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2009-04-08

8 April News Brief Central America/Caribbean

Guillermo Ramírez

Regional news round-up Central America/Caribbean

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – UN appeals for aid for Haiti: The United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti, Hedi Hannabi, called on the international community to support the efforts of the poorest country on the American continent. Referring to a donors’ conference due to take place in Washington D.C., Hannabi said, “The country has its best opportunity in decades to break the destructive circles of the past.” He added that just a few days since its Senate was renewed, Haiti would only be able to continue making progress with solid and ongoing support from its foreign economic and political partners. The UN has maintained a peace keeping and democracy promotion mission in Haiti for five years after the violent downfall of former president Jean Bertrand Aristide.

[EFE, Clave Digital]

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Antinarcotics control centre receives extension: Foreign Secretary Marisol Argueta and the U.S. embassy’s Commerical Attaché, Robert Blau, signed an agreement to extend operations at the country's antinarcotics control centre for a further five years. The centre has been run out of Comalapa International Airport since 2000. The agreement enables U.S. and Salvadorian authorities to fight drug trafficking in the region, and in 2008 alone led to the seizure of more than 80 tonnes of drugs with a street value of US$17 billion. It is one of the key aerial surveillance bases in Central America. Activities at the centre also include fighting drug trafficking in Mexico and the United States.

[La Prensa Gráfica, El Salvador.com]

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Military/police force created to fight organised crime: The National Civil Police announced the creation of a combined police and military force to be given the task of recovering areas overrun by lawlessness and organised crime across the country. Marlene Blanco Lapola, PNC chief, explained that the new unit will also have an intelligence section, comprising 300 agents who will work together with the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). The national army currently supports the PNC by escorting public buses which have recently suffered a crime wave.

[Prensa Libre, La Hora]

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