Guatemala Asks UN to Seek New Paradigm for Countering Drugs

By Dialogo
October 04, 2012

On October 2, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez requested that the UN look for new paradigms in the fight against drug trafficking, a scourge that causes thousands of deaths each year in Central America.

We must “find new paradigms to fight drug trafficking, to unify efforts to confront transnational crime,” Pérez told the press, and requested the international organization to research new combat alternatives.

Studies may lead to “convening an international meeting in the future so the countries can give a favorable response,” he added.

In a letter sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on October 2, Mexico, Colombia, and Guatemala formally requested the UN to head an urgent revision on the global strategy against drugs.

Pérez explained that the joint statement was made in a meeting held with his counterparts Felipe Calderón, from Mexico, and Juan Manuel Santos, from Colombia, outside of the UN General Assembly held last week in New York.

“We are asking the UN Secretary General that the letter be dispersed and considered as an official document” among member countries within the organization, Pérez said.

“There are three countries – Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico – affected by drug trafficking, violence, and insecurity, some to a greater extent, others to a lesser extent, but all three countries are making efforts to make this call at a global level,” he outlined.

Pérez expressed regret that “every day in Guatemala, we suffer the consequences of a problem remaining for over 50 years.” According to the head of state, out of the 6,000 deaths occurred every year in his country from violence, 42 percent are related to drug trafficking.

In February, Pérez proposed to decriminalize drug trafficking, trade, and consumption, but he did not raise this issue to the UN last week.