United States Will Not Pledge More Money To Fight Drug Cartels In Central America, Valenzuela Says

Central-America-Arturo-Valenzuela

Today in Latin America

Top Story — While U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and officials from Central America will pledge to confront the powerful drug cartels operating in the region during a two-day meeting that opens today in Guatemala City, it seems unlikely that Clinton will announce the investment of any more funds to the cause. At the meeting, representatives from throughout the region are expected to discuss a coordinated security plan to stem the incursion of cartels that have been pushed into Central America from Mexico and Colombia. U.S.-backed anti-drug crackdowns in those two countries are a main reason why the drug cartels have moved into poorer countries such as Guatemala and El Salvador. U.S. Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela said that while at the meeting they may discuss repackaging some of the U.S. assistance, it will not be a donor’s conference. Instead, Valenzuela said, “we’re taking substantial amounts of support for Central America and try to convert it into a far more strategic strategy.”

Read More From The Associated Press.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

Caribbean

  • The nomination of the top U.S. diplomat in Havana as ambassador to Nicaragua has hit a snag, with two Cuban-American U.S. senators complaining that his performance in Havana augurs ill for his assignment in Sandinista-ruled Managua.
  • Cuba’s feared “Lady Anti-Corruption” has reported a setback in the fight against malfeasance in Havana — a top priority of Raúl Castro’s government as it tries to overhaul the island’s foundering economy.
  • The Haitian parliament rejected the nomination of Daniel-Gerard Rouzier to serve as prime minister, in a blow to new President Michel Martelly.

Central America

Andes

Southern Cone

  • James Peck of the Falkland Islands became an Argentine citizen in a special ceremony attended by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, increasing tensions between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the contested islands.
  • Former President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva shared the U.N.’s $250,000 World Food Prize with former Ghanian President John Kufuor for cutting hunger in their respective countries by half while in office.
  • The President of Uruguay’s state-run oil company ANCAP announced Monday that there was an 80 percent chance that oil reserves would be found in the country’s hydrocarbon rock formations, which may allow Uruguay to export petroleum.
  • Maria Gomes Valentim, a 114-year-old Brazilian woman considered the world’s oldest living person, died Tuesday of pneumonia.

Image: Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela by U.S. Embassy Montevideo @ Flickr.

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