Central America needs to increase regional cooperation on anti-drug trafficking efforts to stave off a spread of the bloody drug war engulfing Mexico, said Antonio Maria Costa, head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. "These are countries which are caught in a crossfire -- between the major drug producing countries in the south, in the Andean region and the major drug-consuming countries in North America," Costa said. Drug gang violence claimed more than 6,000 lives in Mexico in 2008 and is driving up murder rates across Central America.

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