"Legalization is the responsible and efficient way to impede violence and corruption."
Siro Darlan de Oliveira has been a judge since 1982. From 1982 to 2004, he served as a trial judge in State Court of Rio de Janeiro in various civil, family, and criminal courts, focusing exclusively on juvenile courts for fourteen years. He was then promoted to the Court of Appeals, where he currently presides.
During his time in juvenile court, Siro admits he had been convinced to “demonize” drugs and drug dealers, but he also noticed that public authorities were not making any substantial efforts or progress to assist drug addicts get over their drug problems and become public citizens. “I advocated aggressively for treatment and was surprised when public authorities claimed that treatment was too expensive and did not protect children from the influence or consequences of drugs. I started to wonder about the relationship between ‘armed combat’ against drug dealers and economic and political corruption.”
Realizing that legalization will allow us to control the drug trade and use education and public health efforts to address drug problems, Siro joined LEAP in 2011. “Legalization is the responsible and efficient way to impede violence and corruption,” he says.
Siro holds a BA in law from the Rio de Janeiro State University School of Law. He is a graduate of the communication law specialization program at the University of Coimbra in Portugal and the judiciary power and administrative control specialization program at the Judicial School of the General Council of the Judiciary Power of Spain. He has been a member of the State Council for the Defense of Children and Adolescents, since February 1994, including serving as its vice-president in 2005. He received an honorable mention for the University of Sao Paulo’s Human Rights Award in 2005 under the individual category, given to those who excel in research or concrete actions defending and disseminating information on human rights, peace, tolerance and social justice.