[QODLink]
Drugs Central
Alvaro Colom: 'Huge aggression' by cartels
Guatemalan president says international drug trafficking gangs are the biggest threat facing Guatemala and the region.
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2011 10:17

Mexico's drug cartels are carving out new territory in Central America, in some of the poorest and most fragile countries in the hemisphere.

In an interview with Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman, President Alvaro Colom said international drug trafficking gangs are the biggest threat facing Guatemala and the region.

"Fundamentally I think we made a mistake, a miscalculation, of the scale of the problem that existed within our security forces," Colom said.

"We are witnessing a very serious aggression, which is part of a regional phenomenon, we are co-ordinating responses [to drug trafficking] with Mexico but the aggression is very strong."

The cartels, with their tens of billions of dollars in revenue each year, use airplanes and even submarines to move cocaine from Colombia into the region. Under attack in Mexico, the Zetas, a drug gang formed by former Mexican special forces soldiers, have built their own airstrips in the Guatemalan jungle.

Colom said some parts of his country near the Mexican border are currently controlled by the cartels. The government is fighting back.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.

Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.