Guatemala: U.S. should look beyond Mexico in fighting drug trade

CNN, 11/23/2010

The United States should provide more money to fight drug trafficking in Central America instead of focusing aid dollars only on neighboring Mexico, a top Guatemalan official said.

Guatemala has seen a significant spike in drug violence, including clashes between authorities and members of the Zetas drug gang, Guatemalan Interior Minister Carlos Menocal told CNN en Español on Monday.

And the country needs help combating cartels, which are increasingly carving out new drug transport paths, he said.

Menocal said Guatemalan authorities have seized $5.8 billion worth of assets from suspected criminal organizations since 2008 — a quantity equivalent to country’s entire budget.

“This shows that the structure of organized crime has many more resources than Central American countries have to combat it,” Menocal said.

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