Ban Ki-moon Meets With Central American Leaders To Discuss Regional Security
March 17, 2011 By Staff
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
- National Guard troops stationed along the southwestern border with Mexico since last summer will leave as planned by the second week of June.
- Mexico confirmed Wednesday that American unmanned drones operate over the country, but denied that it constitutes a violation of its sovereignty.
- A Kansas state representative apologized for his comments about shooting undocumented immigrants as a way of addressing the issue.
- The Port of Tampa hopes to start passenger and car ferry service between Tampa and Cuba under President Barack Obama’s relaxed travel restrictions, a port spokesman said on Wednesday.
- As exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide prepares to return to Haiti from South Africa after seven years, many wonder whether Haiti is ready.
- Puerto Rico should hold a new two-stage referendum on its relationship with the United States, a federal task force said Wednesday.
- The cousin of a Guatemalan day laborer shot and killed by an LAPD officer in Westlake said Tuesday’s police commission ruling justifying the shooting was “lamentable” and called on protesters to rally peacefully.
- Honduras is shunning neighbors that refuse to recognize its government, questioning its legitimacy, and is reaching out instead to China and India for trade and broader relations.
- 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.
- Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said that his country will sign a nuclear accord with the United States during U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit next week, despite the recent events in Japan.
- First Lady Michelle Obama will join U.S. President Barack Obama on his trip to Latin America, including to stops in Brazil and Chile.
- Argentine soccer player Juan Román Riquelme will return to the pitch for the country’s famed Boca Juniors squad this weekend after being sidelined by injuries and new coach Julio Cesar Falcioni.
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