Ban Calls for Central American and Mexican Regional Action against Organized Crime
By Dialogo March 21, 2011
On 16 March, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a “regional” strategy against crime in Central America and Mexico, after meeting with the presidents of the isthmus in Guatemala.
“Organized crime is not only a national phenomenon,” Ban warned, saying that progress needs to be made toward a “regional crime strategy in Central America and Mexico.”
The Central American isthmus has become a very insecure region due to the activities of violent gangs and groups of traffickers moving drugs from South America to North America.
Ban met in the Guatemalan capital with presidents Álvaro Colom (Guatemala), Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica), and Porfirio Lobo (Honduras), as well as with the prime minister of Belize, Dean Barrow.
Also participating in the meeting were vice presidents Juan Carlos Varela (Panama) and Rafael Alburquerque (Dominican Republic) and the foreign minister of El Salvador, Hugo Martínez. Nicaragua did not send representatives to the meeting with the UN head.
Ban confirmed that the UN will participate in a meeting on Central American security to be held in Guatemala in June.
The secretary-general made a forty-eight-hour visit to Guatemala to back the work of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a body created by the UN in 2006 to support the country’s judicial system, considered corrupt and inefficient.
“Stopping impunity is vital to protecting all Guatemalans from violence,” Ban said.
“The United Nations will provide additional support to combat impunity and crime,” said Ban, who launched a UN fund to consolidate peace in Guatemala, fifteen years after the end of a bloody civil war.