“Drug users break the law, but they are victims too. Let us join our efforts to enlighten their hearts and minds with the warm glow of the sun, to encourage them to resume their lives and return to the path of joy ”. The message, with the typical flourish of Chinese state propaganda, was posted in January 2013 on a social network by Wang Xiaodong, the Communist Party’s anti-drug political commissioner in Guizhou province. The meaning of the words went beyond simple motivational speech, however, and the reference to “sunshine” was not accidental.
With a population of 34 million, modest by Chinese standards, and an economy based on the exploitation of primary products, the province in the southwest of the country was chosen to host the Brilho do Sol Project, which symbolized the change in the Communist Party’s strategy to deal with with drugs.
For the first time, the focus is no longer just on repressing trafficking and compulsory internment of dependents.
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