On Saturday February 11th, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina
declared that, following discussions with Colombian President Santos,
he will present a proposal for drug legalization in Central America at
the April 14-15 Summit of the Americas.
Guatemalan Vice-President Roxana Baldetti will begin a tour of Central
America to discuss the proposal with regional leaders and garner support
for it, starting with Panama, Costa Rica and Salvador on February 29th.
Unsurprisingly, the move was greeted by a quick rebuke from the US
President Molina’s initiative is unprecedented and marks the
first time since the launching of the War on Drugs by Richard Nixon in
1971 that a foreign head of state actively challenges the US-led
policies of drug prohibition and try to build a coalition against it.
A former general of the Guatemalan army, President Molina has
impeccable credentials to launch such a move: he was elected in November
2011 on a law-and-order platform, pledging to restore security to the
country. Guatemala is on the major transit route from Colombia to the US
and drug violence has exploded there over the past few years, turning
this already impoverished and unstable country into one of the most
dangerous countries in the world.
We all need to show our support to President Molina and his potential
Latin American allies. We also need to put pressure on the Obama
administration to ensure that it doesn’t stall Molina’s proposal, and
that it allows a truthful debate to take place at the April 14-15 Summit
of the Americas and beyond.
If anyone has any news or insights into this issue, INPUD would be
very keen to hear about it. Please comment in the boxes below and leave