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A Safer Guatemala: President Elect to Promote Regional Security Strategy.

Article Summary:

The president-elect, Otto Perez Molina, travels to Mexico and El Salvador to promote a regional security strategy, in which the goal is to exchange information and enhance mechanisms for fighting organized crime and drug activities. But the country’s judicial system is riddled with holes and many critics say a regional security program is useless.

Original Article Text From Prensa Libre Guatemala via Google Translate :

Pérez Molina Seeks Regional Strategy on Crime

Perez will meet on Thursday morning with the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, in the Palacio de los Pinos, where he talked about safety in the area.

“It is not new, but we want to coordinate more effective strategies to combat drug trafficking and crime,” he said.

In addition, topics will focus on Central American migrants who cross Mexico to reach the United States.”We are asking for respect for human rights for Central American migrants who cross the country,” he said.

The meeting with Calderon, Perez will be joined by Vice President-elect, Roxana Baldetti, and appointed Interior Minister, Mauricio López Bonilla.

One of the objectives of Perez and his security team is to know first hand the efforts that Mexico made to combat drug trafficking and sign agreements to exchange information to combat transnational crime.

It is anticipated that the meeting lasts three to four hours, in the Mexican capital.

For next Friday is expected that Perez Molina trip to El Salvador as part of the meeting of presidents of Central American Integration System (SICA) to discuss with the leaders on the need for a regional security strategy. “We will hold a meeting with President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador, to strengthen security mechanisms and also seek talks with President Porfirio Lobo, of Honduras.”

Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, which make up the North Triangle have the highest homicide rate in Central America and are among the most violent countries in the world.

“Migration, drug trafficking and the flow of unregistered weapons are major problems faced by Central American countries and Mexico, we must find new elements to make a frontal fight against these scourges,” said Pérez Molina.

Bonilla Lopez said that one of the intentions is to create in the medium term regional strategy where security standardize criteria for the Isthmus.

Justice Systems
Although the proposal to strengthen cooperation to combat drug trafficking and organized crime is good, experts say that we must strengthen justice systems in the region. Oswaldo Samayoa, advocacy director of the Institute for Comparative Studies in Penal Sciences of Guatemala, said that such strategies must aim to strengthen the justice system in general.

“Plan Merida and Plan Puebla Panama are examples of the regional orientation of these procedures, but be careful, and hand strengthening justice systems so that they have the ability to react to catch up,” said.

He also indicated that it is positive that the problem arises of migrants, but stressed that should not be criminalized subject, but to fight poverty. José Carlos Sanabria, the Association for Research and Social Studies, said that these proposals are due to the interaction of the countries that share structural problems.

“We know the problems of the region can only be solved with strategies together, hand in hand with effective policies to reduce violence and poverty,” he said.
Sanabria said the strengthening of justice systems is key to improving regional security, as catches, seizures of goods and drugs should be resolved swiftly, scientific and transparent.”The quest for more catch is good, but you must have a justice system that responds efficiently,” he said.

Link to Original Article:

From Prensa Libre Guatemala

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