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As Guatemala Says "Legalize It," Ban Goes Light on Latins, Maritime Disputes

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 25, updated -- When Guatemala's president Otto Fernando Pérez Molina arrived to speak to the media at the UN on Wednesday, only three came and asked questions. Inner City Press asked if, on his signature issue of de-criminalization of drugs, he has a sense of the views of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and what he thinks the US should be doing.

  Otto Fernando Pérez Molina, who had mentioned the support of Ban's predecessor Kofi Annan, said he had spoken with Ban last year. He noted that two US states have decriminalized marijuana and said the Federal government is not opposing that. He spoke of small compartments in cares carrying drugs through Guatemala.

  An irony, of course, is that Otto Fernando Pérez Molina has been accused of war crimes, including making rebel leaders disappear. Guatemala is now on the Security Council; this part of its history and of Otto Fernando Pérez Molina rarely come up, even as Sudan and Syria are discussed.

On September 24, the president of Costa Rica spoke, mostly about her country's dispute with Nicaragua. A response by Nigaragua, scheduled for September 25 at 11 am, was canceled. So far, Latin presidents are the most accessible, but with most UN press fixated on Syria and Iran, they are not getting much play.

  Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson's office about a letter Colombia gave Ban and was told that not only Costa Rica and Panama but also Jamaica had signed it, about maritime issues.

  After Costa Rica's president told Inner City Press it did not include Jamaica but also on-land issues and the Press reported it, the UN quietly issued a correction. Who's counting?

  We are.

  When Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, met with Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday evening the UN had five officials at the table. Twenty minutes later for an Israeli minister the UN brought more than 12 officials.

  Does Ban's UN take Latin America for granted? Some say, Si. Watch this site.

Update: we'll note for the record that Ban will have many meeting with Latins this General Debate week. Then again, so far as golfing partners, only South Korea, San Marino and the UK are listed. Are there are Latin golfing partners? Inner City Press has asked for disclosure of the list. Transparencia!


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