June 14-15, 2005
Strengthening organized communities to head up
efforts to free themselves from the scourge of
drugs was the goal of the international seminar
which took place June 14-15.
Juan Alberto Yaria (Argentina), Alejandro
Vassilaqui (Peru), Mina Seinfeld (Brazil)and
Lourdes Portaluppi, of the “Semillas de
Amor”(Seeds of Love) Foundation, in the drug
International Prevention Experts from Peru,
Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador participated in the
encounter held at the Sheraton Hotel in Guayaquil,
Alejandro Vassilaqui, the Peruvian featured
speaker, who has spent the last 18 years working
in an institution which leads the fight against
drugs, stated that without community support,
there is no hope for resolving any one of the
grave ills facing the various countries.
Organizing communities such as Guayaquil, Lima,
Quito, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, is the
only way to train leaders for this great drug-free
process: leaders who do this from their own
communities, he said.
“We, in this seminar as well as others, have
integrated ourselves into the Drug Prevention
Network of the Americas, which is not merely a
Regional effort, but one involving North America
as well, with the purpose of creating a drug-free
continent,” he said.
“We would like to leave from Guayaquil having
strengthened this network of institutions, so that
it may better fight against drugs,” he stated.
Vassilaqui held that in Peru -a
cocaine-leaf-producing country, 15% is employed
for traditional uses, whereas some 85% is made
into cocaine base for drug trafficking.
Admitting that he was not so familiar with data
from Ecuador, the host country for the seminar,
Vassilaqui stated that there was probably little
difference between the two in this regard.
Another featured speaker was Juan Alberto Yaria of
the Drug Institute of El Salvador University in
Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Director of the
Addiction Pathologies Rehab. Center. When there is
an epidemic such as the one Latin America is now
facing, he said, it is necessary to first
strengthen a community by training its leaders, to
help them to participate in the healing their own
The bad effects of drugs are well known; what
should be done is to anticipate this phenomenon
with what is known as Prevention.
Another key speaker, Mina Seinfeld, applied the
“Ten Thousand Leaders Program” in Rio de Janeiro,
stating, “Prevention is the key”. She further
explained that all sectors should be involved:
churches, athletic clubs, government, and Mass
Media prevention campaigns, -all working
The event was organized by “Fundación
Semillas” de Amor,(
“Seeds of Love” Foundation)
dedicated to illegal drug prevention
programs, with the support of the
Red Interamericana de Prevención de Drogas
(RIPRED/ in English: DPNA, the Drug Prevention
Network of the Americas).
Also taking part in the seminar were “Acción
Social del Municipio de Guayaquil” –a social
action department of the Municipal Government of
the City of Guayaquil) and the Ecuadorian Air
El Universo (29/06/05)