Mexico, Salvador announce security cooperation plan

12:33, September 11, 2010      

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Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his visiting Salvadorian counterpart Mauricio Funes on Friday announced a new bilateral security cooperation mechanism, as a response to a massacre of migrants last month in Mexico.

"I want to make clear that at no time do I blame the Mexican government for this massacre," Funes, who began his visit to Mexico early on Friday, told a press conference at Los Pinos, Calderon's office residence. "We are happy to see the creation of this high-level group that will help us fight two problems: migration and poverty."

The two presidents said that the new mechanism will involve regular meetings of government security and investigative officials.

Funes said that 13 Salvadorians were among the 72 migrants massacred on Aug. 24 in San Fernando, a small town in northern Mexican state Tamaulipas. The mass murder triggered diplomatic concerns across the region and Guatemalans, Ecuadorians and one Brazilian were also among those killed.

"This massacre happened despite all the best efforts of the Mexican government," Funes said. "We are here to speak of a shared responsibility and we accept the condolences expressed by Mexico."

Funes said that Mexico and El Salvador have to view migration, organized crime and security as part of a common problem that arises from a lack of basic opportunities for citizens of their nations.

Speaking at the same press conference, Calderon thanked Funes, Salvadorian authorities and citizens for showing their willingness to cooperate with Mexico in fighting their common problems.

"Mexican authorities will not rest in their pursuit of the perpetrators of this indescribable crime seeking to make them feel the full weight of the law," Calderon added. Mexico's law enforcement officials have boosted their pursuit of immigrant smugglers since the massacre and the nation's legislators have passed a bill which allows migrants greater rights in Mexican territory, regardless of their legal status.

Calderon has said that Mexican gangster are now turning to nastier businesses, including the extortion of migrants, because the government's campaign against the drug smuggling business is starting to have an impact. Calderon declared war against them within days of taking office in December 2006.

Source: Xinhua


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