OAS Reaffirms Commitment to Fight Crime

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The three-day summit of the Organization of American States (OAS) concluded Tuesday in El Salvador with few concrete results to show, after the assembly debated a proposed regional action plan against organized crime.

Secretary General of the OAS Jose Miguel Insulza said that the organization hoped to release a general statement Tuesday, outlining the terms of a potential security plan for Central America, reports news agency EFE.

The theme of the organization’s 41st General Assembly was “Citizen security in the Americas.”

Increased talk about creating a common anti-crime strategy in Central America comes amid rising drug trafficking and homicide rates in countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The region has received $165 million in security aid from the United States, under the terms of the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). Representatives from Central American countries have also debated seeking more anti-crime aid outside of the U.S..

The region has lobbied for more aid for improved training and police equipment, but there has also been discussion of more cooperation between the security forces in each state. President Alvaro Colom of Guatemala has argued for the creation of a cross-border task force charged with carrying out anti-drug operations across the region’s borders.

The OAS is set to participate in another two-day conference on a regional security strategy in Guatemala on June 22-23.

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