RealNews

U.S. Drops Guatemala As Counterdrug Ally

President Bush (news – web sites) dropped Guatemala from the list of allies in counternarcotics efforts Friday, concluding it had “failed demonstrably” during 2002 to meet international drug control standards. Guatemala and 22 other countries were graded on their counternarcotics performances last year. It was the first time that Guatemala had received a failing grade, unlike Myanmar and Haiti, which also were singled out for poor performances, as they were a year ago. Pervasive corruption was a principal reason for Guatemala’s poor rating. “Police stole twice the quantity of drugs they officially seized,” said Paul Simon, the State Department’s top counternarcotics official. Full Story

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