Guatemalan President Praises Efforts to Counter Drug Trafficking

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In an exclusive Feb. 19 interview with VOA, Guatemala President Alvaro Colom discussed his outlook on U.S.-Guatemala relations during an exclusive interview on Foro Interamericano, VOA’s weekly Spanish news magazine.
Colom praised U.S. cooperation with Latin American countries on fighting drug trafficking. “We see the will and the conditions to move forward with the Merida Initiative beyond the topic of security because drug trafficking has many facets, including social issues,” Colom said.

The Merida Initiative, signed in 2007, provides equipment and training in support of law enforcement operations and technical assistance to promote the professionalization of Latin American partners’ security agencies. In 2008, Congress approved an initial $400 million for Mexico and $65 million for Central America, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

“The United States is our great partner, not only in commerce but also in the fight against drug trafficking and with our immigrants,” Colom said. Along with regional affairs, Colom spoke about Guatemala

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