Chilean President Calls for Unrelenting Fight against Drug Traffickers

By Dialogo
December 07, 2011

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera called for an unrelenting fight to be waged by the state against drug traffickers, “pitiless” enemies who in the event of “doubts or weaknesses” gain ground against governments, on December 5, in the Mexican city of Mérida (in eastern Mexico).

“I want to recall that these people (drug traffickers) are formidable, pitiless enemies who never flag, and against whom we should never lose our will to fight,” asserted Piñera, who was participating in the Tuxtla Group summit being held in Mérida as a guest.

After Mexican President Felipe Calderón put the issue on the table for discussion, Piñera emphasized that, in effect, organized crime, particularly drug trafficking and terrorism, afflicts various Latin American countries in different proportions.

“There can be no complacency or weakness or doubt against crime, against criminals, because when we fall into that complacency, those doubts or weaknesses, they advance and win ground,” Piñera stated, arguing that a frontal assault is the only option.

“Despite the fact that it’s a very difficult fight, as many of those here present have demonstrated, particularly in the cases of Mexico and Colombia, we have no other alternative but to wage that fight with all our strength, within the framework of the law, and to win and obtain victory,” he said.

The summit of the Tuxtla Group, which was created 20 years ago and has had various names, was held on December 5 with the participation of presidents and foreign ministers from Central America, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.

The central topics at the meeting, in addition to the fight against organized crime, were the reinforcement of trade ties and the protection of migrants.

In Mexico, violence linked to organized crime has left more than 45,000 dead in recent years, in the majority of cases as a result of struggles between cartels, according to the government, and in others as a consequence of a federal anti-drug operation in which more than 50,000 military personnel are participating.

In the region, while Colombia has succeeded in curbing drug-cartel activities over the last decade, Guatemala is facing a rising wave of violent incidents due to the presence of Mexican cartels on its territory, especially in the northern region of the country.