Press Release


OAS and Chilean Government Organize Meeting of Judges and Lawyers of the Hemisphere on Drug Treatment Courts

  December 11, 2012

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the government of Chile are organizing from Monday until tomorrow a meeting of more than 250 judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and treatment professionals from Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Argentina, the United States, Canada, Mexico and Ecuador to share experiences in the implementation and expansion of the model drug treatment courts as an alternative to incarceration for drug dependent offenders.

The Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza reiterated in the opening ceremony, the interest of the organization in serving as a "bridge of horizontal communication between governments, and also as an instrument for the implementation of actions leading to the design of better drug policy." In a video message, he also urged that "the statements of the Hemispheric Drug Strategy adopted by Member States take shape not just in political language, but also, and above all, that they be translated into the search for comprehensive solutions that contemplate seeing the drug dependent offender from a multidimensional perspective."

The opening ceremony was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Justice of Chile, Patricia Perez Goldberg; as well as the spokesman and Minister of the Chilean Supreme Court, Hugo Dolmestch; the National Prosecutor, Sabas Chahuán Sarrás; the National Public Defender, Georgy Schubert Studer; and the Director of the National Service for the Prevention and Rehabilitation of the Consumption of Drugs and Alcohol, Francisca Florenzano Valdés.

During the three days of the meeting in Santiago de Chile, the operation of this model of courts in the region will be analyzed, along with the new challenges it faces, in order to seek synergies between different legal and public health actors regarding the relevance of having a public policy of the rehabilitation and reintegration of criminals, that responds effectively and efficiently to the offending population that is drug dependent, thus contributing to public security in the country.

The event is co-organized by the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the OAS, the United States Department of Justice, the Supreme Court of Chile, the Chilean Public Ministry, and the National Service for Prevention and Rehabilitation of the Consumption of Drugs and Alcohol. This activity is part of the Program of Drug Treatment Courts in the Americas, an OAS initiative funded by the governments of Canada and the United States.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.

Reference: E-459/12