Government of Guatemala warns that the country has become a cocaine producer
Guatemala has become a cocaine-producing country and is no longer used just for transit and storage, Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart said Wednesday, after the country located coca plantations and laboratories where the drug was produced.
“Following the discovery of fields planted with the coca leaf, Guatemala becomes a cocaine-producing country and puts Guatemala in a completely different regional security situation,” said the official at a press conference.
“This puts Guatemala in a completely different situation. Not only are we a country of passage or transit … but now Guatemala becomes a cocaine producer,” he said.
The minister said Guatemala is “working a very strong strategy with anti-narcotics authorities in the United States” to counter the development.
He said that on Tuesday, they received five helicopters that were repaired by the United States and will serve to combat drug trafficking in the Central American country.
Previously, the aircraft were piloted by US personnel, but now they will be operated by Guatemalan police after they obtained a North American certification.
Degenhart explained that together with the Ministry of Defense, they have dismantled three narco-laboratories, as well as coca leaf plantations — the most recent last Thursday in a Caribbean town. The operation occurred during a state of siege decreed in 22 municipalities after alleged drug traffickers executed three members of a military patrol.
The findings were in a mountainous area of the municipality of El Estor, in the department of Izabal, where the deaths of the three military personnel occurred Sept. 3.
Guatemala and the rest of Central America are used by international cartels that, with the help of local bosses, traffic drugs and launder money, affecting the high crime rate in the region.
You may be interested
Costa Rica coronavirus updates for July 13, 2020Alejandro Zúñiga - July 13, 2020
Costa Rica confirmed 440 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 8,036 cumulative known cases, the Health…
Costa Rica is enforcing strict measures this week. Here’s what’s openThe Tico Times - July 13, 2020
Costa Rica is enforcing strict measures throughout much of the country this week in order to better trace coronavirus outbreaks…
Costa Rica announces cuts in public spending in the face of pandemic crisisAFP and The Tico Times - July 13, 2020
The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, announced Sunday a sharp cut in public spending as part of the actions…