Mexico's drug violence has found its way into neighbour Guatemala, which now has one of the highest murder rates in the world.
An average of 16 people are killed in violent crimes each day, with most of the killings related to the drug trade.
President Otto Perez Molina has only been in office since January, but the retired army general has promised to use force to reduce the violence.
To achieve this goal, however, the government has said it needs help from regional allies, and it wants the United States to lift a 30-year embargo on military aid.
Al Jazeera's Franc Contreras reports from Guatemala City.