Mexico’s Calderon Talks Security with Guatemalan President-Elect

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Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Guatemala’s president-elect Otto Perez Molina say they plan to increase intelligence sharing between the two countries and address the exploitation of Guatemalan migrants in Mexico.

The issues were discussed during an hour and a half-long meeting between the Mexican leader and the soon to be Guatemalan President in Mexico City on Thursday.

Both Perez Molina and Calderon expressed concern about the activity of the Zetas in their countries, and agreed on greater coordination between the police forces and armies of both nations. The Zetas, arguably Mexico’s most feared and violent criminal organization, have now established a firm base in Guatemala.

Calderon said that future Guatemalan Interior Minister, Mauricio Lopez Bonilla, will travel to Mexico on Monday to meet with Mexican Public Security Secretary, Genaro Garcia Luna, to discuss the plans in further detail.

“The idea is to have a civilian intelligence platform between the two countries, allowing us to have an exchange of real time information to fight organized crime and drug trafficking,” Calderon said.

Guatemala’s President-elect also confirmed that he had reached an agreement with Calderon that would address the harassment of Guatemalan economic migrants travelling through Mexican territory. As well as promising to offer greater protection to Guatemalan migrants, Perez Molina said that Calderon had agreed to provide a “consular card” to Guatemalans who cross into Mexico, eliminating the need for a visa.

A good working relationship between the two leaders will be necessary if they are to combat the organized criminal groups which are entrenched in their two countries, and it is encouraging that the two men were reported to have had “great chemistry.” However, with Perez Molina taking office on January 14 and Calderon having just over a year left in office, they will have little time to work together to enact these proposals.

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