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Guatamela's Antinarcotics Chief to Step Down

Guatamela's Antinarcotics Chief to Step Down

November 11, 2005
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After just six months on the job, Adán Castillo, head of Guatemala's Antinarcotics Analysis and Investigation Service (SAIA, the Guatemalan equivalent to the DEA) is quitting. The Spanish-language news site Terra reports that Castillo has received too many death threats from powerful drug gangs, and sees no will on the government's part to fight the problem:

"'I have not seen (the political will) and I don't think there will be any for at least another hundred years here in Guatemala. For the moment there is no one who can do this, because the (drug trafficking) organizations are too strong,' emphasized the SAIA chief.

"Castillo confirmed that he will submit his resignation this January, due to the fact that "'a month and a half ago I began to receive (threatening) phone calls; I believe it is a group of drug traffickers that have informants within the agency.'"

The Terra report continues:

"'The groups of narco-traffickers,' added Castillo, 'are nearly the owners of a third of the country,' and 'one of the Guatemalan organizations may have better logistic and monetary support than all the Central American police combined.'

"He also explained that groups of drug traffickers that were once rivals 'have united, and the figure has reached nearly four thousand members.'

"Drug seizures, he added, which in 2004 totaled some 4.2 tonnes of cocaine, are not the best way to measure the SAIA's results, 'because there are seizures but the organizations keep getting stronger.'"

Castillo's claims of narco infiltration into the SAIA are revealing, as the service was created two years ago to replace Guatemala's previous anti-drug force, the Department of Antinarcotics Operations, when the U.S. found that agency to be completely overrun by mafia infiltration and recommended its dismantling.

With every year of drug prohibition, organized crime and violence become more and more engrained into the fabric of the countries that produce and provide transit for the drugs that gringo consumers continue to demand. Short of the U.S. mobilizing its entire military and creating a hemisphere-wide police state, these trends will continue. Hopefully, it will not take "100 years" for politicians both north and south of the Rio Grande to realize that their current strategy is not working.

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder
Managing Editor
The Narco News Bulletin

© Scoop Media

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