El presidente mexicano, Felipe Calderón, exhorta a los responsables de políticas de Norteamérica y Centroamérica a ‘explorar todas las alternativas posibles’ para reducir la influencia de los cárteles del narcotráfico. Más información, en inglés, está disponible abajo.

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Outgoing Mexican president Felipe Calderon joined three Central American peers in calling for a review of regional drug policy Monday following the legalization of marijuana possession by two US states last week.

Calderon was speaking in Mexico City after a previously planned meeting on drug policy with the leaders of Honduras, Belize and Costa Rica.

Calderon made no direct mention of the election-day results in the United States. He said that "organized crime poses the most serious threat currently facing the states and societies of our region" and delivered a list of 10 resolutions for combating the drug trade.

"[We] urge the authorities in consumer countries to explore all possible alternatives to eliminate exorbitant profits of criminals," Calderon said.

US citizens consume 3,700 tons of marijuana annually, with at least 40% of that amount coming from Mexico, according to a report by the independent Mexican Institute for Competitiveness. The report, called "Si los vecinos legalizan" ("If the neighbours legalize"), estimated that Mexican drug cartels would lose more than $1bn in annual income if Washington state alone legalized marijuana.

Under the new laws in Washington and Colorado, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is legal. Regulations pertaining to the growth and sale of marijuana are to be put in place over the next year.

The possession of marijuana remains illegal under federal statutes, and the Obama administration has given no sign that it plans to curtail drug arrests or the prosecution of drug crimes.

The call Monday by Mexican President Felipe Calderon and the presidents of Belize, Costa Rica and Honduras is the most significant Latin American reaction yet to the 6 November decisions by voters in Colorado and Washington.

The Mexican administration that takes office next month has already questioned how it will enforce a ban on growing and smuggling a drug legal under some state laws.

Tens of thousands have died in Mexico since Calderon declared a militarized war on drugs in December 2006, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

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