12/7/11 – Mexican President Felipe Calderón, along with the heads of state and other representatives of Central American nations, strongly encouraged the U.S. government to stem the demand for drugs and the stream of firearms in the 13th Summit of Tuxtla (XIII Cumbre de Tuxtla) in Mérida, Yucatán on Monday December 5. They credited the over 40,000 deaths in Mexico during Calderón’s regime to the power and wealth of drug organizations generated by the elevated drug demand.
“In the last few decades, the extraordinarily high-demand for drugs has granted tremendous financial power to illicit organizations,” unanimously declared the representatives of Central America. Despite attributing the might of organized crime to the high consumption of drugs, they reaffirmed their stance against drug cartels.”With criminals there cannot be debility, indulgence or doubt, because when we fall for it – it empowers them,” said Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile who was this year’s non-Central American guest. Nonetheless, they emphasized the power of illegitimate business undermining the rule of law in Latin America, which has cost the lives of thousands of civilians and police officers in the Central American region. Guatemala harbors one of the largest share of members of the powerful Los Zetas cartel, a Mexican cartel whose influence and power has seeped across the Mexican-Guatemalan border into Central America.
In addition to addressing drug demand, Alejandro Poiré, Mexico’s Minister of Interior (Secretario de Gobernación) noted in an open letter that the firearms used by criminals are imported from “consumer-nations” due to insufficient regulations that provide criminal groups with easy access to high power weapons. He suggested “exploring all possible alternatives to halt the flow of armament that empowers them.”
The meeting, at which President Calderón announced the newly established $160 million dollar Yucatán Agreement, included the chief executives of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá, El Salvador, Colombia, Chile and the Dominican Republic. According to the Mexican government’s website, the Yucatán Agreement is “designed to contribute to the economic, social, and institutional development of both regions through the financing of infrastructure projects, technical assistance and trade in goods and services linked to infrastructure.”