U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
Central America, Guatemala, Today in Latin America

Ban Ki-moon Meets With Central American Leaders To Discuss Regional Security

March 17, 2011 By Staff

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon promised to support Central America in its fight against insecurity and violence during a meeting with regional leaders in Guatemala.

“Organized crime is an international phenomenon that requires a regional response,” Ban said, according to The BBC. The UN Secretary-General also extended the mandate of the UN Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, or CICIG, for two more years.

The meeting with the UN secretary-general was attended by presidents Álvaro Colom of Guatemala, Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica and Porfirio Lobo of Honduras. Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow and representatives of El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Panama were also in attendance.

Ban expressed thanks for Guatemala’s contribution to United Nations peacekeeping operations in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Côte d’Ivoire. He also praised also praised Guatemalan, Edmond Mulet, the UN Special Representative in Haiti, during a press conference with President Colom.

Central American security was a major issue discussed by Ban,  especially in Guatemala where there is concern about the rising influence of Mexican drugs cartels.

“We have to foster security for all Guatemalans and their children. I am sure the people of Guatemala agree they did not end 36 years of armed conflict only to see violence take other forms. Now it is time to end all violence,” Ban said, according to The UN News Centre.

In 2006, Guatemala and the UN set up the CICIG, which currently investigates the existence of illicit security forces and clandestine security organizations and identifying their structures, activities, modus operandi and financing sources.

“I expressed the UN’s strong support for CICIG and Commissioner Francisco Dall’Anese,” Ban said, according to The UN News Centre.

Besides meeting with regional leaders, the Secretary-General also met with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchú.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

Caribbean

Central America

Andes

  • Popular Venezuelan governor, Henrique Capriles Radonski, who some expect will challenge President Hugo Chávez in the upcoming 2012 election, said Wednesday that the country’s political opposition should fall behind a single candidate as soon as possible.
  • Two sisters accused of falsifying health care claims to defraud the U.S. government of millions of dollars were nabbed in Colombia and returned to the United States, authorities said on Tuesday.
  • The Colombian military killed a rebel leader who was a liaison with Mexican drug cartels, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said.
  • The arrest of a man in the United Kingdom for alleged crimes against humanity and torture committed in Peru is thought to be the first under new U.K. war crimes legislation.

Southern Cone

Image: World Economic Forum @ Flickr.

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