By Dialogo May 12, 2011 For Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martínez, the most important thing is that the design of a common strategy is being achieved. The director of the Guatemalan police, Jaime Leonel Otzin, commented that the security agencies and the judicial system are working “harmoniously” on short-, medium-, and long-term programs contained in the regional strategy. “Shared responsibility” in the execution of the strategy, which includes crime prevention and re-entry into society, is justified, according to Castro, in areas like drug trafficking, which involves the countries of origin of the drugs, the transit nations, and the destination countries. According to a draft of the regional strategy, fighting crime is what will require the most resources: 803 million dollars. “Now we have a security plan that specifies national and regional activities (and) the costs of those activities,” in Martínez’s estimation. Prior to this meeting, Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes warned that the drug cartels operating in the isthmus have an annual income of 100 billion dollars, five times more than El Salvador’s gross domestic product (GDP). “We are facing a very powerful enemy, one who acts on a regional level with resources that exceed those available to the security forces of our countries,” Funes indicated. For his part, the secretary general of the Central American Integration System (SICA), Juan Daniel Alemán, stated that with the strategy, the aim is to “generate awareness under the principle of shared responsibility and the additive character of resources in the area of democratic security.” The delegates discussed, among other issues, how to ensure that Costa Rica and Panama, which do not have armies or navies, can safeguard their territorial waters. Central America has completed the design of a regional security strategy that includes the concept of “shared responsibility” and is hoping that the international community will finance part of the one billion dollars needed to confront organized crime. Crime and violence cost Central America 8% of its GDP, according to the World Bank. According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), between 2003 and 2008, more than 79,000 people were murdered in the region, where almost three million firearms are in circulation, two out of three of them illegally. “The issue of security is a transnational problem, and we all have to assume our share of the responsibility, in proportion,” Costa Rican Foreign Minister René Castro declared to AFP. The shared strategy, according to Alemán, is “directed” toward an effort that will begin on 16 May with the search for funds in Madrid, Spain. In order to confront crime, the countries of Central America’s Northern Triangle (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras) decided to send their armies into the streets to support the police in security tasks. The final occasion for obtaining international cooperation will be at an international conference that will be held on 22 and 23 June in Guatemala.
AHEAD of their tour to the United States of America (USA) which bowls off in March, softball giants Regal were given moral support from United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch.Ambassador Lynch had her first interaction with softball cricketers last Sunday at the Everest Cricket Club (ECC) where she was presented with a souvenir bat, signed by members of the Regal All Stars, Regal Masters and Regal Legends cricket teams.The Diplomat then gave her best wishes to the Regal team who will be winging out in March for assignments in Florida and New York, Regal will set off for Florida in March for the Orlando Cup and will then travel to New York for the Independence Cup later in July.The envoy caught a glimpse of an encounter between Regal Masters who beat Fisherman Masters in a friendly match. As the guest of honour, the diplomat was presented with a Regal cricket team authentic cap, a match ball and the bat which bore the autographs of the championship’s winning players.Also present at the presentation, which took place on the Everest outfield were Lusignan Golf Club (LGC) president Aleem Hussain, ECC president Manzoor Nadir and Georgetown Softball Cricket League (GSCL) president Ian John.John gave a brief history of the Regal teams and stressed on their achievements since they began travelling to Florida and New York. The longstanding GSCL executive was happy to report that on every trip since 2015 the Regal teams were successful and brought back many team and individual trophies.Meanwhile, making the presentation to the ambassador was team owner, Mahendra Hardyal, on behalf of the players who were all gathered on the field.In response, Ambassador Lynch expressed her gratitude for the gift and the invitation. “I am very grateful for this opportunity to be involved and though I attended CPL cricket twice, this is the first time I’ve been this close to the game. I intend to give this gift prominence in my office,” she said.Then, wearing her Regal team cricket cap and armed with her new bat, the ambassador displayed her prowess as a cricketer with a confident and well executed on-drive to the first ball she received much to the loud applause of all in attendance.