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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 20, 2007
Statement on the U.S. Strategy to Combat Criminal Gangs from Central America and Mexico
On July 18, 2007, at a security meeting of the seven Central American countries in Guatemala City, a U.S. delegation announced the release of the U.S. Strategy to Combat Criminal Gangs from Central America and Mexico. This strategy reflects the President's interest in partnering with our neighbors in Latin America to address the serious challenge of transnational criminal gang violence. During the President's March trip to the region and in meetings with Guatemalan President Berger and Mexican President Calderon where the gang threat was discussed, President Bush committed the United States to doing more to combat transnational crime in the region.
The U.S. Strategy to Combat Criminal Gangs from Central America and Mexico will support a regional security plan being developed by the Central American countries. The new U.S. anti-gang strategy builds on cooperative efforts already underway and will amplify efforts in both prevention and enforcement. This strategy is intended to help prevent youth from entering gangs and to strengthen the fight against gang-related violence and related crimes. This will entail working with our neighbors in the areas of diplomacy, repatriation, law enforcement, capacity enhancement, and prevention.
Implementation involves most U.S. agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as U.S. state and local law enforcement agencies, and partner governments in the region. The U.S. will continue to work with partner countries to combat gangs and other transnational criminal organizations that commit crimes in Central America, Mexico, and the United States.
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