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Mexico, Colombia and Panama Will Strengthen Cooperation against Drug Trafficking

By Dialogo
July 06, 2009

PANAMA CITY, July 1, 2009 (AFP) - Mexico, Colombia, and Panama agreed on Wednesday to intensify their mutual cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking, during a meeting of their presidents on the occasion of the inauguration ceremonies for the new Panamanian leader, Ricardo Martinelli. The plan to jointly bring greater resources to bear on the anti-drug fight was announced by Martinelli and his fellow presidents Felipe Calderón (Mexico) and Álvaro Uribe (Colombia). “Together we have decided that Panama is going to take an active role in the fight against narcoterrorism and drug trafficking, the narcomafia and the crime that is prevalent in our region,” said Martinelli, without giving details of the possible actions to be implemented. “We are going to be an active agent in cooperation and information management so that these evils do not continue harming the inhabitants of this region,” he added. For his part, Uribe declared that “Colombia considers herself in good company in this fight, accompanied by Panama (and) Mexico, so that we may gradually (...) succeed at the task of defeating organized crime.” “We know that citizens’ lives are affected by these criminals who have ties to one another through their powerful organizations, whether for drug trafficking or for criminal activities,” Calderón said. Central America is used as a transit route by drug gangs that transport drugs from South America to North America. The activity of these groups appears to have increased in the isthmus due to repressive actions against the cartels in Mexico and Colombia.