The drug czar can claim all he wants that the drug war is over. Tell that to the people every day in this country who have their doors broken down by armed militarized forces.
Oh, yeah, and tell the Marines, too.
The war on drugs just got a whole lot more warlike. Two hundred U.S. Marines have entered Guatemala, on a mission to chase local operatives of the murderous Zeta drug cartel.
The Marines are now encamped after having deployed to Guatemala earlier this month, and have just â€œkicked offâ€ their share of Operation Martillo, or Hammer. That operation began earlier in January, and is much larger than just the Marine contingent and involves the Navy, Coast Guard, and federal agents working with theÂ GuatemalansÂ to block drug shipment routes.
Itâ€™s a big shift for U.S. forces in the region. For years, the Pentagon has sent troops to Guatemala, but these missions have been pretty limited to exercising â€œsoft powerâ€ â€” training local soldiers, building roads and schools. Operation Martillo is something quite different.