Roque Planas – World Politics Review, 07/20/2010
Two years ago, former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso led the call for a “paradigm shift” (.pdf) in the country’s drug policy. Instead of squelching supply through policing, Cardoso advocated for reducing demand by treating drug abuse as a public health issue.
Cardoso’s appeal won plaudits from analysts who have grown impatient with a U.S.-led anti-drug policy that many argue has increased violence without significantly stemming drug abuse. But now it appears that Brazil not only remains committed to treating drugs as a problem for the police, it is also in the process of becoming the first country in Latin America whose drug use is pushing it to adopt a more aggressive foreign policy towards its neighbors.