After Washington spent billions to push drug cartels from Colombia and to confront them in Mexico, they’ve muscled their way into Central America, McClatchy Newspapers report. The extent of the infiltration is breathtaking. Drug cartels now control large parts of the countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America.
They’ve bought off politicians and police, moved cocaine processing laboratories up from the Andes, and are obtaining rockets and other heavy armament that make them more than a match for Central America’s weak militaries. Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, chief of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami, says Central America “has probably become the deadliest zone in the world” outside of Iraq and Afghanistan. Homicide rates in cities such as San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras are soaring, making them as deadly as Mogadishu, Somalia, or the Taliban home base of Kandahar, Afghanistan.