Mexican and Central American Delegates Prepare Security Summit

By Dialogo
February 14, 2013

On February 12, Costa Rica hosted Mexican and Central American officials and subject matter experts who discussed strategies to strengthen the fight against drug trafficking and trade, which will be evaluated in a week during a regional summit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in San José, the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.

Costa Rican Minister of Foreign Affairs Enrique Castillo opened the ceremony stating the need to redefine what Central America and Mexico should “do to counter organized crime and unify efforts toward that goal, especially in the fight against drugs, immigration and human trafficking.”

Castillo’s top priority is the joint fight against organized crime, which has transformed Central America into the most violent region excluding conflicts of war, according to the latest U.N. report on homicide statistics. In Mexico, the counter drug offensive has killed about 60,000 people since 2005.

According to U.S. authorities, 90% of cocaine sent by drug traffickers from South America into the United States goes through Central America and Mexico.

This will be a central topic in the summit between Central America and Mexico. Peña Nieto, who visited Guatemala during his first official international tour in September before taking office, will arrive in Costa Rica on February 19 on an official visit, and the next day he will attend the Central American Integration System (SICA) summit, according to his agenda.

While preparing for the visit, government delegates from both countries are celebrating the “Dialogue: Mexican-Central American Relations towards 2020,” meeting in a hotel in San José, where regional and security positions are being addressed, as well as political challenges, economic opportunity and growth, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs mentioned.

“This dialogue will be shaped and substantiated after signing an agreement for a Mexican-Central American Partnership,” including efficient mechanisms for “cooperation, strengthening commercial and investment relationships, as well as the promotion of a true integration in the Americas,” Castillo said.

Central American countries and Mexico share a regional free trade agreement since 2011.