[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
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
join our mailing list