Guatemala and Mexico Strengthen Border Security Operations

By Dialogo
June 13, 2013

Guatemala and Mexico are strengthening operations against drug and human trafficking, smuggling and money laundering among other crimes on their shared border, officials from both of the Central American nations announced on June 10.

The High Level Committee on Border Security (CANSEG), which met on June 10 and 11 in Guatemala City, brought together officials from both governments.

“Among the topics discussed at the meeting with the Mexican delegations were the exchange of information and border security measures,” Interior Minister of Guatemala, Mauricio López, informed at a press conference.

During the meeting, Guatemalan and Mexican officials delved into topics such as the “information exchange to combat organized crime,” added the minister.

“Five thematic panels were developed to discuss the strategies established in 60 border points detected with Mexico,” López said, adding that bilateral coordination will be updated “in public safety intelligence.”

López said that one of the main objectives of the meeting is to “counter crimes generated from the border with Mexico,” and share experiences between the two countries.

With the support of the United States, Guatemala has announced it would form a battalion of elite police and soldiers equipped with armored vehicles to combat drug trafficking and other forms of organized crime in the border area with Mexico.

Mexico and Guatemala share a border of nearly 622 miles, used for the passage of migrants of different nationalities en route to the United States, smuggling drugs and other goods, and where dangerous criminals, such as members of the feared gangs, or maras, roam.

I always considered the Mexican south border to be about 1 thousand kilometers and today I see that Dialogo estimates it the same way. Given this estimate, I think it's time that the US similarly grants a higher importance to the 3 thousand kilometers they share with Mexico on its northern border.

It is not possible to watch the 35 thousand kilometers vast land of Peten with a UH-1H helicopter and a 160-Cesna plane; with the exception of the recent donation from Taiwan that, as rumors go, has given the Guatemalan Army 4 helicopters as donations.
Guatemala needs to strengthen their air resources urgently, and the same goes for their maritime power.