[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
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.

Featured
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
join our mailing list