United States Donates Ten Million Dollars to Fight Drug Trafficking in Guatemala
By Dialogo September 25, 2009Guatemala City, 24 September (EFE).- The U.S. government donated another ten million dollars to fight drug trafficking in Guatemala, a country considered to be a natural stop along the way for the shipment of cocaine from South America to the United States, official sources announced today. According to the Guatemalan Interior Minister, Raúl Velásquez, the United States will also give Guatemala two helicopters, in addition to the economic resources. The aircraft and the ten million dollars will be put to use to prevent drug trafficking in the Central American country, the minister affirmed, speaking to reporters. Over the course of the last year, the United States has donated twenty million dollars to the war on drugs in Guatemala, which also has at its disposal four helicopters given by Washington. Guatemala is considered a transshipment point for the drug trade, with around 250 tons of cocaine a year passing through the country, according to U.S. authorities. In a press conference held yesterday for foreign correspondents, Velásquez said that the drug traffickers are no longer paying their accomplices in the country with cash, but instead with drugs, which are then distributed within Guatemalan territory. So far in 2009, this nation’s security forces have seized around 4,878 kilos of cocaine.