Partnering With Central America To Combat Crime

Posted by Julissa Reynoso
June 22, 2011
Central American Leaders and Secretary Clinton Pose for a Photo

Early tomorrow morning, Secretary Clinton will lead the U.S. delegation to the International Conference of Support for Central American Security Strategy, in Guatemala City. The conference will bring together many of the presidents from Central America, as well as President Santos of Colombia and President Calderon of Mexico, and senior leaders from Spain, Canada, Italy, Israel, the Republic of Korea, Chile, the European Union, the United States, and international organizations to discuss strategies for overcoming security concerns in Central America.

As a neighbor and a partner in the hemisphere, the United States is one of many countries concerned about the growing violence and insecurity that transnational crime has spawned in Central America. Criminal activity varies from country to country -- in some, the problem is more about transnational gangs, in others, the narco-cartels. But, all over Central America, transnational crime translates into violence and danger that people across all levels of society feel every day.

Apart from the human cost of transnational crime, there is a devastating economic cost. Experts calculate that insecurity in Central America carves off, on average, more than 7 percent, of GDP. Such a high figure cripples development at a time when countries are racing to establish a competitive footing in an integrated world. Our interdependence, and the commitments we share to the strong and prosperous democracies that will shape the future, guide our involvement and support for greater citizen safety in Central America.

The United States has been working with these partners to develop new mechanisms to coordinate the security-related assistance we and other countries and institutions provide. It is critical for us to collaborate to figure out what works, what doesn't, and the responsibilities of each stakeholder. The United States and other core partners have created a “Friends of Central America” group that includes large institutions like the Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank, as well as other donor countries with an interest in supporting the region, including Colombia, Mexico, Canada, Spain, and the European Union. Members of this group are developing new mechanisms to ensure better coordination as we support Central American countries' efforts to develop effective strategies for combating transitional crime.

The United States and other outside partners provide substantial material support to Central American nations. Recognizing our co-responsibility in the drug trafficking cycle, the United States alone will spend over $10 billion next year in our own demand reduction programs. Of course, no amount of outside partnership can substitute for the political will and whole-of-society commitment by Central American countries that is needed to combat transnational crime. Citizens and governments must build consensus on how to address these problems so they will be able to build the future they want for themselves and for their children.

As we make our final preparations to travel to Guatemala City, I look forward to meeting with counterparts from the region and working with them to find ways to do the complicated but necessary work that will counter transnational crime and keep our countries safer. Stay tuned.

Comments

Comments

Carson
|
Florida, USA
June 22, 2011

Carson in Florida writes:

If we are going to mentor an organization on drug traficking, let's make sure that we have credible evidence that we are capable of doing it (if we have done it successfully in the past).

William
|
Michigan, USA
June 22, 2011

William in Michigan writes:

If the member countries (SICA) have a trade deficiet amongst themselves, then maybe that should be a part of the discussion (bilateral or multilateral). A trade deficiet is a drag on GDP.

ahmad k.
|
Pakistan
June 22, 2011

Ahmad K. in Pakistan writes:

President(Pakistan)ZARDARI expressed his views against Former president NAWAZ both belongs to same mentality .185 millions people are watching them playing dishonesty with nation ,its been 64 years ago no attitude is seen to meet positive approach for the country ,playing ROP-O-DOP which a boxing term .Now this pitch has to be destroyed nation want new pitch with new politics.Truth has to come no matter it takes years to reconstruct all buildings.

palgye
|
South Korea
June 22, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva believes the tears are necessary. Sports director like him, in other countries sign suggesting that the story is not, he eyed the poor citizens, but the nation's most occupied them, shadows from the sun, the proletariat from the tax normally paid, responsibilities and duties trying to focus, that effort, into the middle class of ordinary citizens with the preparation of, creation, and his tears and effort in Central America and South America are considered necessary. Of course, before the thing to do is believe that the war against crime. Using all available methods /

South American continent's countries' economic situation is difficult, but the needs of citizens, rather than real life experience is too low to talk about that. Brazil Seems too happy these days, keeps their own answers rather than to try and move in the desired direction. Again and again lay in their own way?

Welcome to the fight against crime. Boring boring to present to the citizens of our sacrifice, and their hope in history. I would like to participate, how I do. Are you sure you want to go back to Brother story? You also want to work. And I include vat engage the State Department would like to improve the environment of the restaurant.

I think I can eat railroad.

First, get rid of crime, while the trust and provide hope to the people, and they lend money to a small amount, or give the opportunity to engage in agriculture or animal husbandry is based on self-motivated accomplishment as prepared as we can do believe in yourself, not the taxes for me and, the country huge earthworks performed, the back temporarily, but the money collected opportunity, providing education, enhance it based on a large industrial park established by, and ordinary citizens the opportunity to work By providing a certain extent, to ensure the success of a think. Here, the forces of civil society is growing, from the idea that corruption is restarted. Huge forces are legal, too depressing .... Is it logical? Significant growth potential of the continent of South America together, That's so dependent on drugs and tourism. Oh lost, dancing ....

One company in one country and the politicians, please ...
There are countries like the White House, I think.

John
|
Canada
June 22, 2011

John in Canada writes:

I agree with Carson in Florida. The drug war has been a failure that has ruined lives and cost huge amounts of resources that in the end have been for nothing. If anything the drug war has made life worse for people around the world, while providing not much in return (unless your a drug dealer or law enforcment). A child at many schools around the world has greater access to drugs than they do cigarettes or alcohol – I would say that’s failure. Given the financial situation of countries this war on drugs will contribute to further financial and social erosion. When we have to spend 10 bucks to get a dollar gain, it isn’t working. We can help ourselves everywhere with a better approach. Perhaps even turn a problem into something of benefit.

Donald G.
|
Massachusetts, USA
June 22, 2011

Donald in Massachusetts writes:

It is encouraging to see Secretary Clinton's focus on CentAm crime, which as the article correctly points out, has a substantial impact on our neighbors' GDP, democratic development and quality of life.

After 8 years as our First Lady, the Secretary saw how President Clinton's focus on community policing literally transformed public safety and empowered every citizen to partner with the police to enhance security. She is wisely supporting the development of community oriented (read: democratic) policing philosophy throughtout Central America.

The return on a minimal investment for us here stateside is appreciable; investments into this region as a result of enhancing the rule of law will make for stronger regional trade partners. Stronger economies create jobs for people in their own countries. Lastly, a general feeling of public security will encourage people to stay and invest their futures at home, rather than risk the dangerous trek across the deserts of Northern Mexico and Arizona to become an undocumented immigrant.
Donald S. Gosselin
Boston, MA USA

palgye
|
South Korea
June 23, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Do not think I was too late even now, say, to think I'm lying. Think we should go to Yemen to work on. My thoughts and words, what is punished, I think does not forgive, but I think that you need. A less aggressive way to think. I think that you need to.

.

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