Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
September 3, 2010


INTERSECTORIAL MEETING OF MINISTERS OF FOREIGN RELATIONS, PUBLIC SECURITY, DEFENSE, ATTORNEY GENERALS, CHIEFS OR DIRECTORS OF POLICE OF COUNTRIES MEMBERS OF SICA.

IMMEDIATE ACTIONS IN MATTER OF DEMOCRATIC SECURITY IN THE REGION

The Ministers of Foreign Relations, reunited with the Public Security and Interior Ministers, Defense Ministers, General Attorneys, Chiefs and Directors of Police of Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama and Dominican Republic, reunited on September 3, 2010, in the city of Antigua Guatemala, with the objective of agreeing on strategies in relation to regional security, including aspects of prevention and persecution of crime, and;

CONSIDERING

The unbreakable decision of our people and Governments to fight in a forceful and coordinated manner against organized crime and its sequels.

That a substantial and concrete advance shall be made that stems from the adoption of specific measures that when executed in a coordinated matter will allow us on a regional level, to complement our national actions against organized crime, and in that manner affect with major impact in its eradication. In this sense, we resolve:

  • Conform, as soon as possible, a coordination mechanism integrated by a Presidential Delegate/Commissioner by country, regarding democratic regional security matters, so that jointly with the General Secretariat of SICA and the national and regional organisms lead the fight against organized crime.
  • Instruct the corresponding authorities, particularly Police and Armed Forces of the region, to plan and execute coordinated terrestrial, marine, and aerial patrolling sustained within the common borders and specially along the Pan-American Highway with the objective to fight drug trafficking, illicit traffic of arms, traffic of people, contraband and vehicle theft, in the shortest time possible and evaluate the possibility of installing operative coordination centers on a regional level. This effort should begin no later than next month. In this sense, we accept the offerings from Panama and Guatemala to be the main headquarter and second headquarter, respectively, for this center.
  • Instruct the competent authorities, particularly Police and Armed Forces, to put in practice mechanisms of Exchange of information about criminal facts in the region, in such a way, that this information flows in an efficient, expedite, and timely manner and in real time.
  • Instruct the Central Authorities of the Treaty of Vehicle Theft to reactivate its functioning and apply the measures contained in the Treaty, in order to impact effectively in the fight against vehicle theft and the return of vehicles to their legitimate owners in the region.
  • Strengthen the different branches of intelligence at the regional level, and specially, police intelligence, with the objective of detecting possible infiltration of drug trafficking and organized crime in the different institutions of the States.
  • Instruct the Commission of Chiefs and Directors of Police of Central America so that they reinvigorate, in the shortest time possible, the execution of the Regional Plan Against Organized Crime, in which they should prioritize upon those felonies that mostly affect the region and present a report about the results to the Commission of Security of Central America.
  • Promote in the region, the harmonization of norms to fight money laundering as well as the Law for Dominion Extinction. These efforts should be started immediately.
  • Reiterate total support for the actions taken by the countries and General Secretary of SICA for the celebration in Guatemala, during the first semester of 2011, of the International Conference to support the Security Strategy for Central America, reiterating to the international community, to keep supporting the celebration of the conference.
  • Welcome with approval the adoption of immediate actions in the structuring and implementation of a regional program to protect the victims, witnesses, and the rest of involved parties in the sentence process, as a necessary tool to fight crime in the region.

City of Antigua Guatemala, September 3, 2010.

INTERSECTORIAL MEETING OF MINISTERS OF FOREING RELATIONS, PUBLIC SECURITY/ INTERIOR , DEFENSE, ATTORNEY GENERALS, CHIEFS AND DIRECTORS OF POLICE OF COUNTRIES MEMBERS OF SICA.

JOINT COMMUNIQUE

The Ministers of Exterior Relations, reunited with the Public Security and Interior Ministers, Defense Ministers, General Attorneys, Chiefs and Directors of Police of countries members of SICA, in the city of Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala, on the third day of September of the year 2010, have agreed on strategic actions in relation to regional security, including aspects of prevention and persecution of crime, with the objective of complying with instructions from Chiefs of State and Government of member countries of SICA in the Presidential Declarations and Action Plans celebrated in Panama on June 29, and in El Salvador on July 20 of 2010.

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT

That organized crime and violence are generalized problems in the countries of the Region and have become not only the main threats to peace, security, and liberty of the Central American region, but have also become the major risks for its development and democratic stability.

That such threats derive mainly from the delinquency that the Central American territory uses as a stage for drug traffic activities, traffic of arms, traffic of people , illicit traffic of migrants and money laundering, which translates to the interior of our societies in homicides, kidnappings, extortions, gangs, vehicle thefts, corruption, and other illicit activities that affect the democratic security of our countries.

