[QODLink]
Americas
'Fighting drugs needs local focus'
Latin America organised crime analyst calls trend of using armies to fight drug gangs "disturbing".
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2011 16:42

Latin American countries have been afflicted by the problem of drug trafficking for decades. In the face of the growing menace, the Guatemalan government has decided to deploy its army to stave off the crisis.

As part of Al Jazeera's Drugs Central programme, Shihab Rattansi spoke to Steven Dudley, co-director of Insight Crime, an organisation that studies organised crime in Latin America.

Dudley told Al Jazeera: "It's disturbing that the army is being brought to fight the drug gangs."

He said the Guatemalan army is trained to deal with armed conflict, not drug trafficking, and believes the real emphasis should be placed on police.

Dudley said even the army can be infiltrated by the criminal gangs, so reinforcing local police should be the priority.

He added that the fight against drugs must be carried out in this fashion throughout the entire region in order to thwart criminal organisations.

"Other social issues like creating more schools and more employment opportunities have to run parallel to it."

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
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
NSA whistleblower Snowden and journalist Greenwald accuse Wellington of mass spying on New Zealanders.
Whatever the referendum's outcome, energy created by the grassroots independence campaign has changed Scottish politics.
Traders and farmers struggle to cope as restrictions on travel prevent them from doing business and attending to crops.
Unique mobile messaging service, mMitra, helps poor pregnant women in Mumbai fight against maternal mortality.
Influential independence figure has been key in promoting Scottish nationalism, but will his efforts succeed?
join our mailing list