Nicaragua Requests More U.S. Aid for Fight Against Drugs
By Dialogo September 21, 2010
For the first time, Nicaragua was added to the list of countries with increased drug trafficking, according to the U.S. government report, “Majors List” presented to Congress on September 16.
Costa Rica and Honduras joined their neighbor in the list of major drug-trafficking nations, according to a report in the Miami Herald.
In response, on September 17 Nicaraguan Vice President Jaime Morales requested the U.S. government for increased financial aid to combat drug-trafficking in Central America, said Xinhua news agency.
Morales pointed out that the U.S. gave more funds to Mexico and Colombia with the expansion of the Merida Plan, and added that despite capturing millions of dollars worth of drugs in Nicaragua, this was achieved with great difficulty because of the lack of resources.
“Don’t forget that the main victim of drug trafficking is the United States, so its government should help combat drug trafficking in the region,” he added, according to the same report.
Costa Rica, meanwhile, was shaken by the designation. In a news conference following the news of the report, U.S. Ambassador Anne Andrew reassured the Central American country by emphasizing that “Costa Rica’s inclusion on the Major’s List is not a failing grade or criticism. It is a description of the seriousness of the situation.”
As in the case of Nicaragua, the Miami Herald report highlighted that Costa Rica had seized some nine tons of cocaine so far in 2010.
Still, Andrew cautioned that making the list did not necessarily mean that more financial aid would be destined to any of the countries on it.
El Salvador and Belize are the only Central American countries still not considered major transit routes for narco-trafficking.