On June 27, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson delivered boats and vehicles to the Salvadoran Ministry of Public Safety for the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime.
“Crime and insecurity continue to threaten Salvadorans,” and in addition, they “drive away” investors who could create jobs, Jacobson said at the event, having arrived the previous evening to begin a Central American trip.
“The United States recognizes the critical security threat that El Salvador is currently facing, and we’re working hand-in-hand with the Salvadoran government to support efforts to combat illicit trafficking and organized crime,” she stressed.
Security Minister David Munguía and Defense Minister José Atilio Benítez received the three boats, another three inflatables, and six all-terrain vehicles to transport the vessels.
The naval and land equipment, valued at 600,000 dollars, will be used by the Cuscatlán Joint Task Force, on the Pacific coast, where, according to Munguía, drug shipments pass through on their way to the United States.
Jacobson said that under the bilateral agreement known as “Partnership for Growth,” both governments have made a commitment to address the issue of citizen security in “a comprehensive way,” in order to combat criminal groups that engage in extortion, robbery, and drug trafficking.
“Combating crime and improving citizen security require coordinated effort at all levels,” she emphasized.
Jacobson met with President Mauricio Funes, Foreign Minister Hugo Martínez, and other security officials.
She subsequently traveled to Guatemala on June 28 and concluded her trip on June 29 in Honduras, in order to attend the Central American Integration System (SICA) summit, at which the region planned on signing a partnership agreement with the European Union.