HomeNewsBriefBiden Dismisses Drug Legalization During Central America Tour
BRIEF

Biden Dismisses Drug Legalization During Central America Tour

DRUG POLICY / 6 MAR 2012 BY HANNAH STONE EN

Following a meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, US Vice President Joseph Biden told press that while the US welcomes a debate on drug legalization, there was no chance of his administration altering its position against such a move. 

Biden said that while he sympathized with the frustrations of Latin American governments who were fighting the drug trade, legalization would only cause more problems, such as increased addiction rates.

According to the New York Times, Biden said he did not discuss the subject during Monday's meeting with President Calderon. Calderon has in the past hinted that he would be open to debate on drug legalization, although he has not spoken out to support neighbor Otto Perez, Guatemala’s new president, who breathed new life into the issue with his recent outspoken calls for discussion. Since he left office, Calderon’s predecessor Vicente Fox has openly said that he supports the idea of legalization. Current presidents that have agreed there should be dialogue on the issue include Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

Undeterred by Biden's assertion, Perez said that he would state his case before the vice president at a meeting of Central American leaders Wednesday in Honduras.

The Guatemalan leader said he hoped the prime minister of Belize and the president of the Dominican Republic would be present, so that he could explain his position to them. El Salvador’s leader Mauricio Funes, however, told reporters that the issue of Perez’s proposal was not on the agenda.

InSight Crime Analysis

Perez has also said he plans to raise the subject at the summit of Central American leaders in March. Many analysts have said that his stance could be an effort to encourage the US to give more military aid to combat drug gangs in the Central American country.

Nicaragua Dispatch brings another perspective to the issue by quoting the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, who compares Perez’s campaign to bring the drug legalization issue to the table with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias’ work on the Central American peace plan 25 years ago. The plan was signed in 1987 despite opposition “from the United States, Cuba and the Soviet Union, all of which were convinced that the only solution to Central America’s problems was a military one,” according to Arias.

A version of this article appeared on the Pan-American Post.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 12 APR 2021

Tens of thousands of trucks on Mexico’s highways are being robbed of cargo every year, with criminal gangs becoming more…

CHILE / 16 SEP 2022

Chile has recently seized several new psychoactive substances (NPS), highlighting the growing diversity of its drug markets.

COVID AND CRIME / 1 SEP 2021

The Mexican government is highlighting a record number of remittances sent back to the country by citizens living in the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…