Central American Leaders defy the United States over a failed drug policy

Central American Leaders defy the United States over a failed drug policy

Published on 3/27/12

Recent movements from prominent figures in Central America have sent a strong message of defiance to the United States over a failed war on drugs. Leaders from various Latin American countries are demanding that the US claim responsibility and take actions to move in accordance with a drug decriminalization act.

The President of Guatemala, Otto Perez put the issue of drug legalization on the SICA agenda in a historic meeting in Antigua, Guatemala on Saturday, despite the efforts of a certain power to get the meeting canceled at the last minute.

For the first time 3 Central American Leaders defied the US and send a strong and clear message: we consider the war on drugs failed, we demand that US takes the responsibility, we demand the US pays, we are not paying the price for US failure.

It is very clear that the Presidents of Central America and many Latin American countries are tired of the empty promises and empty US rhetoric on the war on drugs. They have also learned the lesson from Mexico, where President Calderon has been doing as the US asks, turning the country into a bloodbath. Last week Gen. Charles Jacoby, commander of U.S. Northern Command, said during testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee: Mexico’s “decapitation” strategy of capturing or killing high-value drug cartel leaders with the help of U.S. has a problem, it isn´t working. “The decapitation strategy — they’ve been successful at that. Twenty-two out of the top 37 trafficking figures that the Mexican government has gone after have been taken off the board. But it has not had an appreciable effect — an appreciable, positive effect.”

President Otto Perez Molina has said the war on drugs in Latin America has failed, and has set out a draft of proposals to look at the possibility of decriminalizing narcotics or establishing a regional court to try traffickers.

Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica said: “The problem of drug violence should be brought to the UN Security Council so that sanctions can be imposed on drug traffickers and those dealing with them. How much have we paid here in Central America in deaths, kidnappings, extortion? Central America has to ask whether it is time that we raise this issue at the Security Council of United Nations."

Otto Perez explained: "The proposal is decriminalization; we are talking about creating a legal framework to regulate the production, transit and consumption of drugs. We have seen that the strategy that has been pursued in the fight against drug trafficking over the last 40 years has failed; we have to look for new alternatives. We must end the myths, the taboos, and tell people you have to discuss it. It's important this is on the discussion table as an alternative to what we've been doing for 40 years without getting the desired results," said Perez Molina, explaining that decriminalization would erode drug cartels' profits.

Otto Perez said: “Central American leaders are considering asking the US, the biggest consumer of South American cocaine, to pay the region for drug raids. We are talking about economic compensation for every seizure undertaken and also the destruction of marijuana and cocaine plantations."

Perez added: “Another alternative is setting up a court with jurisdiction for the region that would hear crimes related to the drug trade like kidnapping, contract killing, and trafficking of people and arms. This would give breathing space to the justice system because it would relieve pressure on our courts," he said.

“We must end the myths, the taboos, and tell people you have to discuss it, discuss it, debate it," said Perez.

Question: Why did President Lobos and from Honduras and Funes from El Salvador not come to the meeting? Well the reader can decide what to believe; both Honduras and El Salvador can not or don’t want to survive without US foreign assistance and TIPS. They can be easily bullied. It can also be considered the usual long time strategy of the Superpowers: divide and rule, keep weak regions weak, keep weak countries even weaker.

President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica knows what everybody should know: the US no longer has the funds to back any promises. That could have been the only reason for her to come to this meeting and to defy the US. Costa Rican Presidents, whether we like it or not, are the best political negotiators of the region. They are also considered to be the closest allies of the US in Central America.

Maybe the winds of change have reached Central America...

- Article originally from The Guatamala Times.

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