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3 former Latin American presidents sign Vienna Declaration, join global call to action for science-based drug policy reform
Date:7/12/2010

13 July 2010 [Vienna, Austria] Former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Brazil), Ernesto Zedillo (Mxico) and Csar Gaviria (Colombia) today announced their endorsement of the Vienna Declaration, the official declaration of the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010, www.aids2010.org) taking place from 18 to 23 July 2010.

The Vienna Declaration (www.viennadeclaration.com) seeks to improve community health and safety by calling for the incorporation of scientific evidence into illicit drug policies. The declaration was opened for endorsement by academics and members of the public on 28 June 2010.

"The war on drugs has failed," said Fernando Henrique Cardoso. "In Latin America, the only outcome of prohibition is to shift areas of cultivation and drug cartels from one country to another, with no reduction in the violence and corruption generated by the drug trade."

Authored by an international group of distinguished scientists and experts, the Vienna Declaration highlights the ways that over reliance on drug law enforcement results in a range of health and social harms including growing HIV rates among people who use drugs.

The three former heads of state are the co-presidents of the influential Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, which strives to inform drug policy in the region and to contribute towards more effective, safe and humane drug policies. Joining them in supporting the Vienna Declaration are three other influential Latin American figures Peruvian writer, journalist and essayist Mario Vargas Llosa, Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho and Sergio Ramrez Mercado, writer and former vice-president of Nicaragua.

"The war on drugs has had such an incredibly negative impact on Latin America, and the fact that the Vienna Declaration is receiving this level of endorsement from former heads of state should serve a
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Contact: Michael Kessler
mkessler@ya.com
34-655-792-699
International AIDS Society
Source:Eurekalert

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