Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Guatemala fears drug lords will buy candidates

Reuters AlertNet - Guatemala fears drug lords will buy candidates

Like other businesses, drug lords will support candidates that will look after their interests.

GUATEMALA CITY, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Guatemala's government warned on Tuesday that powerful drug traffickers plan to back candidates in upcoming 2007 elections who if elected would turn a blind-eye to their criminal activities.

Voters in Guatemala, a major gateway for illegal drugs heading to the United States, next year will elect a new president as well as congressmen and local officials.

"We're in a pre-election phase and drug traffickers have the capacity to finance their own candidates," Vice President Eduardo Stein told Reuters on Tuesday. "They want a government to rise to power that would be tolerant of a narco-state."
Sounds logical.

The rise in drug trafficking with links to violent street gangs is contributing to a wave of violence sweeping Guatemala, with over 20,000 murders in the past five years, according to the human rights ombudsman office.

The violence creates a climate of instability that could affect the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections, Stein said.
This is entirely the fault of the United States and its war on some drugs. If nations were people I'd want to slap this idiot silly. Rather than face our domestic drug problems domestically, we continue to insist on a failed policy of prohibition, and we don't care about all the problems it creates here and abroad. Violence, herbicides in the wilderness, erosion of civil liberties at home, corruption of law enforcement everywhere... It goes on and on.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has estimated that some 75 percent of the cocaine bound for North American markets passes through Guatemala.

A U.S. general was startled by Guatemala's vast drug-trafficking infrastructure on a recent visit to the lawless Peten jungle region close to the border with Mexico.

"The drug trade is so lucrative that airplanes -- some of them large enough for 45 passengers -- are disposable," Gen. Bantz Craddock, the head of the U.S. Southern Command, said in a speech to military personnel in the United States earlier this month.
We are so stupid.

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