Guatemala drug legalization meet draws 2 leaders

Associated Press
Guatemala's President Otto Perez Molina speaks during a presidential summit with Central American leaders in Antigua, Guatemala, Saturday March 24, 2012. Presidents from Central America are meeting ahead of the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia in April. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
.

View gallery

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemala's president proposed Saturday that the United States and other "consumer" countries pick up the tab for the cost of drug seizures.

Otto Perez Molina made the comment during a Central America meeting that he called to discuss his earlier proposal to legalize drugs, a meeting that drew only two of his counterparts from the region.

"For every kilo of cocaine that is seized, we want to be compensated 50 percent by the consumer countries," he said.

Perez Molina said the fight against drug trafficking has failed and governments need to look for alternatives.

The presidents of Panama and Costa Rica did attend Saturday's meeting in Guatemala, and two of the other four Central American nations sent lesser representatives.

The office of Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes suggested setting a date for another meeting, saying other nations have expressed interest in participating.

Perez Molina first made the drug legalization proposal in February. It has received lukewarm response in the region and opposition from the United States.

View Comments (22)