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Mexico and Guatemala strengthen security cooperation against organized crime

Mexico´s President Felipe Calderón and Guatemala´s President Alvaro Colom strengthen fight against organized crime at common border

Mexico and Guatemala agreed to intensify cooperation on border security and strengthen cooperation in combating organized crime and illegal drug trafficking. It is publicly known that the drug cartel  “Los Zetas” have the control of certain areas of the common border.

During a visit of the guatemalan president,Alvaro Colom, the President of Mexico Felipe Calderon said the mexican-guatemalan border must be “a space for development and not a place where  violence, insecurity or lack of rule of law  are prevailing”.

The mexican president said the two countries also maintain a dialogue “at the highest level possible” on issues such as protection of human rights of Guatemalan migrants pass through Mexico. As it is known, Los Zetas have been very active by kidnapping guatemalan migrants traveling into Mexico by train and/or busses.

In a statement released by both countries, the leaders “agreed to intensify the exchange of intelligence information on landmark cases.”

Two alleged members of Los Zetas captured by the guatemalan police(Photo credit to EFE).

They also reiterated its resolve to pursue the Agreement on Exchange of Information and Experiences to Combat Transnational Organized Crime, Drug Trafficking and Related Offences mechanisms, specially in cases of trafficking, kidnapping and extortion of migrants.

The presidents said that organized crime is “a potential threat to security, political stability, social life and economies of the two peoples,” and lamented criminal acts such as clandestine graves in San Fernando, Tamaulipas.

In the afternoon, the mexican Congress welcomed guatemalan President Colom, who revealed that his government “is giving hard time” to gangs of organized crime. He informed that during his administration they have seized 12 billion dollars.

He said efforts such as the International Central American Integration System SICA improved the fight against organized crime in the area.

“For the first time the eight countries (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama , Nicaragua and Mexico) we agreed to deal with organized crime,” he acknowledged.

The Chairman of the Board of the Senate, Manlio Fabio Beltrones, make a positive comment about the new immigration law in Mexico, in which “the Mexican State to guarantee respect for human rights and security of migrants.”

The president of Guatemala, Alvaro Colom, also thanked the government of the mexican southern state of Chiapas,  led by Juan Sabines , for the measures implemented by the Chiapas administration to benefit migrant workers.