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Drug War Revolt in Central America

Via Transform

Guatemala prez to propose legalizing drugs

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina said Saturday he will propose legalizing drugs in Central America in an upcoming meeting with the region’s leaders.

Perez Molina said in a radio interview that his proposal would include decriminalizing the transportation of drugs through the area.

“I want to bring this discussion to the table,” he said. “It wouldn’t be a crime to transport, to move drugs. It would all have to be regulated.”

Central America is waking up very forcefully to the fact that they are the unwilling battleground for the war that the U.S. is fighting, and there isn’t enough money coming from the U.S. (or likely to) to make that worthwhile.

It’s like the U.S. went to the rest of America and said “Hey, we’d like to fight a war, but we don’t want to do it at our place. We just vacuumed. OK if we use your living room? We’ll give you a few bucks for the inconvenience.” And it sounded like a good deal at first until their children started dying.

Now, the countries to the south are all starting to get sick and tired of it. Ready to put up lawn signs saying “No drug war here. Try further north.”

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41 comments to Drug War Revolt in Central America

  • darkcycle

    BANG! THUDDDD!!!
    Ooooh, I think it moved that time!

    Well-liked Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

    • Chris

      Perez Molina, a former army general who took office last month…

      So we have a sitting president directly suggesting more discussion on legalizing drugs in (Central) America, not just “market alternatives”? This hasn’t happened in a while now has it?

      Well-liked Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

      • Windy

        Not only a “sitting president” but one who is just at the beginning of his term — “took office last month”.

        Pete, I really wish that we, in all the States on the West Coast, could, similarly, put up yard signs that say “No drug war here. Try further east.”

        Maybe we could push it all the way back to DC.

        Well-liked Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • thelbert huffman

    regulate corporations not citizens. i don’t need regulating. i do that myself.

    Well-liked Thumb up 28 Thumb down 5

    • thelbert huffman

      this is the failure of the education system: that 36% would give the above thumbs down. it tells me that enemies of liberty and self determination are secretly on gov’t time reading the rants of common citizens and rejecting the arguments out of hand. high praise indeed. what part of “i rule my body, my chattels, and my household” do you not understand? i mind my own business. i don’t hire someone to tell me what to do. seems like a simple concept to me.

      Well-liked Thumb up 24 Thumb down 3

  • Very interesting development. It’s also pretty surprising, since, as I previously wrote about back in November when Perez-Molina signaled his intention to follow in the footsteps of Calderon in Mexico by launching a military offensive against the cartels operating in Guatemala. Quite nice to see him moving away from the failed model of aggressive interdictions efforts and back towards the only rational and humane alternative.

    http://spatialorientation.com/2011/11/26/guatemala-looks-to-continue-misguided-war-against-drug-cartels/

    Well-liked Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    • darkcycle

      He has had time to look at the problem and he is a smart man. He saw the writing on the wall. In exchange for a few helicopters and some paltry assistence (the helocpters he can use for counterinsurgency) he gets a sword that’s all blade and no handle. He takes on a new enemy in the cartels, and he becomes Washington’s bitch forever. He may even be installing the machinery of his deposition if he ever dares challenge Washington’s line in the future. In this current climate every ruler ought to be very wary of any overtures from the devils in the State Department.

      Well-liked Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  • claygooding

    You can bet your ass diplomats are heading his way with his choice of cash or loss of trade sanctions.

    Well-liked Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0

    • Dante

      Exactly. We can also expect to begin hearing how Guatemala (and President Molina) is now a “threat” to the “children”, and how we “must never surrender” to whatever logic-based, reasonable ideas have surfaced which interfere with our government’s unchecked quest for absolute power and material gain.

      Once again, Americans will be ordered to war over this.

      I hope America doesn’t fall for it this time. Again.

      Well-liked Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

    • ThenHaveSingSong

      .

      Hang the Foreign Trator!

      Send in the Drones of Death!

      Barack Obomber Uber Alles!

      Drug War Profits for All – of the Elite!

      Well-liked Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • Duncan20903

      Well people will always find that our currency has a very important roll to play in their everyday life.

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Out of curiosity, how many other countries do you think would need to get on board before the threat of punitive sanctions from the U.S. were rendered ineffectual?

    Would Mexico plus Central America be enough?

    Well-liked Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    • claygooding

      IMO<it boils down to the buck,,as usual,,how much during our teetering economy will our budget committees allow?

      Apparently the wosd costing even more than our treasury can print means nothing,,they can always continue selling guns and laundering money to cover the extra costs and make more "bonus" money for their agents.

      Well-liked Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • GenuinelyGenialInTheGenusOfGeniosity

    “Ready to put up lawn signs saying “No drug war here. Try further north.”

    Well-liked Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • Goober

    Dont worry. The CIA will assassinate this guy soon. The “drug war” is far too profitable to the ruling class in the USA to allow it to end.

    Well-liked Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    • EmbarrassingMomentsInHistory.

      “The “drug war” is far too profitable to the ruling class in the USA to allow it to end peacefully and without total economic collapse.” – there; fixed!

