Canada Steps Up Drug War Efforts
The Canadian military is "shifting its focus" to fighting drug trafficking in Latin America
Canada has been backing US military efforts in the drug war in Latin America for years, and are now more involved than ever before, CBC News reports. "We've partnered with our US partners in the counter narcotic effort on the southern flank, in Central and South America, as the flow goes north," says the country's military commander, Lt-Gen. Stuart Beare. Canada has previously deployed naval operations in the Caribbean Sea to thwart drug smuggling, as well as providing specialized radar and patrol aircrafts. But they are stepping up efforts to help the US stop the flow of drugs from Latin America, says Beare, including assisting with military training in Chile, Colombia, and Brazil. The brunt of their focus is on Central America, where they have spent more than $2 million to improve Belize's national forensic center and defense force, and supported the training of Guatemalan troops in peace support operations. Canada's contributions to the region are relatively small, but significant, says Beare. "You're not seeing battalions and fleets of aircraft," he says. "What we're doing is persistent engagement, cooperation, and collaboration with our partners in the hemisphere, to help raise capacities, improve our network in the region, so we can respond to contingencies there."