Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today said the United States of America will invest more than $200 million in Central American-led efforts to address deteriorating citizen security in the region.
At Westin Camino Real Hotel Guatemala City, Ms. Clinton said the murder rates in Central America surpasses civil war levels.
Ms. Clinton stressed that the United States would do its part through a new partnership that puts the focus where it should be which is the security of citizens in Central America.
“Shared responsibility is obviously the first step, but it will mean little if it is not matched by a shared strategy, and even a shared strategy will mean little if it is not backed by the will and persistence to implement it by every sector of society and by all the international partners.” -Ms. Clinton
She pointed out that the cartels and criminals are not contained by borders. She noted that SICA’s declaration points the way forward: Strengthening the rule of law, attacking criminal organizations head-on, rehabilitating those who do fall into criminality while preventing young people from doing that in the first place, rooting out corruption, and ensuring accountable and effective institutions are essential.
“Building police forces and courts that are well-funded and well-equipped and capable of protecting human rights and earning the trust of the communities they serve is also.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton emphasized that civil society must be a full partner in defining and implementing long-term solutions. She highlighted also the importance of investing in education and jobs in tough economic times. She said education is the best way to empower citizens to take their own destinies in hand.