      Well-liked Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    • chris

      Actually, this is something of a misnomer. The “ruling class” doesn’t make much/any money from the war on drugs: to them it’s more likely to cost than benefit. Where money is made from the drug war is usually in state and municipal governments: where fines are levied usually for misdemeanor possession. Local PDs get larger budgets because they have to combat the MENACE that is MARIJUANA.

      So yeah, some folks make money off of it, but for the ruling class it’s usually more of a moral crusade than anything else. The people who are actually making money off of this are usually a little further on down the line.

      Well-liked Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      • claygooding

        Chris,,it is the rich that own stock in urine analysis,rehab scams,private prisons and all the spin-off industries that would not exist without the wosd.

        Well-liked Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

        • Plus the ruling class passes all the forfeiture laws that let law enforcement officials appropriate large sums of money and property from people who have never been charged let alone convicted of a crime. And where does all the goodies from asset forfeiture go? Police coffers.

          Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

        • David

          Plus it’s portions of the US government that actually traffic the drugs in the first place. Why do you think we’ve been in Afghanistan for so long?

          Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • […] Go to Guatemala […]

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  • Tj

    WHAT? But the war on drugs has been so successful! Oh wait….
    But still, prohibition has always worked in the past! Oh…wait….
    If people want these drugs, they will find them. Criminalizing drugs is almost as dumb as criminalizing suicide, maybe even dumber considering you’re stimulated a black market economy in the shadows (an untaxed one to boot)
    Once it’s legal, it becomes more taboo than cigs or alcohol. And i mean legalizing doesn’t mean it will be sold in wal mart, there could still be regulations. Payode is available to those with enough mative american blood, but you don’t see that stuff everywhere.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Francis

    Remember that ridiculously pathetic paper “Drug Legalisation: An Evaluation of the Impacts on Global Society. Position Statement” that we had some fun with a few weeks ago?

    One of the things that was most striking about it (in addition to the logical fallacies and poor writing) was how clearly terrified the drug warriors are of ANY country attempting a different approach. For example:

    It is important to note that international law makes a distinction between “hard law” and “soft law.” Hard law is legally binding upon the States. Soft law is not binding. UN Conventions, such as the Conventions on Drugs, are considered hard law and must be upheld by the countries that have ratified the UN Drug Conventions

    and

    Any failures in a common approach to a problem would result in a complete breakdown in effectiveness. Differing and fragmented responses to a common predicament are unacceptable for the wellbeing of the international community.

    Of course, that’s not their real fear, but they ARE right to be afraid. If one country is able to successfully defy the U.S., others will soon follow. And before you know it, the drug war’s entire house of lies will come crashing down. The situation reminds me of something I once read about North Korea:

    Especially in full-bore Stalinist systems like North Korea’s, would-be dissidents feel like they’re completely alone, that no one else has any idea the emperor is naked. That’s why these regimes will mobilize massive state resources just to locate and punish a single graffiti artist. It’s critically important that everyone who hates the government feels like they’re the only people who do so.

    “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is a perfect analogy, and one that’s obviously been used many times in connection with the drug war. But it’s worth remembering that in that story, it was the voice of a single child speaking the truth that was enough to shatter the spell. THAT’S why they’re afraid. And that’s why we’re going to win.

    Well-liked Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • DownTheCanalWithBagOfKittens

      “Differing and fragmented responses to a common predicament are unacceptable for the wellbeing of the irrational community.”

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  • Benjamin

    Guatemala is pretty nasty place already, even before the expansion of the transit cartels into Central America.

    My personal opinion is that the power players at the top of Guatemala’s politics decided that they don’t want to share power with the drug gangs, they have enough power within their own country to sell the public on legalization, and are they’ll come out of this stronger, even if they can’t bring around every country in Central America.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Chris

    http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v12/n121/a09.html?134
    This bizarre article actually tries to find something bad in the fact that a study found traffic fatalities decreased in states with medical marijuana laws.

    Illegal marijuana use in states with medical-marijuana laws apparently is widespread enough to influence traffic-fatality rates, based on the dubious assertion that young people would rather get high than drunk, and are less likely to have accidents as a result.
    […]
    The study may make medical-marijuana proposals all the more attractive in Connecticut, which suffered the highest percentage increase in traffic fatalities in the nation in 2010 after having America’s fifth-best driving record the previous year, according to a December 2009 Forbes magazine report.
    […]
    One hopes that Connecticut lawmakers will cringe, if only briefly, at the prospect of providing a public benefit ( maybe ) from a law that tacitly endorses illegal, personally and socially destructive activity.

    One can only hope that they see these numbers of lowered traffic fatalities in medical marijuana states, compare it to their record increase in traffic fatalities, then come to the sensible conclusion that “the many harmful unintended consequences of more widespread marijuana use” are worse than maintaining marijuana prohibition.

