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Military personnel clear a path for the coffin of drug boss Pablo Escobar on Dec. 3, 1993. Thousands of people blocked the exit of the funeral home where Mr. Escobar’s wake was being held, shouting slogans against the government. Mr. Escobar was killed in a gun fight with police on Dec. 2, 1993.
Military personnel clear a path for the coffin of drug boss Pablo Escobar on Dec. 3, 1993. Thousands of people blocked the exit of the funeral home where Mr. Escobar’s wake was being held, shouting slogans against the government. Mr. Escobar was killed in a gun fight with police on Dec. 2, 1993.
(Reuter/Zoraida Diaz)

Marina Jimenez

Even the man who brought down Pablo Escobar now opposes the War on Drugs

A former Colombian president whose government brought down Pablo Escobar, the world’s most notorious drug lord, is now a tireless advocate for the need to reform national and global drug-control policies.

Cesar Gaviria, who held office in Colombia from 1990 to 1994 during the height of the cartels’ power, advocates an alternative approach to the war on drugs – away from prohibition and penalization, and towards demand reduction and decriminalization. His voice adds legitimacy to the growing global demand for new solutions to this issue, as few leaders have lived through the “narco-terrorism” that plagued Mr. Gaviria’s presidency.