Latin America Current Affairs
The Peruvian Congress has approved a bill to authorises the medicinal and therapeutic use of cannabis (marijuana) in the country. It makes production, import and commercial sale of marijuana and its derivatives legal.
With this Peru became sixth country in Latin America to legalise cannabis. Uruguay was first in 2013, allowing sales of cannabis any purpose. It was followed by Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile.
Marijuana is greenish-gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds and flowers of Cannabis sativa – the hemp plant. Most people smoke marijuana, though it can also be used in other forms such as edibles, powders and oils. It used for controlling pain for medical issues, like cancer, nervous system diseases, glaucoma, migraines, etc and also used to treat nausea and improve appetites for people with HIV or other chronic illnesses.
The health effects of marijuana use can lead to a rapid heart rate, increase blood pressure, red eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite and slowed reaction time in short term. In long term, daily use of marijuana during adolescent years may result in impaired learning, memory and decreased IQ.
The Union Cabinet has approved signing and ratifying an Agreement between India and Uruguay for cooperation and mutual assistance in Customs Matters.
The Agreement will help both countries in the availability of relevant information for the investigation and prevention of Customs offences.
- The Agreement is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between both countries.
- It also takes care of concerns and requirements of Indian Customs particularly in area of exchange of information on correctness of the Customs value declared, description of the goods traded between the two countries and the authenticity of certificates of origin of goods.
- It will provide a legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of the two countries.
- It will also help in the proper application of Customs laws, prevention and investigation of Customs offences and the facilitation of legitimate trade.
Uruguay is one of the important trading partner of India among members of the MERCOSUR, a trading block in Latin America. India has signed a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with the MERCOSUR which came into effect in June, 2009. Trade between India and Uruguay has been expanding gradually.
Mercosur is a sub-regional political and economic bloc of South American countries. It calls itself the common market of the South America. At present, it is a full customs union and a trading bloc. Its full members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency. It was established in 1991 and its headquarters are located at Montevideo (Uruguay). Its associate countries are Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Suriname. Besides, New Zealand, Mexico are observer countries.