That being these felonies a regional problem, it requires a regional response. Upon this reality, it is precise to have a deep and systematic collaboration among Central American countries that transcends to the regional environment and incorporates integrally the principle of correspondence among all the involved parties an permits the distribution in an equal and proportionate manner, according to the requirements and necessities, of the available resources to confront the threats. Therefore:

WE AGREE TO:

  1. Establish a communication and permanent consultation mechanism among Public Security and Interior Ministers in order to exchange information related to the modus operandi and the identification of those criminal organizations that use the Central American territory to commit transnational felonies.
  2. Execute and permanently update the Regional Plan Against Organized Crime, which can be translated in coordinated and simultaneous operations destined to disarticulate criminal regional networks and to increase the seizures of drugs and arms, among others. In order to achieve this, it is important to keep strengthening the instruments, institutions, and international mechanisms related to such activities.
  3. Maximize the communication systems of INTERPOL Regional Office in El Salvador. Additionally, the countries that have not yet done so should designate as soon as possible, an official of their national police organization to INTERPOL’s Regional Office for Central America in San Salvador.
  4. Adopt, in conformity with the national legislation of each country, rigorous and effective measures for the control of traffic of arms in the region, such an information systems, registry and tracking, inspections in borders and customs and illegal crossings, as well as the seizure and massive and systematic destruction of those illegal arms that circulate in the region.
  5. Continue with the initiatives and regional efforts in tourist security matters, with the objective of making Central America a safe and reliable destination for national, intra-regional, and extra-regional tourism.
  6. Welcome with approval the recommendations of the General Secretary of SICA contained in the presented report about the Regional Commission of Prevention of Juvenile Violence. At the same time, harmonize the work of the technical group through their participation in the sessions of the Sub commission of Public Security of Central America.
  7. Strengthen the mechanisms of exchange of information and mutual legal assistance among Public Ministers. At the same time, promote at the legislative level, the ratification of the Central American Treaty for the Protection of Victims, Witnesses, Specialists, and other subjects involved in the investigation and sentence process, particularly related to drug traffic and organized crime. Elaborate the regional strategic framework to implement the necessary actions to comply with the programs contained in the agreement.
  8. Strengthen the initiatives related to police, criminal, and defense training on a regional level, in order to professionalize and favor exchange of experiences, the measures to promote confidence, and the joint learning of middle and upper management.
  9. Member countries of the Conference of the Central American Armed Forces (CFAC) recognize, in the framework of the intersectorial meeting, the contributions that they make for the maintenance of Democratic Security and Peace in the Region. In the same manner, they welcome with approval the application of good practices for the compliance of measures to promote mutual trust, contained in the Annual Central American Program. Additionally, they instruct the general Secretary of SICA to manage the international cooperation for the different strengths that they are making.
  10. Approve the methodological proposal of updating the Security Strategy for Central America and Mexico, attached, identifying in the framework of the Sub-commissions and Commissions of Security, the priority components, strategies, and activities to confront the increasing threats to regional security. In this context, each country member of SICA has to identify the specific actions to achieve results of the priority activities and estimate the costs of the actions to request the budget amount required at a regional level. In this sense, the General Secretary of SICA will summon, participate, and consolidate the contributions.
  11. The results of the systematization of such priorities should be approved by the Commission of Central American Security and later presented in the Extraordinary Summit of Chiefs of State and Government of SICA, prior to the celebration of the International Conference of support to the Security Strategy for Central America and Mexico that will be celebrated in Guatemala during the first trimester of 2011.
  12. Create a mechanism of integrated regional coordination with representatives of the highest level of the Government of member countries of SICA, along with the General Secretary of SICA to jointly lead the fight against organized crime, in order to maximize the joint actions and initiatives developed, including the seeking of financial aid.

It will have as one of its main priorities, the strengthening of the regional coordination in the subject; and under the authority of the Council of Exterior Relations Ministers, will organize, celebrate, and follow up on the celebration of the International Conference in support of the security Strategy for Central America and Mexico which will be held in Guatemala during the first semester of 2011. Additionally, this mechanism should revise and update the Security Strategy for Central America included in its Action Plan with Costs.

Instruct the General Secretary of SICA to adopt the corresponding administrative actions that permit the General Secretariat to supply the necessary technical support for the compliance of the purposes and objectives of the Security Strategy of Central America and the duties of the high ranking officials.

In this sense, the countries will make the financial contributions for the development and compliance of the above mentioned proposals, with the objective of taking care of concrete needs in the matter of security, for which the General Secretary will draft a proposal that contains the technical and financial requirements needed.

  1. Determine a common position, prior to the celebration of the Summit of Presidents of the United States, Mexico, SICA, and CARICOM, in matters related to the combat of drug trafficking, organized crime, and delinquency in the region, which will be celebrated before the end of 2010, in Dominican Republic, under the auspices of the President of that country, member of SICA.
  2. Support in a decided manner the celebration of the Knowledge Fair denominated “Central American Commitment: a space for constructing a more Secure Region” and promoted by the General Secretariat of SICA to be celebrated in the city of Panama from October 25 to 29, 2010, in conformity with number 7 of the Official Notice of the XL meeting of the security Commission celebrated in Belize on August 19, 2010 for the extraordinary meeting of the Security Commission in the fair´s framework.
  3. Instruct the General Secretariat of SICA to concrete the beginning of the Observatory and Democratic Security Index of SICA (OBSICA).
  4. Instruct the Security Commission to put in practice the agreements of the XL Meeting, celebrated on August 19, 2010 in the city of Belize, especially, the revision, update, and prioritization of the Security Strategy of Central America and Mexico and its Action Plan with Costs, as well as the agreements adopted in this Intersectorial Meeting.
  5. Pay special attention and follow up to the consequences generated for the Climatic Change in Regional Security, when exacerbating the social and economic problematic in the countries members of SICA.
  6. To thanks the people and Government of Guatemala for the offered fine facilities and attentions, as well as the technical team, for the hard work done to celebrate this intersectorial meeting.

City of Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala, September 3, 2010

[This is a mobile copy of Declaration of Antigua]