Pubdate: Sun, 24 Dec 2000
Source: Terra (Uruguay)
Copyright: 2000,Terra Lycos
Note: Translated from the original spanish.


Head Of State Speaks in Panama

Montevideo, November 20, 2000 - 16:07 hs - President Jorge Batlle said,
during the X Iberoamerican Summit of Chiefs Of State and Government in
Panama, that the drug problem should, along with family issues, be the chief
concern of politicians, and suggests that drugs should be the main issue in
a future summit.

Batlle said that "we can't go on avoiding things in life", and suggested
that one of the solutions to narco-trafficking would be to reduce the price
of drugs. "If that little powder was worth only 10 cents, there would be no
organizations dedicated to raising US$ 1,000 million to finance armies in
Colombia" he said.

The head of state suggested some questions for other member nations: "How do
you eliminate the profit from all of this? Do you think that as long as that
substance has such fantastic market power there could be any mechanism
created to prevent its trafficking? How do you make it lose value so that
everyone loses interest in that business?"

The head of state also suggested that countries should "stop cheating, take
a deep look and start seriously confronting the drug problem. But even if
I'm wrong, why is there such a fear of asking ourselves this question?".
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