina, who called for dialogue based around drug regulation.
In 2011, Amanda was invited by President Pérez Molina to advise him and his government on drug policy reform. In April 2012 he invited Amanda to visit Guatemala, and in July 2012 he invited her to return to set up the Beckley Foundation Latin American Chapter. The Chapter was launched at a ceremony in the Guatemalan Presidential Palace in July 2012, at which the President was the first acting Head of State to sign the Beckley Foundation Public Letter. Pictures from the launch ceremony can be viewed here.
At the President’s request, the Beckley Foundation produced a sophisticated range of alternative policy responses aimed at reducing violence and corruption in Guatemala and the wider region. These were recorded in two key reports: ‘Paths for Reform’ and ‘Illicit Drug Markets and Dimensions of Violence in Guatemala’. Paths for Reform included many recommendations that the President incorporated into his speeches at Davos and the UN, and that the Government has subsequently started implementing.
In 2013, Amanda remarked to President Pérez Molina and his Foreign Secretary that there was no hope of ending violence in Latin America without opening the debate on the regulation of the coca/cocaine market, and suggested that she convene a Beckley report to tackle this taboo issue. He responded enthusiastically, resulting in the report ‘Roadmaps to Regulation: Coca, Cocaine, and Derivatives.’
Press release: President of Guatemala Invites Beckley Foundation to Advise on Drug Policy
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