Most of the cocaine shipped north from Central and South America these days travels through Guatemala and into Mexico before eventually crossing the border to the United States. The value of that cocaine, even before it enters the US market, is approximately $40 billion a year. That’s nearly the size of Guatemala’s entire economy.
The drug cartels in Guatemala act with impunity and effectively control much of the country. As Guatemala’s President Alvaro Colom recently told Al Jazeera, “The drug traffickers are much better armed and financed than our military and our government.” Guatemala, as a result, has become a very dangerous place to live.
What’s the solution? According to Giancarlo Ibarguen, president of the Universidad Francisco Marroquin, the US government should end its war on drugs.
Approximately 5 minutes.
Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.