Monday, March 2, 2009

U.S. Warns Guatemala about Threat of Mexican Drug Cartels

The Mexican cartels and the widespread corruption in the countries of the isthmus, especially in Guatemala, are harming efforts against drug trafficking and represent a growing threat to national security, warned the U.S. government as it submitted its report on the fight against drugs.

The study, published by the U.S. State Department, notes that "as the Mexican cartels penetrate more, the administration (of President Alvaro) Colom will face even greater challenges to security in Guatemala."

The study also noted that "the success of the anti-drug activities depends largely on the political will of the of Colom's administration to confront corruption and to make available the necessary resources to improve compliance with the law."

Washington acknowledged that the Guatemalan president has increased the budget for drug trafficking and security forces have launched a campaign against corruption, but pointed out that as Mexico has increased its fight against drugs, "the Mexican cartels have expanded into Guatemala. "

The report states that "widespread corruption and inadequate efforts of law enforcement contributed to the dismal numbers of arrests in recent years."

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