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Mar 29, 2012

U.S. Under Secretary responds to Guatemala Drug Proposal

The Under Secretary of State Maria Otero is the highest ranking U.S. diplomat to visit Belize in recent times. Otero is responsible for foreign relations on civilian security issues; including democracy, human rights, trafficking in persons and counter-narcotics. Since Otero arrived on Wednesday, she has been meeting with Non-governmental organizations and government officials to discuss a myriad of issues. Earlier today, News Five asked Otero what were her impressions of Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina’s regional meeting with leaders during which he sought to decriminalize drug consumption and establish a legal route for narco-trafficking.


Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State 

Maria Otero

“Our sense of that meeting and certainly our own position which continues to be the position that we have held; is a position that does not believe that decriminalizing drugs is the proper approach to dealing with it. This is the position the United States has held and will continue to hold. We don’t believe that that is really the way to be able to address this issue. We note also that the countries in Central America agreed with that decision—they also questioned whether decriminalizing is the approach that we can take to this issue. Clearly as we are trying to address the threat that drug trafficking presents for the societies in Central America and certainly globally, we look at the role they are playing; it’s useful to have a debate, a discussion, on all possible alternatives for dealing with the issue. So certainly being able to discuss this topic is something that we welcome, but our position continues to be the one that we have held since the beginning. My visit represents the priority that President Obama and Secretary Clinton have for our bilateral relationship and partnership with Belize. Suring my visit I have had the opportunity to meet leaders, officials, to reaffirm our close partnership with the Belizean people. I have been impressed by the caliber of so many of your dedicated public officials working hard in ministries, hand in hand with the members of civil society to tackle some of the most difficult challenges facing Belize today—from corruption and gang violence to creating economic opportunity for all the members of the Belizean society. The United States is pleased that Prime Minister Barrow ahs prioritized these issues for the second term of his administration and we look forward to working together to tackles these complex challenges with concrete advancement and resource. Our nations share common aspirations and common challenges including transnational organized crime, drug trafficking.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “U.S. Under Secretary responds to Guatemala Drug Proposal”

  1. belizeanpride says:

    The question the U.S needs to answer is who needs to stop the demand we Belize or them. they are the ones who need to stop it since they are the vast consumer in our region. if they don’t demand the product we don’t have to hot our heads how to stop it. they want to sqeeze the hell from us to stop but they are wasting billions on wars when they need to focus on the drug abuse they have in their country.

  2. CEO says:

    Might be true but just dumping drug dealers back into Belize even though they have no relatives in belize and cannot even remember anything about Belize notwithstanding belize is their birth place is surely not the answer to this problem.

    They learned their bad habbits in and developed their adictions in the US and whe repatriated they become agents for the drug lords and a menace to our little country. If the US is not able to handle the drug epidemic in their country how on eath they expect us to do it with no real help? The US is the ultimate market for drugs and countries in this part of the world are only trans-shipment points.

  3. OriginalWoman says:

    Cudos to you Belizeanpride and CEO!!!! The US knows exactly what they are doing……They are making billions of $$$$ everyday on drugs…..The problem has been going on for years…..The more corrupt the government gets, the more drug-infested America becomes, and evntually spreads to other countries…..How can you expect them to have then answers for us, when they cannot or will not fix the problem they have with drugs (illegal or legal)….There is a pill or drug for every problem you can think of….They even have commercials these days, telling people about different illnesses, their symptoms and which over the counter-medication they can buy and use. The Federal Drug Administration in America is making BIG BUCKS from DRUGS – ILLEGAL & LEGAL!!!!

  4. Truth says:

    Belizeans, look at Portugal a couple of years ago crime rate was high, teenagers were starting to get into drugs now that they have legalized especially marijuana crime rate has gone down look for yourselfs and look at how grown folks are smoking weed and drinking around the police. Hardly any fights everyone is having a good time. Truth is the United States is using Belize as a pawn to get cocaine, People with common sense know that if the Stated really wanted to cut down the drugs they would have already had 20 – 30 drones intercepting the speed boats,planes and cars the cartel uses to transport drugs. Belize should just legalize marijuana,tax it, and watch how the States will then look toward Guatemala to be their pawn wake up Belizeans the United States is playing y’all for a fool

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