Sunday, January 15, 2012

Guatemalan army joins drug war - "We have to neutralize organized crime," says new president day after swear-in

Felipe Calderón anti-cartel strategy adopted by Mexico's neighbors to the south

Only one day after being sworn in as Guatemala's new president, Otto Pérez Molina has ordered his nation's armed forces to assume the leading role in confronting drug traffickers who now threaten the security of the entire country. MGRR reported on the very dangerous situation in Guatemala earlier today.

Pérez Molina has adopted exactly the same strategy implemented by Mexican president Felipe Calderón in December 2006. In the face of the enormous power and inestimable wealth of the international drug cartels there is no other option than to use the military, especially since local police and security forces are commonly infiltrated and corrupted by organized crime. Curiously, the success of Calderón's aggressive approach against cartels operating in Mexico has caused problems for his neighbors just to the south. Los Zetas have flooded into remote provinces of Guatemala, in part to escape increasing pressure from the Mexican army which is engaging them with increasing frequency.

Honduras is also using troops to deal with a precarious security situation. It too has been "invaded by drug traffickers," most of them from Mexico and Colombia.

Does the 1950s "domino theory" have contemporary relevance to Central America?
Mexican drug cartels expand operations to Peru and Bolivia

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