Napolitano Urges Alliance against Crime during Central American Trip
By Dialogo March 02, 2012
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano concluded her trip to Central America and Mexico in Panama on February 29 with a call to establish alliances for the fight against organized crime.
“We’re committed to working with our collaborators around the world, including Central America, on efforts to strengthen security,” said Napolitano, who also met with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli.
“We’re facing a variety of threats that impact our shared security, (but) this challenge gives us the opportunity to create alliances that benefit us mutually by strengthening border security and disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations,” she added.
In Panama, the U.S. official signed three security collaboration agreements related to the exchange of technology and information in order to combat organized crime.
“We’re positioned to work with your nations to disrupt the movement of criminals and contraband and in particular, to share information,” she stated at an event with Panamanian officials.
“We should identify each aspect of transnational crime, by putting a stop to smuggling, putting criminal leaders on trial, and protecting communities,” an effort that requires “international alliances,
because no nation can tackle these threats in isolation,” she added.
“It’s our goal to work together so (…) that our countries can be more secure,” she emphasized.
Napolitano began her trip in Mexico and Guatemala on February 27, and visited El Salvador and Costa Rica on February 28.
Ninety percent of South American drugs pass through Central America and Mexico to the United States, according to official figures.