Reasons to Decriminalize Drugs

Breaking what is a taboo for any incumbent ruler, President Otto Perez Molina insists on his proposal to deny a market for drug traffickers.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Insisting that applying traditional methods to tackle the scourge of drugs and drug trafficking has not been successful , Perez Molina "does not regret his bold proposal to decriminalize drugs in Central America and is excited about a discussion of this global issue."

In an interview with Yesille Ponce published by, the Guatemalan President explains his reasons for the proposal and how despite initial criticism, mainly from the United States, it is gaining ground for discussion.

Perez Molina is the first President in the history of Latin America to raise this proposal and notes that "decriminalization is the perfect weapon to combat drug trafficking and reduce violence in Central America."

Responding to the claim that "many experts believe that this measure will worsen violence in Guatemala and other countries in the region", Perez Molina replies,
"Having more violence than we have right now with organized crime, specifically drug trafficking, is impossible. So something must be done, because the northern triangle of Central America, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador registered the highest rates of homicide in the world when compared with other regions on the planet.

This requires us to continue exploring other possibilities to truly begin to make a deal with drug trafficking. "

And in response to "Experts say that legalizing drugs will trigger consumption," the president of Guatemala said:

"That is another myth: that consumption will soar, but in places like Portugal, where drugs have already been decriminalized, the effects are the opposite, they have declined."

More on this topic

Cultivation of Marijuana and Poppy for Medicinal Purposes

April 2014

The President of Guatemala has again stated in international forums the need to radically reform anti drug policies.

From a statement issued by the Government of Guatemala:

A Guatemala Commission is to propose legalizing marijuana and poppy for medicinal use

The Guatemalan president, Otto Perez Molina, said today in Panama, after participating in the first plenary of the World Economic Forum on Latin America, that later this year, the National Commission for Reform of Drug Policy could suggest that a bill be presented to Congress to legalize marijuana and poppies for medicinal use in the country.

Marijuana in Uruguay, Poppy in Guatemala?

December 2013

In the search for alternatives to the failed traditional fight against drug trafficking, the Government of Guatemala studies the possibility of producing poppy in a legal and controlled manner.

President Otto Perez Molina's was the only voice raised in the Western Hemisphere in support of the Government of Uruguay's sedition in authorizing the production and controlled use of marijuana.

Failure of the War on Drugs

August 2012

In the U.S. the number of people over 12 years old who use drugs increased from 5.8% in 1991-93 to 8.9% in 2008. In Mexico the war on drugs has killed over 50,000 people over the past 5 years.

Juan Carlos Hidalgo wrote an article for in February 2012. His approach, denouncing the harmful effects of drug prohibition, was based on a proposal by the President of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina, to legalize drugs as a means to combat drug trafficking.

Central America to Discuss Drug Legalization

March 2012

At a meeting in Honduras, the region's heads of state agreed to discuss the decriminalization of drugs.

The initiative was proposed by Otto Perez Molina, president of Guatemala, who emphasized the need to seek "alternative mechanisms" to combat drug trafficking.

The leaders of Panama, El Salvador and Honduras said they were against decriminalization, but were open to discussing the issue.

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