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‘A Community of Interest’ to Tackle Crime in Central America

LADB Article ID: 79976
Category/Department: Region
Date: 2016-05-12
By: George Rodríguez

Just over three months after having taken charge of the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), Adm. Kurt Tidd proposed to his Central American colleagues the creation of what he described as a community of interest, to ensure that his country’s and the region’s efforts in fighting organized crime are on the same wavelength. In his opening statement at this year’s Central American Security Conference (CENTSEC), hosted by Costa Rica, Tidd announced he has already taken some steps to improve the command’s support to its regional partners. His initiative is in full coincidence with the area’s security and military authorities, who show themselves eager to unite individual efforts––and together work with the US–– against the international criminal networks, mostly drug-trafficking structures, that are operating throughout Central America. The concept, promoted by the US, includes a military-police convergence, so the two top actors in the anti-crime struggle team up in a more powerful, more efficient structure. Within this framework, SOUTHCOM has opened space for police chiefs in the Central America Regional Leaders Conference, an event organized annually by SOUTHCOM’s US Army South (ARSOUTH), so countries such as Costa Rica and Panama, which don’t have armies, can take part in the conceptualization and the implementation of regional anti-crime initiatives by the military.

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