Central America drug war imperils democracies

Central America drug war

Blue crystal methamphetamine

PRAYER ALERT: On August 20 Belize police found 54.7 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in a vehicle they intercepted in Orange Walk Town. That’s enough for more than 100,000 hits of crystal meth. The stash was worth US $2 million. That means not only that big drug business has come to inland Belize. It means that the Central America drug war is not too far behind.

On August 24 a small plane was seized by Costa Rican authorities. It was carrying 400 kilograms of cocaine and $1.5 million in cash. The cargo was on its way via Guatemala to the Mexican border with the US.

The Central America drug war is being fought over drug routes from South American coca suppliers such as Columbia. These drug routes pass through Central American and Mexican transit points to consumers in the US. Columbia and Mexico are now cracking down on drug cartels. But drug cartels are moving their well-financed operations—and large armies—to Central America. They threaten to destabilize the relatively young democracies there.

These small nations lack the resources and weaponry to fight the cartels. Through bribes and threats cartel leaders are infiltrating corrupt governments. In some localities the de facto leaders are drug lords. Newly-elected President Sanchez Ceren of El Salvador has direct ties to drug traffickers. His right hand man, Jose Luis Merino, is closely linked with the Columbian guerrilla group FARC, which takes in $500+ million annually from the drug trade.

There are law enforcers who are trying in various ways to stop the growing Central America drug war. Some have targeted the secret labs that process the drugs, with several notable successes. But lower supplies have made competition for drugs all the more violent. Honduras has conducted raids on drug dens and imprisoned thousands of young men. But the prisons have become breeding grounds for more crime, terrifying local populations.

The US has added to the crisis by deporting back to Central America thousands of “criminal aliens.” Many of them have joined gangs like the dreaded MS-13 and 18th Street. Those two gangs alone have up to 85,000 members. Such drug gangs made the three Northern Tier nations in Central America—Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador—the most dangerous region in the world in 2010, according to the UN. Their transnational reach has grown to threaten the US itself.

The US, with a recent surge in unaccompanied children crossing its southern border, is preparing to deport many thousands more back to Central America. These children will not only face a growing Central America drug war. They will face the worse drought in the region in 38 years. It has left millions in a state of malnutrition

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BPN articles related to Central America drug war:

Belize youth farm project stalled in court

Armed Drug Gangs Seek to Overshadow Belize

Related sources for Central America drug war:

Police confiscate $2 million in crystal meth

Costa Rica police seize small plane, $1.5 million in cash and 880 pounds of cocaine

Central American Northern Tier countries combat drug labs

Drug Traffickers Threaten Central America’s Democratic Gains

U.S. Officials Ignoring Rise in Drug Trafficking in Latin America

Sudden surge in unaccompanied children at border

Tags for Central America drug war: Belize, crystal meth, Central America drug war, Columbia, Mexico, South America, drug cartels, drug trafficking, El Salvador, FARC, Sanchez Ceren, Honduras, Guatemala, Northern Tier, US, Central America drought, US border crisis, Jesus
 
Keyword: Central America drug war

Central America drug war due to US consumption

 

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