Friday 20 January 2012

Guatemala, Mexico, US authorities debate drug war strategies

La politica es la politica will post periodic English language translations sourced from the Americas Mexico Blog.

The following come from press reports in English and Spanish:

Guatemala's Otto Perez Molina calls for drug decriminalization

Fox News Latino: "Only days after taking office on the promise of an "iron fist" approach to security, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina called for a discussion about decriminalizing drugs.

The former general argued on Mexican television that a regional strategy for decriminalization should be looked into as soon as possible. “Here we are speaking from the southern area, where it occurs, through all the countries like Guatemala that are transit points to Mexico and the United States," Pérez Molina said, according to El Nuevo Heraldo newspaper.

Pérez Molina added that Mexican President Felipe Calderón had made a great effort in combating drug trafficking, but criticized the United States for not matching Mexico’s effort and for being the world’s largest drug consumer."
Pérez Molina: La "mano dura" takes a shot at the United States

Calderón meets with CIA Director to discuss the security agenda

Justice in Mexico: "President Felipe Calderón met in private today with Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director, General David Petraeus, U.S. ambassador in Mexico, Anthony Wayne, Nobel Prize economist, Nouriel Roubini and members of his security cabinet. The meeting took place at the presidential residence in Los Pinos and focused on the security agenda between the two countries.

According to a statement issued from the Office of the President, Calderón and Petraeus discussed “different topics in the bilateral agenda and agreed to continue strengthening ties in the area, driven by both governments.”

Presidential candidates debate the drug war

The ITT List: "While the Republican presidential candidates try to shoot down Mitt Romney before it's too late for them, their conservative counterparts in Mexico held a relatively genteel debate on Tuesday about the future of that country, including the U.S.-backed drug war that has claimed over 40,000 victims since 2006. Three "pre-candidates," as they are called, are competing for the nomination of the right-wing National Action Party (PAN), which will hold an internal election on February 5th. The general election is July 1st."

... The PAN's candidates are holding firm... in their insistence that (the war against the cartels) continue. Josefina Vázquez Mota, a former Secretary of Education and the front-runner for the nomination, recently said that "there will be no. . .truce with organized crime" if she is elected. One of her rivals, Senator Santiago Creel, has proposed continuing the struggle under a centralized Anti-Organized Crime Agency. The third candidate, ex-Secretary of Housing Ernesto Cordero, said he wants to lengthen the prison sentences of people convicted of drug-related crimes."

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico highlights Merida Initiative support for drug abuse prevention

Milenio: "The U.S. ambassador (to Mexico), Anthony Wayne, emphasized the support of the Merida Initiative is providing to reduce the demand for drugs in Mexico by providing $18 million for the National Network Against Addictions and New Life  Centers.

The diplomat met Tuesday with the first lady, Margarita Zavala, at the official residence of Los Pinos, to talk about drug policy and support for young migrants. After listening to Zavala talk about how the New Life Centers help families better cope with the problem of drug abuse, Ambassador Wayne said "there is no doubt that New Life has saved many lives and changed so many countless others. We are proud to support this campaign through the Merida Initiative. "

The New Life campaign includes prevention and education at different levels for millions of children and adolescents as well as training for more than half a million health workers, teachers, coaches, and other first responders to drug abuse."

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