In an interview on the Mexican TV station, Televisa, the new president of Guatemala, General Otto Pérez Molina, has called for the decriminalisation of drugs as the only effective way of confronting the drug cartels. He said that such a policy would only work if it was applied simultaneously across the region. He called on all the countries in the region ‘from the countries in the south where coca is grown to the transit countries like Guatemala to the big consuming country of the USA, to work together as soon as possible to produce a common strategy’.
The president confirmed that the most powerful Mexican drugs cartel, Los Zetas, was active in Guatemala. ‘They arrived here about four years ago to take over the local cartels and those who refused to cooperate were killed.’ He said that he was investigating reports that the head of Los Zetas, Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, was living in Guatemala. Guzmán, who escaped from a high security prison in the USA in 2001, is considered by anti-narcotics experts to be the world’s most powerful drug-trafficker.
Below is the report, in Spanish, by the Guatemalan newspaper, El Nuevo Herald, of the president’s interview with Televisa.