U.S. Commits to Sharing Responsibility for Security in Latin America

By Dialogo
June 17, 2011

The United States announced that the crisis of citizen security being suffered by Latin American nations such as Colombia and Mexico is a “shared responsibility,” according to Arturo Valenzuela, in charge of U.S. diplomacy in the region.

“The United States is enormously committed to Colombia, to Mexico, to Central America, in this great challenge that is the issue of citizen security. We know that we have a shared responsibility, and solving it is a priority for us,” the official indicated after attending a meeting of chambers of commerce from the Americas in Cartagena.

The U.S. diplomat called on the governments of the region to invest more in education and social issues. “What Latin America needs now is to take another step, a strong and significant step, to improve its competitiveness and productivity on the international level,” he affirmed, speaking to reporters.

According to Valenzuela, that will be possible to achieve “only if the governments of the region commit to greater investment in educational and social issues,” he said, after emphasizing that under Barack Obama’s administration “more solid bridges have been being built” between his country and Latin America.

Colombia is Washington’s chief strategic ally in Latin America, thanks to military collaboration and the anti-narcotics fight, including the receipt of more than six billion dollars since 2000 as part of Plan Colombia.

In addition, in 2006 the two countries signed a free-trade agreement, which awaits ratification by the U.S. Congress.

The first thing that USA needs to do is control its borders and prevent drugs from entering since it is the world’s biggest consumer of drugs, therefore if they manage to control their borders, they will not need to interfere in the lives of Columbian and Mexican citizens.