Friday, September 24, 2004
Guatemala Wants One of Those Colombia-style deals
With Plan Colombia, the US has set an interesting precedent. If you are a major source country for currently illegal drugs, and are willing to play ball with us (or say that you are), we will give you and your military millions of dollars. Now Guatemala, already an anti-drug aid recipient, wants more; from this week's Drug War Chronicle:
Just days after once again being named to the State Department's list of major drug-producing or transiting countries, Guatemala called on the US to pay up if it wanted better results in the Central American nation long known as a major transshipment point for cocaine heading north from Colombia.
In remarks reported by the Chinese news agency Xinhua, Guatemalan President Oscar Berger said the US must provide more financial and material assistance if his country is to be more efficient in prosecuting drug traffickers. "Guatemala is and will continue being a good partner of the United States in the combat against drug-trafficking," Berger asserted. "Should the United States want more efficiency, then it ought to be a better partner. They have the resources and must strengthen the Guatemalan army with speedboats and helicopters," Berger said. "The only resources we count with in the combat against drug trafficking in Guatemala are ourselves," he added.