I have a number of good friends in Guatemala and often the topic of discussion has turned to the problems of drugs and drug cartels. These friends and others living there say things like: “It is the USA (EE:UU) that is causing all the violence in Guatemala.” “Your appetite for drugs in America is creating violence in our country of Guatemala, killing many people.”
Humm. Let me dissect this for a few moments.
The fallacy of the above logic — a product (drugs), that Guatemala “sends” North to the USA, and that many people in the USA want – is making violence in Guatemala. That is pure Bull Shit!
The USA buys bananas from Guatemala. People in the USA can do whatever they want with the bananas. They can eat them, use them for sex toys, snort them if they can figure out how to do that, etc. etc.
Here is another example, take sugar. The USA imports lots of sugar from Guatemala, tons in many forms. The USA uses it in as crystal sugar, molasses, and ethanol. These products are all strictly monitored, watched, and regulated by the government of Guatemala.
These are only two products out of any number of examples that could be used to point out a fact. Getting products from Guatemala is not causing any violence in Guatemala that I can find from my research. What Americans do with what they “import” properly or not – is not the business of Guatemala. If Americans want to “snort” their way to death – so be it. Personally I think it is a stupid way to live life, but I am not a user.
So that brings me to the question: who is causing the violence in Guatemala? Those that think Americans are causing the violence are playing the “victim”. Pointing out that it is because of you – USA – that we have violence. “Poor me”, says Guatemala, “you Americans are destroying and killing us”. Absolute Bull Shit!
The Great Jaguar – Tikal
Guatemalans are killing Guatemalans. Guatemala is destroying Guatemala. It is not what happens to the product at the end of the line that is messing up the life of Guatemala. It is how Guatemala has made an unspoken industry of drugs. Make no mistake, it is an industry involving some within the very government and security systems in that country. As an example; there are two major drug gangs in the capital of Guatemala City. They fight and kill to keep and take control of the drug routes and territory within that city. It is Guatemalans killing one another for control of a lucrative “business”. For many reasons, too numerous to detail here, many Guatemalans have no hope of rising out of poverty, and when they look at the drug money – it pays very well, so some putting aside morality, get involved.
If those in power in Guatemala wanted to stop the killing, they could. Stopping the killing not by stopping any American who wants to “snort”, shoot up, or whatever, that is America’s problem. Americans can do what they want with bananas or any other “import” from Guatemala. That is America’s issue. In America the use and abuse of drugs is directly affecting the security and violence in American cities. That is America’s issue too. America cannot say it is a “victim”. It cannot say, “poor me, “you Guatemalans are destroying and killing us because you sell drugs”. That would be crazy. If America and its leaders and security personnel want to fix the mess in the United States, they could.
market day – Chichicastenago
colors, colors, and more colors
Guatemala, and only Guatemala, can and must fix its violence cause by drugs. Truthfully, it will be a long journey to fix a systemic problem within the whole system of a country, but it can be fixed. Violence from the “distribution” of drugs could be greatly reduced or eliminated if the will of the political system and military, and other security persons really wanted to stop it. Problem is, as mentioned earlier, many of them are in on the “business”, even paid under the table.
Why are people in Guatemala in the “business” of selling and moving drugs North. Simple – it pays well. Lots of money to be made. And in order to make the most money, one needs to control as much as possible the flow and distribution. Presently that is done by gangs and drug lords grabbing whatever share of the “business” they can and keeping control of it – even if that means murdering your competition so you can have more income for yourself and your group as a gang or even as a part of the government. I once was told by a Guatemalan that: “the reason the police don’t like drug lords and drug gangs – is – they don’t want the competition”. That says a lot!
So Guatemala, don’t play the victim. Playing the victim is an easy way to point the finger at someone else for your problems. You can continue in your corrupt state of affairs because you tell everyone who will hear, it is those who use the drugs that are killing our people. Once again – Bull Shit. It is you and the money to be made by you and your friends that turns a blind eye to the problem – which is you and the need to clean up your country. Take responsibility for YOUR actions and stop playing the victim by blaming others for the mess you foster. One cannot make one’s personal life or one’s county better by screaming “I am a victim”. One improves both, persons and country, by taking control of the evil and removing it. Point the finger at yourself – then do something about it.
good people of Guatemala – working at making an honest living
Please now don’t misrepresent me. Don’t think my heart doesn’t bleed for the suffering in Guatemala. It is terrible what happens in that country. It is a country with some of the most beautiful and historic places in Central America. It is a country where the ordinary, the average citizen tries to live each day as a good honest person, supporting family, caring about parents, helping their children have a better future. Yet, it is a country that has unbelievable violence against so many people because of the “drug problem”. As an example, if a young person, as young as primary school, does not cooperate with a gang recruiting him / her for the drug “business”, they are simple murdered. Is it any wonder that parents and young people are trying to escape to what they see as a better life in USA? Risking their lives to come North. They know that either they will be killed in Guatemala (or surrounding countries) if they stay and get used by gangs or they may die trying to come to the USA. They have so little choice – and so much suffering. They try to escape, knowing all the problems they will face, including possible death, to come North. Good people being driven from their own country by gangs and those who support their dirty work.
one wonders – what he is thinking – about his present & future
You Guatemala are the problem. You Guatemala are allowing and causing the violence in your country. Because of your lack of resolve to find other ways for people to get out of poverty, other than working for gangs and the fast money found there; because of your lack of resolve to address the corruption in your justice system for those involved in leadership of the drug “business” be they police, government officials, or entrepreneurs of the “business”, you Guatemala are destroying your country.
happy & innocent
Americans can do what they want with bananas, sugar, and drugs – you need to stop telling America to stop buying drugs. You need to stop being the place where being in the “business” is profitable, and for many the only way to get-a-head in the world. You may not have created the problem, but you sure as damn hell are not trying to solve it correctly!
Don’t play the victim – you are better than that!
Saint Dominic Church – Guatemala City
a people with hope and dreams
yet so much pain
Your comments are always welcomed