Guatemala Warns of ‘Colombianization’ of Country

April 1, 2005

GUATEMALA CITY (EFE) – In thisnorthernmost Central American country,considered the principal transshipmentpoint for South American cocaine boundfor the big U.S. market, at least seven wellestablished cartels are trafficking drugsfrom Colombia, Bolivia, Peru andEcuador, according to an investigation bythe local press.The daily Prensa Libre, citing U.S.diplomats as well as government officials,asserts that drug cartels, particularlyColombian, are gradually taking over thecountry.Most of the drugs are brought into thecountry by boats along both Atlantic andPacific coastlines. The powder then travelsby land, sea and air to northern Mexico’sSinaloa state and the lawless bordermetropolis of Ciudad Juarez, from where itis smuggled into the United States, theinvestigation found.The U.S. Embassy here says 90% ofthe estimated 150 tons of cocaine that enterGuatemala every year is for re-export tothe north.Guatemala’s Ministry of the Interiorhas identified seven distinct cartels operatingwithin the country and linked them tospecific regions.Guatemalan security forces have seizednearly 29 tons of cocaine over the past fiveyears, including a seven-ton score off thePacific coast by the U.S. DrugEnforcement Agency last February, when21 Colombian smugglers were detainedand brought to the United States.Last week, Guatemala’s attorney general,Juan Luis Florido, said that narcoticstrafficking has become the country’s singlegravest scourge.The cartels’ economic power, he said,has allowed them to acquire large tracks ofreal estate all over the country, includingnear its borders. These large plots of landallow the cartels to operate with impunity,using light planes to ferry drug shipmentsin and out via clandestine airstrips, he said.Florido also said that drug kingpinsoften use the armed and violent membersof Guatemala’s youth gangs as assassinsand couriers.Vice-President Eduardo Stein hasacknowledged that the country is headingtoward “Colombianization,” alluding tothe power that drug traffickers have andare continuing to acquire in certain government,political and business circles.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Guatemala Fuego eruption is over: officials
Guatemala
69 views
Guatemala
69 views

Guatemala Fuego eruption is over: officials

AFP - October 15, 2018

The most recent eruption of Guatemala's Fuego volcano ended Saturday, an official source said, with locals escaping a repeat of June's…

October in Costa Rica: when the Caribbean comes a’callin’
Pic of the Day
105 views
Pic of the Day
105 views

October in Costa Rica: when the Caribbean comes a’callin’

The Tico Times - October 15, 2018

Costa Rica's Caribbean coast is famously exempt from many of the typical weather patterns in the rest of the country.…

Moving your family to Costa Rica? Here’s the first question to ask
Welcome to Costa Rica
135 views
Welcome to Costa Rica
135 views

Moving your family to Costa Rica? Here’s the first question to ask

Natasha Gordon-Chipembere - October 15, 2018

Moving is a tremendous process; moving countries is an even bigger emotional, financial and physical challenge. Taking the risk to…