Guatemala President proposes to legalize drugs and shipment route
With escalating violence in the region, decriminalizing the transportation of drugs heading to the US has become a hot topic. The idea was first broached by the Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina. He has been lobbying for support because he believes that in the war on drugs, US assistance has not reduced the drug trade or trafficking. As we reported, last week Saturday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington and Minister of National Security John Saldivar attended a meeting in Antigua, Guatemala. Elrington explains that the president of Costa Rica wants the region to be paid for the confiscation of drugs. But is Perez Molina’s proposal gaining ground? Elrington says Perez Molina’s plan has four proposals.
Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs
“These proposals dealt essentially with the issue of the decriminalizing drug trafficking. The meeting was preceded by discussions or papers dealing with drug trafficking and the decriminalization thereof and these papers were presented by an ex-President of Colombia and an ex-Secretary General of the OAS, Mister Cesar Gavira. Another was from PAHO, an expert and another from the Carter Center. And all these people spoke on the issue of the decriminalization on the consumption of drugs—not necessarily drug trafficking but the consumption. President Perez Molina then presented four proposal and these proposals related to one; a frontal attack on trafficking as is being done in Mexico, two; the creation of a regional court with regional jurisdiction to deal with high profile crimes in the region such as narco-trafficking, money laundering, trafficking in weapons; three, the issue of the decriminalization and regulation of the transshipment of drugs. This entails designing and creating a corridor for the transport of drugs and establishing border controls for the proper registry for the movement of drugs, creating a regional agency for the control and management and the shipment of drugs. And four, the issue of the legalization of the consumption of drugs with all necessary legislation put into place; taking into consideration the production, consumption and transshipment. A supervising agency will be created to oversee all logistics. So it is really major matters he wanted to discuss. President Chinchilla of Costa Rica, who was present, proposed that United States and major drug consuming nations be asked to pay the region a certain quota for every kilo of drugs confiscated as a direct contribution to the fight. As I indicated to you earlier, we had certainly made the observation that it’s drug trafficking and it is really seen as a national security interest for the United States so that they would not be in favor of these proposals and we did not think that in fact any fruitful discussion of these issues could take place in the absence of a representative from the United States.”