Panama on U.S.drug black list

  • 18/09/2008 02:00
  • 18/09/2008 02:00
President George Bush in a speech said that the State Department has identified the following countries: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Boliv...

President George Bush in a speech said that the State Department has identified the following countries: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela as major drug transit or major illicit drug producing.

According to the speech the country's presence on the Majors List did not necessarily mean an adverse reflection of its government's counternarcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States.

On the contrary it is a way of identifying places, that because of a combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors allow drugs to transit or be produced despite the concerned government's most assiduous enforcement measures.

The document designated Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela as countries that have failed to make any significant effort during the previous 12 months to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and take the measures to fight drug trafficking and drug production in their territories.

The United States said that it will continue to support programs to aid Venezuela's democratic institutions and continued support for bilateral programs in Bolivia are vital to the national interests of the United States. The last comment caused a vitriolic attack on the part of the Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, who qualified the report as laughable.

The report added that the growing expansion of drug trafficking in Central America poses serious challenges to the region's limited capability to combat both the narcotics trade and organized crime.

It expressed particular concern about the increasing presence of drug trafficking organizations in Central America that are fleeing stronger counter narcotics regimes elsewhere, especially in Mexico and Colombia. Often unimpeded traffickers use long Central American coastlines for maritime drug shipments.

Even though there have been noteworthy seizures, a high proportion of drugs transiting Central America are not detected or seized.

The United States is encouraged by the commitment of the Regional Integration System to a regional response, such as sharing counternarcotics intelligence. Support for cohesive regional institution-building and practical law enforcement enhancements in Central America are critical components to a successful regional counternarcotics strategy. It look forward to working with Guatemala and other Central American nations to support counternarcotics programs and the rule of law.

Lo Nuevo
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