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|Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:16 am Post subject: Southcom Sets Sights on Central America
|Written by Patrick Corcoran
The chief of the US Southern Command has suggested a growing interest in combating Central American criminal groups, though it’s not clear that greater involvement of the US military would have a positive impact on security in the region.
In his appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 13, Air Force General Douglas Fraser emphasized that the Southern Command (Southcom) has its eye on the crime-ridden nations of Central America. He told the panel that criminal groups operating in the region are “seriously impacting citizen safety in Central America, especially Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras,” adding that they “threaten to overwhelm law enforcement capacities.”
This followed an appearance a week earlier before the House Armed Services Committee, in which Fraser sounded many of the same notes:
We're seeing that now some of that supply of cocaine -- and I'll talk specifically cocaine -- is moving through South America, as well as Central America. But the violence continues to increase in Central America, and that's where and why we are focusing there. Last year the UN estimated or said that Honduras has the highest violence of any country in the world. And we see that as a direct influence of transnational organized crime, but there are gangs and there are other factors.
Other moves by the US military have signaled a willingness to increase its role in Central America. The US recently agreed to build a base for the Dominican Navy on a small island adjacent to the Caribbean nation’s mainland, which will be used by Dominican forces to crack down on cocaine shipments passing through the region.
More Here: http://insightcrime.org/insight-latest-news/item/2361-southcom-sets-sights-on-central-america
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