Guatemala Expects New Ideas against Drug Trafficking at Summit

English Translation

Guatemala hopes that for the next Ibero-American Summit in November, the OAS can present studies on the various proposals to combat drug trafficking, including decriminalization of drug consumption.

“We hope that the studies are relatively finished by the Ibero-American Summit and finished for the OAS General Assembly in Guatemala in June 2013,” said Guatemalan foreign minister Harold Caballeros to EFE, who is currently on an official visit to Tokyo.

The minister said that recently the countries of the region agreed to charge the OAS with an analysis on proposals to fight drug trafficking, especially on the “experiences of decriminalizing the consumption of drugs” and about the possible scenarios in the case of continuing the war against traffickers.

In this sense, he insisted that Guatemala is not entering “with a predetermined position”, instead, it has the aim of searching “for what is best” to combat drug trafficking.

At the next OAS General Assembly, which will be held in Cochabamba (Bolivia) at the beginning of June, Guatemala hopes to bring a “top level” commissioner, still not chosen, to participate in the preparation of the studies, added Caballeros.

The Guatemalan minister underlined that his country defends the necessity of a regional dialogue to search for new routes in the fight against drug trafficking “because if we continue to do more of the same, we will continue in the same way.”

Guatemala and other Central American countries are used for their geographic position as a corridor for the trafficking of drugs produced in South America and aimed at Mexico and the US and in the past years it has also been used by drug traffickers as a drug “warehouse.”

“We do not produce or consume: Our big crime is a geographic position, this is our problem,” said Caballeros.

The foreign minister said that, among the proposals that been made, there is also the request for economic compensation from the US for drugs seized and delivered to that country, or the creation of a Regional Criminal Court.

This would have jurisdiction over four crimes: drug trafficking, money laundering, arms trafficking, and human trafficking, explained Caballeros, who said that this would permit extraditions and it would decongest the national judicial systems.

Although countries like the US say that the creation of such a body would take years, the Guatemalan minister insisted that it is a question of “political will and work.”

View the article in Spanish.

Prensa Libre, Guatemala
Drug Trafficking in Latin America