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United States Asks Guatemala for More Investment in Fight Against Organized Crime

By Dialogo
October 22, 2010

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs David Johnson, on a visit to Guatemala, asked the country’s authorities on 19 October for greater state investment in the fight against organized crime, especially drug trafficking and youth gangs.

“The United States and the international community are active partners with Guatemala in the fight against organized crime, but the Guatemalan government should also finance the security sectors” in order to counteract these plagues, the official affirmed at a press conference.

He explained that this investment should be accompanied by “transparency” in order for its results to be perceptible among the population.

“The United States is committed to working with Central America and Guatemala in order to fight corruption and organized crime through the security services and the rule of law,” he maintained.

Johnson recalled that the United States gave Guatemala 25 million dollars this year to support the country’s programs in the security field.

These programs include strengthening security at ports and airports, monitoring the country’s air space, and supporting police and prosecutors, as well as creating model police precincts in the southern municipalities of Mixco and Villa Nueva, located on the outskirts of the capital.

The American representative met in private with the attorney-general, María Mejía, and with the Guatemalan interior minister, Carlos Menocal, and visited the Congress.

In addition, he planned to meet with the head of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), the Costa Rican Francisco Dall’Anese.

The Cicig is a UN body that supports the rehabilitation of the Guatemalan judicial system and to which the United States has contributed 12 million dollars since it began to function in 2007.