June 18 - Guatemala extends state of emergency another month to continue fighting Mexican drug cartels. Jessica Gray reports.
Includes file pictures Guatemalan police shoot several rounds into a building. Armed with tanks, they are targeting dangerous Mexican drug cartels embedded in the country. On Saturday, President Alvaro Colom extended the 30-day state of emergency in the northern Penten region another month, escalating his own "war on drugs." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT OF GUATEMALA, ALVARO COLOM "Basically, we are going to to continue with the state of emergency in the region. The state of emergency is working and we are extending it so we can finish off the work that still needs to be finished and find those people who are still hidden." He ordered the state of emergency after 27 peasants were massacred along the Mexico-Guatemala border on May 27. Authorities are calling Colom's efforts so far a success. Police have arrested 15 people they believe are connected to a cartel responsible for scores of murders here. Colom is now asking other Central American countries to join his fight. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT OF GUATEMALA, ALVARO COLOM "Those countries which are drug consumers are just as responsible as drugs producers. They are responsible for controlling arms, for controlling money supply, for controlling demand and for chemical substances that they supply. They need to support the state security system of Central America financially." Guatemala is set to host a conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that will discuss security issues in the region later this month. Jessica Gray, Reuters