Salvadoran Right Asks Obama for Technology to Put a Brake on Drug Trafficking

By Dialogo
March 24, 2011

The right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), the chief opposition force in El Salvador, asked President Barack Obama for technology to prevent the country from becoming a territory of drug traffickers and corrupt politicians as “in nearby countries.”

“We Salvadorans have the will, but we lack the technology that the United States has to prevent El Salvador from becoming a territory of drug traffickers, as is already happening, sadly, in nearby countries,” ARENA stressed in a letter addressed to the U.S. president and made public on 22 March.

Obama was expected in San Salvador that day, for a two-day visit in which he met with President Mauricio Funes, whose administration is backed by the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), a leftist former guerrilla group, to conclude a Latin American trip that already included Brazil and Chile.

ARENA, which governed El Salvador between 1989 and 2009, stressed that the country also needs “technology that can support us in the search for transparency, in order to end the laundering of drug money and public funds.”

The right-wing group also told Obama that “drug trafficking is stealing our freedom and the lives of our youth” and that “the unprecedented criminal violence we are experiencing in El Salvador is a result of territorial disputes among gangs and drug dealers.”

The violence generated by gangs and general crime in El Salvador results in an average of eleven homicides a day.