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.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

ECUADOR / 11 JUL 2014

Authorities in Ecuador estimate 3,000 people are victims of human trafficking in the country every year, a number that underscores…

COLOMBIA / 15 AUG 2017

August 15 is the final day of the historic disarmament of Colombia's FARC rebels, paving the way for the next…

DRUG POLICY / 18 JAN 2017

An increase in marijuana seizures in Uruguay raises questions about whether criminal groups are taking advantage of delays to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…