U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is in Mexico and soon will be on his way to Honduras, meeting with Central American leaders to figure out an effective strategy for combating the surging, deadly drug trade.
Many Latin American leaders say the so-called ‘War on Drugs,’ which emphasizes aggressive law enforcement, has failed and only led to increased violence. Some want to explore de-criminalizing drugs.
The Obama Administration and others remain steadfastly opposed to legalization, and appear to be planning stepped-up hemispheric drug enforcement actions.
But what if the illicit drug trade is just a symptom of the real problem?
“What’s really needed is a new mindset, about changing the culture so that the people with wealth and power in these countries invest in improving the lives of their own citizens,” said Mauricio Vivero, executive director at the Seattle International Foundation.
Vivero just got back from Honduras, which some have dubbed the current murder capital of the world, where he met with business leaders, politicians, philanthropists and development experts. He attended a meeting in San Pedro Sula called by the Honduran government and World Bank and featuring the Central American Leadership Initiative — an organization launched in 2007 by Bill Clapp, co-founder of the Seattle International Foundation, along with other business leaders in the region.
Biden is headed to Honduras Tuesday in part because the drug cartels are moving there, forced south due to the crackdown in Mexico.
The fight against drug cartels often resembles pushing on a balloon. Continue reading