Latin America Debates Drug Legalization; Obama Demands More War on Drugs

By:  Alex Newman
03/12/2012
       
Latin America Debates Drug Legalization; Obama Demands More War on Drugs

Leaders throughout Latin America are increasingly hinting that they may defect from the United Nations-inspired and U.S. government-led “War on Drugs.” But the Obama administration, despite adding trillions in new debt in recent years, forcefully vowed to continue pursuing the controversial war while pledging more American taxpayer funds to foreign governments for the battle.

 

Leaders throughout Latin America are increasingly hinting that they may defect from the United Nations-inspired and U.S. government-led “War on Drugs.” But the Obama administration, despite adding trillions in new debt in recent years, forcefully vowed to continue pursuing the controversial war while pledging more American taxpayer funds to foreign governments for the battle.

Last month, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina — a widely respected former military general with a long history of battling communism and tyranny — put the issue in the spotlight when he declared that the drug war needed to be reconsidered. The tough-on-crime leader suggested, among other measures, the legalization of the use and transportation of narcotics.
 
And he plans to seek support from other governments in the region ahead of an upcoming summit. "We're bringing the issue up for debate," he stated on February 13. "Today's meeting [with El Salvador President Mauricio Funes] is intended to strengthen our methods of fighting organized crime. But if drug consumption isn't reduced," he warned, "the problem will continue."
 
Guatemala has become one of the most dangerous nations in the world, with a soaring murder rate, overcrowded prisons, and vast swaths of territory largely controlled by criminals. Meanwhile, powerful international drug cartels continue to terrorize the populace, with well over half of all cocaine shipped to the United States transiting through Central America.

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