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As Prop 19 to legalize marijuana fails in California, Latin American leaders breathe relief

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And as Latin America, particularly Mexico and Central America, remain under siege from drug-related violence, the two sides are likely to continue to face off – even after the California initiative has failed.“You’ve got a mixed sentiment about this," says Andrew Selee, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. "Why are some presidents supporting this and others have been questioning it?”

Part of the answer might be found in the fact that ex-presidents have far fewer political and diplomatic pressures than those in power, which allows them to speak more freely, analysts explain. For example, presidents receiving funding from US sources to fight a drug war must ensure the money keeps flowing, says Laura Carlsen, director of the Americas Program for the Center for International Policy in Washington.

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