HomeNewsBriefEcuador to Debate Decriminalization
BRIEF

Ecuador to Debate Decriminalization

DRUG POLICY / 24 OCT 2011 BY JEANNA CULLINAN EN

Proposed changes to Ecuador's penal code would decriminalize possession of drugs for personal use, including up to 10 grams of marijuana and hashish, four grams of opium, five grams of cocaine, and 100 milligrams of heroin.

Ecuador's National Assembly is scheduled to begin debate on the reforms within 90 days, reports La Hora newspaper. The proposed legislation distinguishes between types of drug trafficking offenses and defines penalties accordingly. Individuals who participate in large-scale drug trafficking and production, which is defined as 1000 times the quantity permitted for personal use, will be more harshly penalized than those participating in domestic production and distribution. The legislation also targets individuals participating in international trafficking networks with longer prison sentences than those who produce and distribute drugs for domestic consumption only. The proposal will also punish the production, transportation or distribution of precursor chemicals and the cultivation of illegal crops.

In addition to targeting drug production and trafficking, the proposed legislation lays out harsh penalties for murder and kidnapping for ransom. According to Justice Minister Johana Pesantez, modernization of the penal code is necessary to address the threat from organized crime, which has increasingly affected Ecuador. While proponents of decriminalization highlight the various benefits of the proposed reform, which will also allow limited resources be targeted for abuse prevention, others have voiced concern that decriminalizing possession of small amounts will increase drug use among young people who will no longer fear imprisonment.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ECUADOR / 25 FEB 2016

An estimated 300 Ecuadorian fishermen have been arrested on drug trafficking charges by foreign authorities in the last three years,…

ECUADOR / 14 SEP 2011

Ecuadorian officials have discussed imitating Spain’s model and creating a specialized court and prosecutors to tackle organized crime and terrorism,…

ARGENTINA / 23 JUL 2015

An investigation conducted by a non-governmental organization into perceptions of drug activity in Latin America reflects changing patterns in trafficking…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…