The Guatemalan President’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly pointed to his country’s considerable difficulties Wednesday.
Watch Falla’s remarks in the player above.
Among them were a lack of vaccines for COVID-19, social upheaval and migration due to climate change and crime and the “sourge” of drug trafficking throughout the region.
“Those who have access are the most powerful economies forgetting that hoarding of vaccines could end up creating a risk for themselves, if we of the smaller, poorer nations do not achieve the same level of immunization,” he said.
Aid groups have warned that the persistent inequities risk extending the global pandemic, and that could lead to new and more dangerous variants.
The delta variant raging across the U.S. has proved to be more transmissible than the original strain, though the existing vaccines have been effective at preventing nearly all serious illness and death.
More than 5.9 billion COVID-19 doses have been administered globally over the past year, representing about 43% of the global population.
But there are vast disparities in distribution, with many lower-income nations struggling to vaccinate even the most vulnerable share of their populations, and some yet to exceed 2% to 3% vaccination rates.
In his speech Giammattei also cited Venezuela as allegedly being the conduit for 95% of the drug trafficking flights in and out of the region.
“This is an evil caused by a demand for its consumption especially here in the United States of America, where there is this demand.”