San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Presidents from Central America, Mexico call for new regional drug policies

MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Felipe Calderón on Monday met with leaders of Belize, Costa Rica and Honduras to reiterate the need for new policies against drug trafficking, including the possible legalization of marijuana.

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, Honduran President Porfirio Lobo and Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with Calderón in the absence of Guatemala’s Otto Pérez Molina, unable to attend due to his country’s emergency following last week’s devastating earthquake.

Following the meeting, Calderón acknowledged that international organized crime is still “the greatest threat” the region is facing.

The presidents called for a special session in the United Nations General Assembly to be held no later than 2015 on the growing scourge of illicit drugs. Regional leaders hope “to assess the limitations of current drug policies.”

Last week, the U.S. states of Colorado and Washington became the first political jurisdictions in the Western Hemisphere to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Mexican officials did not say why the presidents of Nicaragua and Panama, Daniel Ortega and Ricardo Martinelli, respectively, did not attend.

The regional presidents also expressed their solidarity with Pérez Molina and victims of the magnitude-7.4 earthquake that shook Guatemala last Wednesday, killing 42.

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