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Central America’s Northern Triangle Hopes to Become Anti-Crime Fortress

LADB Article ID: 80359
Category/Department: Region
Date: 2017-07-27
By: George Rodríguez

Plan Fortaleza (Plan Fortress) is the latest effort by the countries making up the crime- and violence-ridden Northern Triangle of Central America––El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras––to fight organized crime, a transnational phenomenon with a particularly powerful impact in the region. Efforts to secure the borders of the three countries and to guarantee internal safety have preceded this new initiative, including the 2015 deployment of members of Honduras’ national interdisciplinary security force, the Fuerza de Seguridad Interinstitucional Nacional (FUSINA) along the boundary with El Salvador. The same year, Honduras and Guatemala deployed a joint military task force––the Fuerza Maya-Chortí––on both sides of the 256-km line they share. The battalion is named after the ancient Maya-Chortí indigenous empire, whose main city was Copán. Such initiatives add to internal security programs implemented by individual countries. Salvadoran president, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, for example, decided in 2015 to order his country’s armed forces, the Fuerza Armada de El Salvador (FAES), to assemble three immediate-response battalions, called Fuerzas Especiales de Reacción (FER), to fight criminal organizations.And his Honduran colleague, the rightist Juan Orlando Hernández, has successfully promoted the creation of militarized police units,

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