Drug Cartels Don't Die; They Just Move
Watching how the drug cartels are penetrating the highest levels of some Central American governments, I can't help
wondering whether the nearly 40-year-old U.S. war on drugs has only helped push the drug barons from
During a 48-hour visit here for a business conference, I turned on the television on my first night in town and learned
Velásquez was the fourth interior minister who was fired since Colom took office in
But that wasn't all. Hours later, I learned that Colom had just fired the country's police chief, Baltazar Gómez, and the head of his anti-drug unit in connection with the theft of 700 kilos of cocaine seized from drug traffickers last year.
Drug trafficking is not new in
But as the
"As Mexico achieves further progress against the criminal organizations operating on its territory . . . there is growing evidence that
Intrigued, I requested an interview with Colom and asked him whether he sees any correlation between
"Whenever President Calderón has a success, I have a problem," Colom responded, only half-jokingly.
"We either fight drug traffickers regionally or we will lose the battle."
According to Colom, who met with Secretary of State
The virtual dismantling of the Guatemalan army after the 1996 peace accords that ended the civil war brought the armed forces down from 54,000 to 12,000 troops in 2004 and left the northern part of the country unprotected, he said.
Does it make sense for
"Yes," he said. "Last year, we seized more cocaine and synthetic drugs than over the previous four years. Just think of the number of lives we saved by doing that."
My opinion: I agree that you can't throw in the towel and allow the drug cartels to continue expanding.
But it's also clear that after spending more than
Granted, in recent years
But more will be needed.
As it is now, the U.S. war on drugs in
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