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Bush Delists Guatemala as Anti-Drug Ally

February 01, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Bush dropped Guatemala from the list of U.S. allies in counter-narcotics efforts Friday, concluding that it had "failed demonstrably" during 2002 to meet international drug control standards.

It was the first time that Guatemala has received a failing grade in the annual assessment of other nations' drug-fighting efforts. Myanmar and Haiti also were singled out for poor performances, as they were a year ago.

Pervasive corruption was a principal reason for Guatemala's poor rating. "Police stole twice the quantity of drugs they officially seized," said Paul Simon, the State Department's top counter-narcotics official.

Bush can impose economic sanctions against countries that do not measure up on anti-drug policy, but he waived sanctions for Guatemala and Haiti.

Sanctions were continued against Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

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