Import Temp

Over 100 Top Latin American Leaders Call on President Bush to Halt "Plan Colombia" at Upcoming Summit of the Americas

Nobel Laureates, Political and Religious Ministers, Civic and Cultural Leaders Call U.S. Anti-Drug Aid Source of Violence, Threat to Environment

Days before the Summit of the Americas began in Quebec City, a formidable cross-section of Latin American leadership called on President Bush to go back to the drawing board with "Plan Colombia," charging that the U.S.-backed anti drug campaign is fueling a bloody war, poisoning food crops and the environment, and forcing tens of thousands of poor farmers off their land.

The remarkable group - composed of former heads of state, cabinet ministers and legislators, as well as prominent authors, intellectuals, a

Tony Newman at 510-208-7711 or Shayna Samuels at 212-547-6916

Warfare, Interdiction Not Answer to America's Drug Problem

Nation's Leading Drug Policy Reform Advocate and Author of Cops Across Borders Available for Interviews

On Friday an American missionary plane mistakenly suspected of trafficking drugs was shot down by a Peruvian jet working in cooperation with a U.S. surveillance plane, killing missionary Veronica Bowers and her 7-month old daughter.

The tragedy was a result of a joint drug interdiction effort in Peru, which has reduced the amount of coca grown in the region by two thirds, according to government estimates. Colombia has now replaced Peru as the principal source of cocaine.

Tony Newman at 510-208-7711 or Shayna Samuels at 212 547 6916

Critics Call Likely Bush Drug Czar Pick -- John Walters -- the

Nation

Despite the fact that Americans are increasingly supporting alternatives to the war on drugs, President Bush is expected to appoint a drug czar likely to rely more heavily than his predecessors on policies proven to be ineffective.

Critics note that decades of the "get tough" approaches supported by Walters have landed nearly 500,000 Americans behind bars, consumed tens of billions of tax dollars, and left illicit drugs cheaper, purer and more available than ever in the U.S.

Walters, who worked for former drug czar William Bennett in various posts, is seriously at odds

Tony Newman at 510-208-7711 x 1383 or Shayna Samuels at (212) 547-6916

New Report Finds Stark Racial Disparities in Arrests of Drug Sellers in Seattle

More Whites Sell Drugs, But By Far More Blacks Are Arrested, Says New Report
Seattle Study Latest Evidence of War on Drugs Disproportionately Impacting People of Color

A groundbreaking study of the racial disparities in arrest rates for individuals who sell drugs in Seattle was released this week. The study, commissioned by Seattle public defenders and authored by University of Washington sociologist Katherine Beckett, shows that African-Americans who sell drugs in Seattle are much more likely to be arrested than Caucasian offenders.

Tony Newman at 212-613-8026 or Shayna Samuels at 718-541-4785
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