HomeNewsBriefGuatemala Pushes Drug Legalization Debate, Amid Cautious Responses from Region
BRIEF

Guatemala Pushes Drug Legalization Debate, Amid Cautious Responses from Region

DRUG POLICY / 23 FEB 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

Guatemala is pressing on with a campaign to open a serious dialogue over drug legalization in Central America, but the likelihood of substantial reform to drug laws in the region remains slim.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez made waves when he announced recently that he would attempt to garner support for drug legalization at an upcoming summit of Central American leaders in March, and he appears to be pushing ahead with the effort. On Monday his vice president, Roxana Baldetti (image, above), will begin a tour of the region to explain her government's position on the topic.

Though Baldetti’s itinerary has not yet been released, Perez has said that she will meet with several Central American governments to discuss “alternative methods of combatting counternarcotics and organized crime.”

InSight Crime Analysis

Despite Perez’s best efforts to open a debate on drug policy, it is unlikely that Central American nations will significantly change their drug laws in the near future.

El Salvador's lawmakers demonstrated the obstacles standing in the way of reform this week. As El Faro reports, members of the country’s two main parties (the FMLN and ARENA) declared themselves to be opposed to drug decriminalization, following President Mauricio Funes' statement that he was not opposed to dialogue on the issue.

The heads of state of both Costa Rica and Honduras have also rejected the notion that the legalization of drugs could solve Central America’s citizen security problems. While Costa Rica’s Laura Chinchilla said she remained open to discussing the proposal, Honduran President Lobo rejected it outright, saying it would turn the region into a “paradise” for drug traffickers.

Yesterday Mexico's government also joined in the debate, with Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa announcing that the Caderon administration would be willing to join in an international discussion over drug legalization. Like Chinchilla, however, Espinosa cautioned that legalization would not defeat organized crime.

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

COCAINE / 12 MAR 2021

The extradition of a mayor threatens to topple his family’s decades-long political control of a coastal Pacific town -- a…

BARRIO 18 / 14 SEP 2022

In the mountains of Michoacán, Mexico, Carlos was trained to become a ruthless soldier for the Cárteles Unidos.

BOLIVIA / 29 DEC 2022

The US is losing allies in Latin America just as production of cocaine, fentanyl, and other synthetic drugs is going…

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…