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  • Gettin' Wiggy Wit It (na na na na na)

    Can we invade all of those countries now? War is good for the economy and we’ll put those upstart pepper belly countries in their place.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Amy

    I actually moved to Guatemala a year ago… I was here through the November presidential elections, when the two final candidates were Perez (a general during the incredibly brutal civil war, from which the UN has yet to clear him of genocide charges, with very good reason), and Manuel Baldizon, who had his US visa revoked for having too much narco money (he runs the northern Peten region, bordering Mexico, where the Zetas have taken a strong hold).

    Make no mistake, there is no honor- NO honor- in Guatemalan politics. It is among the most corrupt governments in Latin America, and the UN has been quoted in official papers as saying it is one of the best places in the world to commit a murder because you “almost certainly will not get caught.” ALL criminals, regardless of the level or severity of the crime, operate with almost complete impunity. Robbers on motorcycles travel in groups of 3’s up and down the same mile-long stretch of traffic, robbing motorists at gunpoint, without even bothering to cover up their license plate or take off their jacket with their license number emblazoned clearly on the back. There is petty crime, violent crime, gang violence, and cartel violence. Each part of the country, and often individual parts of each city, are affected by a different concentration of each depending on the factors influencing that small area.

    Over the past year, the security situation has gotten significantly worse. Having only been here for a year, I can only confirm that my friends who have lived here their entire lives, who have family members working in high positions to have access to security information, and who work at various branches of the tourist bureau’s and police forces, have expressed alarm at how quickly things are deteriorating from how direly bad they already were. The influx of the Zetas from Mexico as the “war on drugs” progressed has definitely played a part, and the weakness of the Guatemalan military and police in comparison to such a well-outfitted, well-armed cartel is cause for serious concern. Colom was known to have made millions of dollars from the narcotraficantes during his 4 years in office- as did many other people holding any office or position of power over the past 4 years.

    Guatemala does NOT have the resources to fight the Zetas. End of story. We just don’t. If we take up the “war on drugs,” everyone will suffer here. The violence will get worse- not better. Mexico, violent before, has had a massive increase in violence against civilians. Massive. I’m lucky enough to have grown up in the US, where my safety was more or less guaranteed. I still can’t wrap my head around the level of violence found in some parts of this country, the violence that took place during the civil war, and the violence that Guatemalans have had to live with for one reason or another for the past 35-40 years. The US can’t be trusted to give us all the resources needed to fight this “war,” and their honest commitment to it is questionable at best. If Perez decides to stand up to the cartels, the entire country will suffer… even more.

    Honestly, I hate Perez. It sickens me to know that this man took part in some of the most brutal massacres of innocent indigenous citizens during the war, and is now holding highest office. But, his decision to even TRY and approach the possibility of “legalizing” drugs is the best news I’ve heard come out of this country, politically, since I arrived. It’s something my Guatemalan friends are constantly bringing up as the “duh” solution to reducing the level of violence. None of us want to see the government push the cartels, because we know they can’t protect us from the cartels. My guess is also that Perez has realized this is the most profitable way to address the issue; make money for the country through regulating the transit, bearing in mind that he will absolutely have opportunities to make record money “off the books” through a variety of deals that we won’t ever hear about.

    Well-liked Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    • claygooding

      Of all the things stolen from us,it is security in our homes that all people deserve.

      The wosd has not only stolen that but our security to roam the earth with many countries unavailable to us directly caused by it.

      For any American to vacation in the lovely countryside/tourist attractive sites in South America is becoming less like taking your life in your on hands and more like just throwing it away.

      All thanks to the CIA,DEA and the ONDCP…with 40 supporting bureaucracies playing the drums.

      Well-liked Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    • darkcycle

      And don’t forget the NAACP coming out…

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        It’s too late DC, I had completely forgotten that until you reminded me. Are you one of those people that warns people to be careful right after they’ve stepped in a gopher hole earning themselves a broken leg? I probably could have added the AMA’s 2009 call for re-scheduling, the CMA’s 2011 endorsement of re-legalization, and then there was some Jewish organization that seemed pretty major observing from outside of the synagogue. But the last really doesn’t shock me. As far as religionists are concerned the Jews are the closest to rational and way out in front of the rest of the religionists.

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  • thelbert huffman

    science and truth are our hole card. the other side has a hand full of lies and distortions. if i worked for the dea i would be worried about my pension. i would support sending a good portion of of our narks to prison until they merge with the infinite.

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  • thelbert huffman

    of course they would have fair trials by jury of their equals. without torture or cruel punishment. america needs to start living up to the laws it makes and stop trying to rule the world.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      There’s no right to a trial by a jury of your peers in the US. I’ve never heard of a jury of equals before. A jury of peers is a British thing meaning peasants judge peasants and royalty judges royalty. A jury of peers requires a caste system and in the US we’re all equal. At least that’s the story that they’re sticking to.

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  • thelbert huffman

    i used the word equals because i view everyone as my equal. i don’t rule them, they don’t rule me. the police and politicians need to get over the notion that they are better than the peasants.

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  • thelbert huffman

    this is ot, there has been a 5.6 earthquake near eureka:http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqscanv/

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