Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador Create Joint Anti-Narcotics Force

By Dialogo
February 02, 2011

Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador will form a joint force to confront organized crime, particularly the Mexican Los Zetas cartel, Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom announced in an interview published by a Mexican newspaper.

In the face of the threat from drug-trafficking cartels, “we should unite to strike them, dominate them, and reduce them to the minimum,” Colom said in an interview with the daily El Universal.

The Central American countries are “strangled” between two routes that run to the United States along the Pacific and the Atlantic, Colom added.

The president specified that the plan to create a multinational force will be debated at the Central American Integration System summit to be held in June.

“The solution has to be regional: a Mesoamerican Security and Justice Plan, with the support and co-responsibility of the United States,” he explained.

Colom added that the Central American nations will also seek the support of Mexico and Colombia in order to improve border coordination.

Colom launched an offensive against Los Zetas in December with the imposition of a state of emergency, which will extend until April, in the department of Alta Verapaz, on the border with Mexico.

Around 250 tons of cocaine enter the United States annually by way of the so-called Central American Route, of which Guatemala is a part, according to U.S. embassy data.