U.S. Embassy here joins Washington’s defense of drug policies

The U.S. Embassy here is joining the effort to defend Washington’s drug policy. The embassy will bring two U.S. experts here by electronic means to discuss the situation with Spanish-language reporters.

They are Eric Siervo, manager for International Programs with Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America in Alexandria, Virginia, and L. Bradley Hittle of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Washington is going on the offensive after Otto Pérez, the new president of Guatemala, suggested over the weekend that the United States might consider decriminalizing drugs as a way to reduce violence in Central America. The U.S. Embassy there quickly issued a statement that said such an action was not a good idea, and now the embassy in Costa Rica is joining in the public relations effort to defend the war on drug.

Pérez heads a country that has been torn apart by violence and drug cartels. Honduras and El Salvador also are highly violent countries due, in part, to drug gangs. Although criminality is still on the increase in Costa Rica, it has not reached the level of other countries. Much of the violence is due to drug use and gangs.

The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala said that even if gangs did not deal in drugs they would deal in other types of criminality that would continue to cause violence. Washington clams that U.S. Drug use has decreased significantly.

Many Latin leaders have urged the United States to do something about the consumption of drugs that is the end market for traffickers.

The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions also studies teenage drinking, marijuana use and tobacco use, according to its Web site.

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