(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – Suriname is strongly opposed to legalizing drugs. Several countries proposed legalization during the recent Summit of the Americas, but President Bouterse rejected the idea. He points out that countries like Mexico and Guatemala are faced with drugs on another level, saying, “The scale on which those countries engage in drugs is bigger, with containers and vessels full of them.” At a press conference in the President’s Office yesterday Bouterse said Panama also fiercely opposes legalization.
The president says the fight against drugs is not over. Ambassador in general service Michel Kerpens says other issues were also discussed at the summit, including containing and preventing disasters, fighting poverty, combating poverty, ending inequality, civil security, trans-national crime and access to ICT. Kerpens says the heads of state agreed that existing anti-drugs strategies are not working, adding that the Organization of American States (OAS) will establish a commission to develop new strategies. The diplomat says the summit was dominated by the issues of the Malvinas and Cuba, and the countries have agreed to a proposal by Colombia’s President that another summit should not be held without Cuba present. Bouterse believes this is a strong statement by his Colombian counterpart. Aside from the issues of Cuba and the Malvinas, all countries agreed with the statement.