OAS to Meet in El Salvador, Discuss Organized Crime

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The Organization of American States (OAS) will meet in San Salvador on Sunday to debate a regional action plan against organized crime.

The organization’s 41st General Assembly, to be held in El Salvador’s capital from June 5-7, will consider a draft plan drawn up by that country.

OAS Secretary General Miguel Insulza said that the meeting was expected to have “concrete results, because we are not going to confront the topic of transnational organized crime in our region with declarations alone.”

The theme of the meeting is “Citizen security in the Americas.” El Salvador’s Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez said that cooperation was essential, as organized criminal networks “do not respect frontiers, do not respect does, [and] mutate rapidly.”

The meeting follows the OAS’s recent decision to allow Honduras back into the group, after it was suspended with the overthrow of President Manuel Zelaya in June 2009.

The countries of Central America have been making moves to increase regional solidarity in the face of the rising tide of murders that has followed in the wake of incursions by Mexican criminal groups, as well as the threat from native gangs. Following the massacre of 27 farm workers in Guatemala in May, several countries from the region held an emergency meeting to declare their support for Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom.

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