Guatemalan President Calls for Decrim Drugs

By McCarton Ackerman 01/19/12

President "Iron Fist" Molina is an unlikely advocate for region-wide decriminalization.

Molina's approach is radical in
more ways than one.
Photo via

Just days after new Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina called for an “iron fist” approach to fighting the cartels, he announced on Mexican TV that he's pushing for a discussion on decriminalizing drugs throughout the region. Molina says that while he appreciates the US agencies working in Guatemala, he believes the Guatemalan army capable of handling things alone. “We are speaking from the Southern area, where it occurs, through all the countries like Guatemala that are transit points to Mexico and the United States. We have a professional army, well trained, with experience of army conflict,” he argues. Molina made no references to decriminalization during his campaign and even ordered the Guatemalan army to combat drug gangs as recently as last Sunday. He now joins Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in advocating for a different global strategy towards the war on drugs. Just don’t expect the US to support this: the US Justice Department states on its website that “legalization has been tried before and failed miserably.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.