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Central American Countries Study Creation of Counternarcotics Intelligence Center

By Dialogo
April 08, 2011

The countries of Central America are examining the possibility of creating a regional intelligence center in order to exchange the information they gather about drug-trafficking cartels, Honduran Vice Minister of Security Armando Calidoneo announced.

“In this effort, the fight against drugs, we’ve debated the need to create a possible Regional Intelligence Center, which is fundamental,” he indicated to the press at the Twenty-Eighth International Drug Enforcement Conference, which is meeting in Cancún, in eastern Mexico.

Calidoneo, who participated in a meeting of Central American anti-drug authorities, also said that the countries of the region are seeking to improve their capacity to increase their operational capabilities against drug trafficking.

The Honduran vice minister’s statement was made after several officials at the event, which will last until Thursday and in which delegates from more than a hundred countries are participating, warned that Central America is increasingly becoming a field of operations for the cartels.

On 5 April, the director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Michele Leonhart, warned that at the same time that they are being confronted in Mexico, the Mexican cartels are increasing their presence in Central American countries.

On 6 April, Mexican Security Secretary Genaro García Luna said that the region most affected by the cartels’ shift in location “is Central America, particularly the Northern Triangle, made up of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.”